HEALTHY MIND MATTERS

Tips to set realistic mental health goals

Jan 27, 2023, 8:47 PM | Updated: May 15, 2023, 1:59 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Many of us use January to reset habits and focus on our health. According to a Forbes Health survey, 45% of adults say that includes improving their mental health.

If you are planning on setting a goal to prioritize your mental health this year, Dr. Kristin Francis at Huntsman Mental Health Institute recommended starting with small goals.

“More people tend to give up if they set big goals and don’t meet them,” she said. “Starting small and gradually moving up is a much better way to reach goals overtime.”

Kelly Caughey, a mother of two in Salt Lake, said that she is prioritizing her mental health this year.

“One of my goals for the new year is to spend 30 to 45 minutes a day on myself,” she said.

She just gave birth to her second daughter seven months ago and she said it’s been a struggle since then. “I definitely struggled with post-partum with both of my children,” Caughey said. “I spent a lot of time at home nursing, I felt really isolated.”

To help with that, she decided to do pilates. “I started doing pilates at Tonic Method and that really helped my mental clarity and my mood and helped me come back to myself again,” Caughey said.

Any exercise, whether it’s pilates, yoga, or running – is a great way to help improve your mental health.

Francis said just getting outside can boost your mood. Journaling and getting more sleep are also important ways to refocus and improve your mental health.

“Enlist your friends and let them help you meet your goals, some accountability for your sleep, all helpful tips for your mental health,” she said.

For Caughey, making that goal has made all the difference.

“It’s helped me realize that just because I have kids it doesn’t mean I can’t be independent still,” she said.

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Tips to set realistic mental health goals