Personally, I’m not too fond of New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve always found them to be arbitrary and decisions that I should make all year long. For me, winter is the hardest time to make a resolution and stick with it because it’s generally when I go through a bout of depression (and that’s certainly holding true this year). I try and build good habits in when I’m strong and cling to them when I’m weak.
However, as a community that is concerned with decreasing mental health stigma, I do think that there are things that we can resolve to do in the upcoming year:
- Reach out for help when you need it. The fear of stigma and the threat of backlash from those ignorant to mental health realities should never outweigh the positive benefits.
- Support your friends, family and be kind to strangers. There is a saying that I’m fond of that: ‘Strangers are just friends I haven’t met yet’. I can’t remember where I first heard it, but it definitely holds true. If each of us were compassionate to everyone we came in contact with, it would go a long way to easing suffering. We never know what other people are going through, but there is always a chance they are struggling. A kind word from a friend or a stranger can make a world of difference when the world seems dark and hopeless.
- Take care of your health. People have different ways of tending to their mental health (and I’m not going to use this space to talk about the merits and drawbacks of any of them). If you see a psychiatrist, make sure to keep your appointments. The same goes for therapy. If you go to a support group, don’t let your mood on any given day prevent you from taking advantage of the community around you. Whatever you do to take care of YOU, make sure to keep doing it!
Let us resolve to bring an end to stigma by sharing our stories. What are your resolutions this year?
Take good care,