Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, said once that “if we would just slow down, happiness would catch up to us.”

In today’s supercharged world, it can be hard to imagine carving time out to take a beat and focus on your mental health and wellness. Especially since it’s a topic that’s been historically hard to talk about.

Fortunately, in recent years we’ve seen an increase in digital conversations happening, both in destigmatizing the notoriously thorny subject, and also offering up support and strategies for feeling better. With that mindset, here are some top tips to get you on your way to a happier, healthier you!

Get physical.

As we jump into the season of New Year’s resolutions either falling by the wayside or needing a re-commitment, many of us are no strangers to the gym. But many of us are also victims of the post new years’ slump — that is, losing the energy to meet our healthy goals. In many cases, physical activities like running have been shown to help reduce symptoms of stress, and depression. Don’t worry so much about the number on the scale or the amount of hours logged in the gym. Fit in exercise where you can and the mood boost may surprise you!

Meditate.

The past year has been a year of increased mindfulness. As more information comes out about how meditative practices can alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even physical pain, more and more Americans jump on the bandwagon. Take a chance on this growing trend, and find out how setting intentions can drastically improve your quality of life.

Indulge yourself.

Part of removing the negative labels associated with mental health comes with removing those attached to some coping strategies. So called “guilty pleasures” are often synonymous with letting loose and relaxing. So why not take the “guilt out of it”? Roll down the windows and scream Beyonce at the top of your lungs! Call in sick (and watch Fuller House for the 50th time)! And yes, eat that last slice of pizza- it’s not going to eat itself!

The point is, being open and honest with yourself (and others) about mental wellbeing, and doing things that help to improve your state of mind shouldn’t be sources of shame. Taking time every day to love yourself, in your own skin, will help to improve your state of mind. And don’t forget to join the conversation- encouraging and uplifting others will go a long way towards removing the stigma on talking mental health!

Don’t wait until next year to focus on you — there’s no guilt in putting yourself first!

How are your resolutions going? What are you doing to re-commit or jumpstart them for the rest of 2018?

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