As we celebrate the beginning of 2019, we inevitably reflect back on the last year and think about what we want for the upcoming year. It’s the perfect time to check in on your mental health or that of a loved one, and what you can do this year to set resolutions that will help you care for yourself.
Every person’s mental health is different, so goals are unique for every individual. If you’ve been struggling with your mental health lately, consider setting small, manageable goals. If things have been going well for you, you might want to set bigger challenges like pushing extra hard in your career, or working to hit a personal fitness goal like running a 5K.
On behalf of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board’s Wellness, Health Promotion & Prevention (WHPP) team, here are a few resolutions that are relevant to all, no matter where we are with our mental health.
- Be kind to yourself. Whether things have been going well for you or if you’ve been having a tough time lately, it’s important that you treat yourself with the same kindness and encouragement you would extend to a friend. If you wouldn’t say it to someone you love, don’t say it to yourself.
- Practice good sleeping habits. Getting enough sleep can be hard when you’re living with a mental health disorder, but studies show the importance of prioritizing sleep for improving mental health symptoms.
- Eat healthy and get your body moving. Many people include losing weight by dieting or hitting the gym on their list of resolutions, but those goals can actually be tough on people’s mental health. Instead of putting the focus on the scale, think about how you can include more veggies in your weekly meals, or going for a walk with a friend. This goal is about caring for your body, not pushing yourself to attain a certain look or weight.
- Talk and learn more about mental health. Being more open about your mental health helps others understand your needs, and allows them to be supportive to you. It also helps to build connections. Your friends and family members may also be struggling, but if one of you doesn’t open up the conversation, you may never know. Enroll in one of CSB’s Mental Health First Aid classes to learn more about mental health conditions and resources in Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.
- Help others. Perform small random acts of kindness, express appreciation for people you care about, or volunteer in your spare time. Research shows that helping others is good for your mental health.
Winter months can be hard on mood and can spark Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you’re feeling down or start feeling disinterested in things you love, notice appetite or sleep changes, take a free, anonymous mental health screening; it can be the first step toward getting back on track.
More about CSB services
For information on CSB services, call CSB Entry & Referral at 703-383-8500,TTY 711, or come directly to the Merrifield Center for a screening, Mon. – Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Emergency mental health services are available 24/7 by calling 703-573-5679, TTY 711, or come directly to the Merrifield Center's lower level. The Fairfax Detoxification Center is also available 24/7 at 703-502-7000, TTY 703-322-9080.
Contact for news media inquiries: CSB Communications Team, 703-324-7000.