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10 New Year’s Affirmations (Not Resolutions) I’m Making for My Mental Health This Year

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We are inundated with “new year, new me,” as if the strike of midnight is somehow going to transport us into a world where everything will suddenly be better because we have left everything behind that is supposed to be bad for us. Truth is, I woke up on January 1st feeling exactly the same, with the same old demons playing in my head. “But it’s a new year,” I thought. Surely this was my chance to make a change. Truth is, every day is a chance to make a change and to decide you’re done feeling the way you are. It takes real guts and courage to come to that point and even more to try and move forward. I wish the removal of negative emotions was easy as the strike of a clock, but unfortunately, even when we have committed within ourselves to make a change and try and feel better, the reality is it’s painful, it’s raw and it’s bloody hard work.

New bodies, new looks, new goals is what I keep seeing all over social media, but the truth is, even if we achieve our weight loss or get that new foundation we have been dying to try, will it really make us feel happy inside? I spend a lot and I used to think I just liked nice things until I realized I had clothes with labels on them, shoes that had brand new soles and makeup I forgot I had even bought. I used to find these things and remember the joy of buying them, but then once the cashier had handed over my bag of treats or the postman had delivered them, the novelty wore away real quick.

It was then I realized it was true what people said: material goods can never buy inner happiness. I used to think that was just a saying and think people were deluded. Now, I realize it takes life experience and wisdom to truly understand this. The more you have, the more you want and you think the next best thing will make you happier. You find yourself constantly chasing happiness and link it to the next highest model of car or the newest handbag. You feel that the more expensive the goods, the happier you will feel owning it. But, the reality is, I upgraded my car yet it still sits on my drive for days when I don’t leave the house for long periods during a depressive episode. I bought designer bags and clothes but they still sit in a wardrobe as I wear pajamas every day when I’m too drained to change. I have a ridiculous amount of expensive makeup yet it doesn’t get worn. My six different hair curlers don’t get used because my hair is in a scruffy bun and hasn’t been brushed in days.

So, instead of resolutions this year, I want to make some positive affirmations to myself. Some promises because Lord knows I can be kind to others but I don’t treat myself with that same love and respect. I don’t want to be the person who just tolerates everything because I feel that’s all I’m worth. I don’t want to be so afraid of losing people that I put up with whatever crap they throw at me, because my huge fear of abandonment means I don’t want them to go. I’m envisaging the woman I want to be and I am damn determined to become her.

Here are some of my affirmations (inspired by the thoughts of my own soul but also the wisdom of others). I hope they help you:

1. I promise to not shrink myself to make others feel more comfortable. Yes, I’m a big personality and that’s who I am, so if you feel like I’m going to steal your shine, please don’t dim mine.

2. I will have a huge amount of patience to wait for what I want in life. I will trust in God’s timing and never question it.

3. I will spend less time on social media staring at other girls and comparing myself to them. I will appreciate that nobody is me and that is my power.

4. I will read more and work on myself, for myself, by myself.

5. I will remind myself that thoughts are exactly that — just thoughts. I will make an effort to not get carried away with my thinking and create situations in my head that I get upset about, even though I’ve just made them up.

6. I will continue to be kind and radiate warmth to those around me. I will support others and build them up.

7. I will stop giving out too many chances or stay stuck in any situation which no longer serves me. I’ve learned to exit stage door left once the red flags appear, even if that’s early doors. The longer you dance with the devil, the longer you remain in (emotional) hell.

8. I will make more of an effort to see friends who live in other cities or countries. I will travel more and create new memories and experiences.

9. I will be kinder to myself and not call myself “ugly” or “fat,” or catch a glimpse at myself in the mirror with no makeup on and pull a face. This is me and I’m going to embrace it.

10. Finally, I won’t be so damn hard on myself for watching three series of “Pretty Little Liars” in two days. Let’s be honest — nothing better than your own company and a good boxset on a cold evening.

Out of all of these, I think the ability to walk away is the most important. I’m rarely the one who leaves a situation, whether that be a toxic friendship or relationship because I want to see the good in people. I always think people will come through for me in the end and I need to realize when I’m watering a dead plant. I want to become so empowered I can walk away and not worry about the attachment because it will fade. I want to reclaim my self-worth, and that phrase is bandied about a lot but I truly want to discover its meaning and know more about myself, who I am and what I want from life. I’m still learning about myself every day, and as humans, we should be constantly evolving, constantly striving to be better and do better.

Follow this journey on the author’s blog.

Photo by Michael Rosner-Hyman on Unsplash

Originally published: January 9, 2019
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