The start of the new year is a time for reflection on our past and planning for the future. Before you decide to stop smoking or go on a diet, why not consider investing in your mental health? This year, try to implement these five simple strategies to strengthen your mental health and increase your wellbeing. 

Be kind to yourself. Do not be so hard on yourself that you forget to enjoy the life you have. When you are worried, focus your attention on what you have, what you have achieved and the people you love who support you. Know that we all make mistakes. Accept yourself and set yourself realistic targets and life expectations.  Also make sure to allocate time for yourself, however busy you may be.  

Meditate. Apart from combating stress, meditation helps you become more assertive, enhances your mood, strengthens your memory and helps you sleep better. Find some time every morning, even ten minutes, and close your eyes in a quiet place. You will feel more relaxed. 

Spend more time in nature. A good long walk in the countryside will do you a lot of good. When you find yourself in nature, your levels of stress and anxiety decrease, your mood gets better and your mind is more ready to work. 

Set clear priorities. Plan your new year well by evaluating your priorities so that you can spend time well. List about five aims that you want to achieve this year, both on a professional and a personal level. Prioritise those things that you plan to do to reach the aims you have in mind. This will help you stay motivated and focused and you can see results without burning yourself out. 

Get enough sleep.  Your sleep patterns and your mental health are interrelated.  Sufficient sleep leads to a better state of mind, better memory, increased assertiveness, increased productivity and even more creativity. Sleep deprivation can lead to health problems, including mental fatigue and weight gain. It also increases the risk of health issues and depression and lowers immunity. A good sleep is complemented by a good diet and physical exercise. 

Happy New Year!