Setting goals is the most common theme in the first month of a new year. Most of which are focused around your weight, your finances, your career or entertainment (like traveling). Very few people think about setting goals to have better mental health, mostly because very few people think they need to focus on their mental health in general.
Unless you’ve dealt with any type of mental health issue like depression, anxiety or other common issues, then you probably don’t think very much about it. Have you ever stopped to consider that perhaps focusing on your own mental health could actually assist you in obtaining some of those other goals too?
Mental Health Culprits
Everyone is familiar with depression and anxiety and we’ve all heard of stress but do we actually know what to do to combat these? Did you know that statistically 100% of the population will experience at least one of these three common mental health issues at some stage of their lives? We are lead to believe that depression and anxiety are much less common than they are but the truth is you’ve probably experienced them before without even noticing. Depression can look like many things, anxiety effects everyone in a different way and stress can show up in the most unlikely of areas in our lives.
What Can Be Done?
Aside from something more serious and seeing a mental health professional, the obvious answer here is to turn to the Bible. So what does the Bible say about these conditions?
“So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
“…For sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning…”
These are just a few examples of what the Bible says about these more common mental health issues, but my suggestion here is to google verses, write them down and repeat them every single day. Nothing makes you feel better than to hear the word of God. Luckily for us, God’s living word is so full of real life examples, stories and scriptures for us to read that help us navigate through anything in life.
Goals To Set
1. Get 30 minutes or more a day of moderate exercise (preferably outdoors)
2. Get plenty of rest but not too much (too much sleep is just as bad as not enough)
3. Spend the first 10 minutes of the day doing something you enjoy instead of getting straight into something you don’t.
4. Spend the last 10 minutes of the day doing something you enjoy
5. Spend less than 3 hours per day on your phone
6. Take part in meditation or other relaxation techniques
Pray & Worship
The answer to all of the above is to PRAY! Prayer is one of the few things in my life that I can always depend on. Prayer truly shifts things in the atmosphere and no matter how I am feeling or what I’m going through I always feel better afterwards.
Worship music just hits different. The key for me is to listen to certain types of worship for different things. When I’m depressed I put on the fun, upbeat, gospel filled music that just lifts my spirit right up. When I’m anxious or worried I typically listen to more congregational worship or ballets that help me focus on truly worshiping God and focusing less on my problems around me.
That’s all the tips and tricks I have for you today friend. Please keep in mind that this is not professional advice, rather advice from a friend who’s been there. A friend who has experienced all types of mental health “issues” and who God has healed over and over again and who is here for YOU. As we all spend this first month of a new year realigning our goals and shifting our focus on the year to come, know with confidence that someone is here for you and is in your corner.