A mix of overwhelm, stress, and a pandemic is definitely not what the doctor ordered when it comes to getting your mental health in ideal shape. And when our mental health is not in check, it affects how we think, feel, and act – which pretty much sums up every facet of ourselves!

While we’re all looking for the quickest fix or easiest path, the reality is that experiencing positive mental health is truly a journey rather than a destination. Better yet, a way of life. Something we need to keep in check each and every day.

By now, we’ve all learned that if we don’t take proper care of ourselves (and as a result, our mental health) – then we’re leaving space for things like negativity, stress, anxiety, doubt, and comparison to creep in.

Whether the past two years have taken a toll on you or you’re simply looking to take better care of your mental health in the new year, be sure to incorporate the following mood-boosting strategies into your days and weeks.

1. Prioritize physical activity, brain breaks, and sleep.

Don’t neglect the essentials! Plan movement and physical activity into your day. It’s important to get your blood flowing through exercise!

Take breaks: journal, go for a walk, take a nap, and have lunch without your device.

Lastly, get enough sleep! Take a look at your evening routine to ensure you’re prepped for a quality night of sleep.

2. Nurture your needs through planning and positivity.

When you have a plan, you’re in control. Make sure you schedule time for the things that make you feel less anxious!

Spend a few minutes with your planner at the start and end of each day to review your goals, track your habits, and map out your plans.

Boost your mood by celebrating your wins, thinking positively, cheering yourself on, and recording your daily gratitude in your planner.

3. Connect with others!

We all crave feeling connected, supported, and valued. Make this the year that you strengthen your connections with family, friends, co-workers, and more. Make plans, write notes, and pick up the phone to call!

Create new connections by joining groups that interest you (in person or virtual). Head out for a walk with your dog – smile and say hello to those around you!

Plus, plan time to help others in your community. Research shows that this is mood-boosting in itself!

The tips are simple – it’s more about making sure they happen on a regular basis. Grab your planner and make time for what’s most important. When your mental health is in check, you’ll present your best self to everyone and everything around you!

Important note: If you feel too stuck to try these tips or find that they’re not working for you, we encourage you to seek professional help right away.