Make Mental Health a Priority in 2015: Five Resolutions for a Happier, Healthier Life

Monday, December 29, 2014

With the New Year upon us, the annual opportunity arises to rid ourselves of unhealthy habits and begin life anew. Family Services of Western Pennsylvania recommends that everyone place mental health on their list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2015. Following are five healthy habits that we each can adopt for a happier, more meaningful life: 

  1. “I resolve to be mentally healthy.” Despite ongoing efforts to alter the perception, in the United States, there remains a stigma about seeking professional help. However, it is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves. A therapist can provide a different perspective on challenges you might face, and help you to understand why you react to things the way that you do. Recognize that your mental health can affect your physical health and your physical health can affect your mental health. (Family Services has a Center for Integrated Care in Tarentum, PA which offers both mental and physical health check-ups.)
  2. “I will be physically active on a regular basis.” When you’re feeling down or depressed, exercising seems like one of the last things you’d want to do, but numerous studies have shown the positive effects exercise has on mental health. Though not completely understood, regular exercise helps ease depression by the brain’s releasing “feel-good” chemicals.
  3.  “I will not define myself by labels.” Labels become self-fulfilling prophecies. When you think of yourself as skinny, overweight, depressed, anxious, you project that image not only to yourself but others as well. Focus on the positive aspects of yourself and your life, and resolve to work on traits that you don’t like, but don’t become consumed by the negative. Life is a journey with valleys and peaks along the way.
  4. “I will learn to relax and enjoy my life.” Today, with all of the distractions that life presents and many of us working longer hours, we forget to take care of ourselves and we lose track of the proper work/life balance. Take time for yourself, re-introduce yourself to an activity that you’ve placed on the shelf, or follow through on those guitar lessons you’ve been longing to take. Your life will be better for it.    
  5.  “I will stay in the moment.” Yesterday has passed. You can’t predict the future, but you can enjoy what lies in front of you now. Make those moments count!

For additional information, please contact:
Amy Bologna, LPC, NCC
Psychosocial Program Coordinator
Certified Peer Specialist Supervisor
Community Outreach through Resources & Education Supervisor
Phone: 724-335-9883 ext. 5546

Heather Duncan, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, RN
Director of Behavioral Health Services
Phone: 724-335-9883 ext. 5520