STAYING POSITIVE IN 2023
Wondering how to think positively in the New Year, despite the uncertainties that cloud your mind? Here are several things you can do to stay positive in 2023:
- Practice gratitude:
Take a few minutes each day to think about the things you are thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and cultivate an overall feeling of positivity.
- Get enough sleep:
Getting enough sleep is important for your physical and mental health. Try to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
- Exercise regularly:
Exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress. Find an activity you enjoy, such as walking, running, dancing, or cycling, and make it a regular part of your routine.
- Eat a healthy diet:
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods can help you feel your best and keep your energy levels up.
- Practice mindfulness:
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to your thoughts and feelings in the present moment, without judgment. It can help you stay focused and grounded and improve your overall sense of well-being.
- Connect with others:
Humans are social creatures and having strong connections with others is important for our mental health. Make time to spend with friends and family, and seek out opportunities to connect with others who share your interests and values.
- Give yourself permission to fail:
Allow yourself permission to fail from time to time without judgement. Everyone fails at some point, but it doesn’t have to be seen as indicative of failure overall; use it instead as an opportunity to learn.
- Focus on progress rather than perfection:
You don’t need everything to be perfect all at once. Focus instead on celebrating even small successes which add up over time.
- Prioritise ‘me-time’ every day:
Allow yourself enough time each day through activities such as meditation, mindfulness practices or simply enjoying silence; this helps maintain balance between mind, body and spirit.
- Talk kindly with yourself:
Pay attention to any unhelpful thoughts going through your mind and question them if necessary! Be mindful of negative language and thoughts about yourself.
- Embrace change:
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Making changes in our lives is often essential for personal growth.
- Set boundaries:
Boundaries are an essential part of maintaining a sense of well-being and building a joyful life. Whether you want to establish boundaries in your personal or professional life, these work to protect you, whilst also helping you to establish your own identity. Without them, we can lose touch with our intuition and end up feeling burnt out and resentful.
- Disconnect with a digital detox:
A digital detox is a period during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones, computers, and tablets, to improve their overall well-being. A digital detox can help you reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and increase productivity. It can also be a way to reconnect with the world around you and to engage in activities that do not involve screens.
- Acts of kindness:
Acts of kindness are actions taken to help or benefit someone else, often without expecting anything in return. These acts can be small, such as holding the door open for someone, or they can be more significant, like volunteering time or resources to a charitable cause. Performing acts of kindness has been shown to have many benefits, including improving mood and well-being, strengthening social connections, and creating a sense of purpose and meaning.
- Immerse yourself in nature
After restrictions and lockdowns, embracing the great outdoors has become even more necessary, especially as time spent in nature can improve mood, boost resilience, and reduce stress. Moments of escapism can be found wherever you’re staying, be it a hike, a walk in a park or spending time in your garden.
- Seek help and support:
Several factors contribute to higher rates of depression, suicide, and addiction in the LGBT community. One may be the discrimination and stigma that LGBT individuals often face. This can lead to feelings of isolation, low self-esteem, and a lack of acceptance, which can in turn contribute to poor mental health. Additionally, LGBT individuals may have a harder time accessing mental health care and may be less likely to seek help due to fear of discrimination. This year, don’t hesitate to seek out supportive mental health resources and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
EMH’s mental health support team offers free in-person, telephonic or online counselling (individual or couples), and referrals to gay, bi and other men who have sex with men in Johannesburg. If you’re experiencing feelings of depression, anxiety or dealing with trauma, relationship problems, or even stress about coming out, WhatsApp call or message 063 649 5116. (We can also refer you to other services outside the Johannesburg area.)