Why you should resolve to give yourself a break this New Year
When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, rather than making a sweeping change that requires major adjustments to your life, resolve to give yourself a break, and focus on taking better care of yourself in 2021.
Mental health experts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say making major New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or exercise more during these chaotic times can be counterproductive and increase stress.
“In normal times, a little bit of stress can help us find solutions and be productive. But when it’s prolonged for months on end and that stress becomes chronic, our bodies never get the message that the stress response can calm down, which can be detrimental to our physical and mental health,” said Sophie Lazarus, a clinical psychologist in the department of psychiatry and behavioral health at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
All of the adjustments people have made throughout the pandemic, such as helping their children navigate virtual and in-person learning, working from home, keeping their family safe and healthy or coping with economic hardships, have exacerbated this never-ending stress. Lazarus recommends making small shifts to bring greater ease into your daily life or see the positive that’s already there. One of the best ways to find these opportunities is to practice mindfulness.
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