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21 Gentle Self-Care Resolutions to Make in 2018


Making “typical” New Year’s resolutions when you’re struggling with your mental health can often feel unmanageable and overwhelming. Because when you’re struggling with mental illness, sometimes just being a person with a brain and a body seems hard enough.

That’s why this year, we want to ditch the strict resolutions and put taking care of ourselves first. That’s why we asked our Mighty mental health community what self-care New Year’s resolutions they’re making for 2018, in the hopes these suggestions help you build a little more self-compassion in the upcoming year ahead, because you deserve it.

Here is what they had to say:

1. “Learning to say ‘no’ without apologizing. Doesn’t sound like your stereotypical self-care, but it’s important.” — Anna H.

2. “Putting flowers all over my room. Recovery means changing all of the sick things in my life. A room that’s full of illness is a room that belongs to an ill girl. I’m throwing a makeover in my room and turning this place from a dark place to a happy place.” — Neta B.

3. “Get on a regular sleep schedule and not prioritize school and studying over sleep. School is important but so is having a regular schedule and getting rest.” — Veronica M.

4. “Finding someone to trust. I’ve spoken to a couple of teachers when I’ve been really struggling but never really spoken to them until it was absolutely necessary. I need someone I can talk to before it gets to that point, so it doesn’t have to.” — Amber H.

5. “Keeping my commitments, but allowing myself ‘mental health’ days in the same weeks I have social events. It helps keep me from spending too much time in the house, but I also don’t miss out on events I want to attend because of anxiety or feeling unstable. It doesn’t always work, but it has been helping.” — Alexa K.

6. “I am making a resolution to actually use a planner this year to bring me peace and comfort when things get more hectic with the birth of my daughter in April. With a planner, I hope to not over-schedule myself and work at better self-care.” — Megan P.

7. “Cut off anyone who is toxic and abusive. I’m so used to trying to help everyone without thinking about my mental health first” — Celaena G.

8. “Make more time for me. This includes taking time to eat mindfully, exercise and relax, even if my mental illnesses are screaming at me to get more work done.” — Jennifer S.

9. “Being more patient with others. My anxiety tends to lead to me being irritable and lashing out. My self-care will be working on controlling this, leading to happier and healthier relationships with those around me.” — Theresa C.

10. “Remember to take my medication and to ask for help when I need it.” — Sierra-Rae C.

11. “Pushing myself through situations I’m usually not comfortable with. The smallest amounts of issues give me these horrible panic attacks, I’m hoping to learn through them.” — Hunter P.

12. “Brush my teeth daily and brush my hair daily. I know it sounds silly, but with chronic major depression and chronic fatigue (as well as anxiety and an eating disorder) this can feel like a mountain to move sometimes.” — Nicholle U.

13. “This year is the first year since I was 12 that I am not making any diet or weight loss related goals. That in itself is such a huge step for me. 2018 is going to be another positive year in my journey of self-care and self-love through therapy, mindfulness and putting myself first when I need help.” — Lauren C.

14. “I’m going to open up to the people closest to me, be honest with my struggles and ask for help when I know I need it.” — Linda Z.

15. “Not to compare myself with others and to focus on the here and now. Build on everything I’ve been working at so far and staying focused. Remembering that I know what works in maintaining my positive well-being and sticking at it. Feeling positive and productive in the present, but realizing it’s perfectly normal to feel down sometimes. Learning from my mistakes and not getting too downbeat over little things. Everything will work out OK if I want it to and believe that it will.” — Jordan R.

16. “Be true to myself. Being honest about what I’m feeling and not making myself believe I’m fine when I’m not. Being OK to ask for help when I need it.” — Emma W.

17. “I’m going to allow myself to have down days without feeling guilty about missing school days or social events.” — Joanna L.

18. “I plan on scheduling time before I go to bed for reading offline. I’ve learned that when I put a task in my calendar I’m more likely to commit to it.” — Rudy C.

19. “I just gave up drinking and will be avoiding gatherings where there is a lot of alcohol. I just can’t be around that right now.” — Lisa C.

20. “Learning how to be more self-forgiving and letting go of people who aren’t supportive and caring. And just focusing on myself and my own stuff and not worrying about other people.” — Adam W.

21. “Work on self-talk. It will take me weeks to compliment myself on the smallest thing like cleaning my bathroom but will always follow with flowing. Negative thoughts. People notice I judge myself throughout the day.” — Rosa S.

What would you add?

Getty image via Farknot_architect