salt lake city — Many of us use January to reset our habits and focus on our health. According to a Forbes Health survey, 45% of adults say this includes improving their mental health.
If you plan to set goals that prioritize your mental health this year, Kristin Francis, Ph.D., of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, recommends starting with small goals.
“More and more people set big goals and give up when they don’t reach them,” she said. “Starting small and building up gradually is a much better way to reach your goals over time.”
Kelly Coffee, a Salt Lake mother of two, said she’s making mental health a priority this year.
“One of my goals for the new year is to dedicate 30 to 45 minutes a day to myself,” she said.
She just gave birth to her second daughter seven months ago and has struggled since then, she said. “I spent a lot of time in home care. I felt really alone.”
To help with that, she decided to do Pilates. “I started Pilates with the Tonic Method and it really helped my mental clarity and mood and helped me get back to myself again,” Caughey said.
Exercise such as Pilates, yoga, and running can help improve your mental health.
Francis said that just being outside makes him feel better. Journaling and getting some sleep are also important ways to regain focus and improve your mental health.
“Enlist your friends to help you reach your goals. There’s also accountability for sleep and all the helpful tips for mental health,” she said.
For Caughey, achieving that goal made all the difference.
“I realized that having children doesn’t mean you can’t be independent,” she said.