A lot of my focus for the past few weeks has been on habits. I’ve written about habits before on My Brain’s Not Broken, but every time I revisit the topic I learn something new. Building healthy habits is an essential aspect of my mental health toolkit, but it doesn’t stop there. Maintaining healthy habits is just as important as building them; however, that’s easier said than done. Here are five reminders about building mentally healthy habits that can help keep us as healthy as we can be!
Tailor these habits to you.
When building healthy habits, never forget that these habits are for you! Your opinion is the most important one here. Just because someone’s habits work for them doesn’t mean they’re perfect for you, and vice versa. Whatever habits you want to build, you can tweak them and play with them to suit your personality and needs.
Make sure these habits are realistic
One of my biggest roadblocks to reaching goals is how realistic things are, and I mean this in the most literal sense of the word. Realistic doesn’t just mean if something is possible – it also means thinking about if it’s realistic for you and your life. Sometimes, what works for one person would be impossible for another. You are the most important person in this scenario and if it doesn’t work for you, that’s okay!
There is strength in numbers.
When I think about habits I want to build, I try not to get hyper-focused on one specific thing. I do this because in the past, focusing on one habit or activity to ‘cure’ my well-being created impossible expectations that couldn’t possibly have been reached. Finding as many healthy habits as possible can build a strong foundation, and give someone a number of options instead of having to rely on one or two things every single time.
Remember that setbacks happen.
Since I wrote an entire post on this recently, I won’t dwell on this point too much. However, I still want to include this point here because it’s an important aspect of maintaining healthy habits. Setbacks are commonly seen as failures, but I’d dispute that. If I have a daily habit of meditating and one day I do it, does that make me a failure? No. But I often feel like a failure because I don’t always remember that this is just a temporary setback, and I have another chance tomorrow to set things right.
Understand why you chose these habits in the first place.
Habits are just one aspect of our lives, but they give insight into who we are and what matters most to us. When I think about healthy habits I want to build, I enjoy the fact that they’re reflective of me and my personality. I picked them not because they would “help,” but because they were things I was interested in, that I like, and that would help me as a person. What helps one person doesn’t necessarily help another, which means that we need to choose what works for us. Remembering why we do certain things, and calling to mind those reasons, can make all the different in maintaining these habits. They matter because we want to do them, and we matter.
Whether it’s building up healthy habits or maintaining current ones, good luck to everyone who’s trying to utilize healthy habits in their lives! Day by day, we can build mentally healthier lives.
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