A new year to improve mental health

by Alex Musk

How does the beginning of the year affect our Mental Health? What can we do to improve it now that it is time for new purposes?

In recent times, due to the pandemic, we need to rewrite what we plan almost continuously. In some families, Christmas dinner had to be improvised in front of a computer screen. In others, we have not been able to make that trip that we thought of six months ago. So it is inevitable to question the classic New Year’s resolutions.

The data on mental health from the European health survey of the National Institute of Statistics (INE) show us that in our country in mid-2020, there were 2.1 million people with a depressive condition, 5.25% of the population older than 15 years.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions to prevent contagion, little interest in doing things has increased by 3.3%, as well as the feeling of being down or depressed by 2.8%. There is also 2% more trouble sleeping. A situation that has impacted more among women than among men.

The outbreak of COVID-19 and the changes in our daily lives have clearly affected the mental health of the population. So how do we approach this new year?

New Year’s resolutions

This is one of the times of the year in which several important issues for our state of mind traditionally come together:

  • a certain feeling of guilt (because of eating too many, or excesses typical of Christmas)
  • an increase in self-demand: all those things that we have pending to do after the holidays (in which we have hopefully disconnected)
  • All those things that we intend to do in the year that begins lead us to generate unrealistic expectations that probably will not be met. This causes that feeling of inefficiency that interferes so much with our self-concept and our happiness.

If we add to all this that we live in an unstable moment in which it is complex to make long or medium-term plans, it is necessary to follow some guidelines or advice to face the year realistically, something that will result in our mental health.

Five tips to take care of our mental health in 2022

1. Avoid self-blaming language. Don’t beat yourself up

It’s okay if we’ve gained a few extra kilos or if we’ve neglected a task that we can resume now.

Taking care of the language on how we face the return to work, and the more or less formality benefits the way in which we face the rest of the year and is a very good habit to internalize. Letting go of guilt assures us a way of evaluating ourselves more adjusted to reality, which prevents us from sadness and apathy.

2. Prioritize, choose your battles

Think realistically before embarking on something if you are really going to be able to carry it out. What good is it for us to make those long lists about losing kilos, learning to make pottery, or seeing more of our friends if it will then hang on the fridge?

Design this new time you start with small short-term tasks. Reflecting on its real fit with your work schedules, with the time you can and want to dedicate to it.

Try not to start activities that you know you will not be able to complete or that will generate more stress when trying to complete them.

3. Plan (as much as you can) your free time

If we spend hours planning and writing down what we have to do at work on an agenda, we can save time for leisure in the same way.

Specify that leisure time in small concrete actions that you can do. Including in your daily routine a short walk to work through a park that you like, for example, can be a good way to connect with ourselves and benefit our mental health the rest of the day.

4. You don’t need to invest a lot of money, but quality time in what you do

Do things that cost less, but generate a lot of well-being. Have you tried caring for plants? Perhaps this moment of uncertainty is perfect for you to listen to yourself better and find what you really like.

5. Less is more

If you still want to make your list of resolutions for 2022, do it with a few very specific tasks that reward you when you achieve them.

For example, “the five books that I will read this year.” So that at the end of the year, you can even get over it, but without stress or feelings of guilt for seeing how November arrives, and they are still unfulfilled.

Let’s be realistic; let’s not plan the impossible.

In short, it is about trying to start the year knowing in advance that we will have to make an effort to adapt to the circumstances and that this will be possible to the extent that our expectations are adjusted realistically and carefully with ourselves.

At Seguros RGA, aware of the impact of the pandemic and the new demands of society on insurance, we have created the Enjoy Insurance Plan for our clients, which allows you to group your policies and split your payment into 12 monthly installments of the mortgage without added costs. Knowing what you will pay each month for your insurance is not the only peace of mind that it provides; in addition to a medical guidance service, you have the app, with which you can improve your quality of life perfect healthy advice to start taking care of yourself. Shall we start?

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