17 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Mental Health

By Danielle Boland

As the holidays draw closer and the end of the year approaches, we often start to think about New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions can be anything from wanting to read more, lose weight or improve eating habits. Unfortunately, many New Year’s resolutions tend to be short-lived with little follow-through due to unrealistic goal setting. According to UAB Medicine, only 8% of people who set New Year’s resolutions keep and reach their goals.

Instead of creating big goals, it can be helpful to start with smaller, more manageable steps that help you accomplish your overarching goal. Meeting these milestones can help you feel successful and motivate you to continue, and by reaching these smaller goals over time, you can eventually turn your life-changing resolution into a reality.

The past year has been a challenging one for many people, so goals surrounding mental health and happiness have become popular resolutions for 2022. If you’re looking for attainable goals to set for the upcoming year, these resolutions can put you on the path to a mentally happy and healthy future.

1. Join a Group

By joining a new group, you are simultaneously meeting new people and participating in something that you enjoy. Both of these activities are good ways to improve mental health.

2. Volunteer

Finding a cause to donate your time to can be very rewarding. Volunteering is a great way to feel good and give back at the same time.

3. Improve Sleep Habits

Getting good sleep is one of the fundamental ways to ensure we feel our best. Focusing on getting enough hours of quality sleep can help improve your mood and mental health.

4. Spend Time With Loved Ones

Spending more time with people who make us feel safe and loved can be a mood booster. Make sure to set aside some quality time with family and friends next year.

5. Clean Out

Decluttering is a great way to start the new year fresh. Gather up unused items and donate them to a local organization to help those in need and free up space in your home.

6. Get Away

A change of scenery can help improve your state of mind if you are feeling stuck or stressed out. Committing to time away for yourself, even if it is a “staycation” at home, will help you recharge and refocus.

7. Practice Mindfulness

Creating a mindfulness practice can greatly reduce stress and anxiety and also improve overall physical health.

8. Self-Care

Self-care focuses on prioritizing your mental and physical health so that burnout does not happen. Self-care is beneficial to overall wellness.

9. Regular Exercise

Regular exercise can help reduce stress, boost self-esteem, improve sleep and lessen depression and anxiety.

10. Learn To Say “No”

Saying “no” is an important skill to learn. By limiting the commitments you say “yes” to, you can better utilize your time for things you enjoy.

11. Ask for Help

Asking for help when you need it can greatly reduce the amount of stress you have when dealing with big tasks.

12. Meditate

Regular meditation can improve overall health. It has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and improve blood pressure, and it can even help reduce the urge to smoke.

13. Hydrate

Dehydration can cause you to experience headaches, agitation and tiredness. To help combat dehydration, make sure to drink enough water every day to stay properly hydrated and healthy.

14. Reduce Screen Time

Too much screen time can affect mental health.  Cell phones, TVs and video games can cause strain on the eyes and can lead to long-term mental health complications like depression and anxiety. Reduce screen time to help reduce these negative side effects.

15. Embrace Change

Although change can feel intimidating, it can lead to wonderful new possibilities. Learning to embrace change instead of fearing it will help transitions feel more exciting and less stressful.

16. Practice Gratitude

It can be easy to hold on to things that you feel aren’t going right in life. However, focusing on and having gratitude for the good things in your life can change your overall perspective from negative to positive.

17. Treat Yourself

Treating yourself to a special item or experience can act as a positive reinforcement for hard work and help motivate you to keep pushing toward your next goal.

What Resources Are Available to Me?

If you’re looking for an easy way to access tools that can help support your New Year’s resolutions, the Nobu app is for you. This free-to-use app has a wide variety of helpful services, including mindfulness resources, mental health lessons, journaling programs and goal-tracking tools.

For an added fee, you can also use the app to connect with a licensed therapist to get even more support for a happy and healthy 2022. Get a head start on accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions — download the Nobu app today.

jonathan strum headshot

Edited by – Jonathan Strum

Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor’s in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. He has written, edited and published content for health care professionals, educators, real estate agents, lawyers and high-level university faculty… Read more.

Written by – Danielle Boland

Danielle is a licensed clinical social worker, currently living and practicing in central Connecticut. Danielle graduated from Columbia University in 2012 with a Masters of Social Work, and always had the goal of opening her own private practice. She specializes in women’s issues, maternal health and postpartum mental health. Danielle is passionate about empowering people of all ages and hopes to use her writing skills to provide more resources for those looking to improve their mental health… Read more.

dr angela phillips

Medically Reviewed by – Dr. Angela Phillips

Angela is a licensed therapist and clinical researcher, and has worked in public, private, government, and not-for-profit organizations, across clinical and research-oriented roles. Angela’s clinical and research experience has included suicide prevention, cognitive behavioral… Read more.

LaMott, Sandee. “Benefits of water: Are you getting enough fluids to stay healthy?” CNN, September 28, 2017. Accessed December 5, 2021. 

Khalil, Shireen. “New Year’s Resolutions Last This Long.” New York Post, December 21, 2018. Accessed December 5, 2021. 

Mindful. “What is Mindfulness?” July 8, 2020. Accessed December 6, 2021.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “8 Things to Know About Meditation for Health.” April 2016. Accessed December 6, 2021. 

Rudley, Debra Bradley. “Screen Time and the Brain.” Harvard Medical School, June 19, 2019. Accessed December 5, 2021. 

Suni, Eric. “Mental Health and Sleep.” Sleep Foundation, September 18, 2020. Accessed December 5, 2021.

UAB Medicine. “10 Secrets of People Who Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions.” 2019. Accessed December 5, 2021. 

Walden University. “5 Mental Benefits of Exercise.” 2021. Accessed December 6, 2021. 

World Health Organization. “What do we mean by self-care?” 2021. Accessed December 6, 2021.