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Festive Reflections: Setting Mental Health Goals for the New Year

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Festive Reflections: Setting Mental Health Goals for the New Year

mental health, counselor, therapy

The festive season, adorned with twinkling lights, joyful gatherings, and generous gift-giving, is a time for celebration and cheer. However, amidst the merrymaking, the underlying pressure to conform to unrealistic expectations and maintain a picture-perfect holiday can leave us feeling drained and emotionally vulnerable. As the festivities slowly come to a close and we set our sights on the New Year, the imperative to prioritize our mental wellbeing becomes paramount.

1. Embrace Self-Care as a Non-Negotiable 

Self-care, often relegated to bubble baths and face masks, encompasses a spectrum of practices that nourish our mind, body, and soul. In the New Year, prioritize activities that replenish your energy reserves and allow you to flourish. This could include:

  • First and foremost, regular exercise: Engaging in physical activity, even for 30 minutes a day, releases endorphins, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
  • Equally important is quality sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to improve cognitive function, regulate emotions, and enhance overall well-being.
  • Moreover, mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can help manage stress, increase focus, and cultivate inner peace.
  • In addition, connecting with loved ones is essential. Surround yourself with people who support, uplift, and make you feel seen and heard. Nurturing these relationships fosters a sense of belonging and strengthens your support system.
  • Furthermore, setting healthy boundaries is paramount. Learn to say “no” to commitments that drain your energy or compromise your mental well-being. Prioritizing your needs is essential for preventing burnout and fostering self-respect.

By incorporating these self-care practices into your daily routine, you’ll invest in your mental resilience and equip yourself to handle life’s challenges with greater ease.

2. Cultivate Mindfulness: Living in the Present Moment


Mindfulness, the practice of being fully present in the here and now without judgment, can be a transformative tool for improving mental health. When we focus on the present moment, we step away from the anxieties of the future and the regrets of the past, allowing ourselves to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of everyday life. Here are some ways to incorporate mindfulness into your New Year:

  • Start your day with intention: Taking a few minutes in the morning to set an intention for the day can help you approach challenges and opportunities with greater clarity and purpose.
  • Practice mindful eating: Savor each bite of your meals, paying attention to the textures, flavors, and aromas. This not only promotes healthy eating habits but also cultivates a sense of gratitude for the present moment.
  • Engage in mindful activities: Activities like gardening, walking in nature, or listening to music without distractions can help you connect with your senses and ground yourself in the present moment.
  • Practice gratitude: Reflecting on the things you are grateful for, big or small, can shift your focus towards positivity and appreciation, fostering a sense of contentment and well-being.

By integrating mindfulness into your daily life, you’ll gradually cultivate a calmer, more peaceful, and present-centered state of mind, enhancing your overall mental well-being.

3. Develop Healthy Habits for Sustainable Mental Health


Building healthy habits is key to making any positive change in your life; your mental health is no exception. As you embark on the journey into the New Year, it’s essential to focus on incorporating habits that will support your emotional and mental well-being over the long term. Consider embracing practices such as:

  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule: Going to bed and waking up at consistent times, even on weekends, helps regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, leading to improved mood and cognitive function.
  • Limiting screen time: Excessive screen time can contribute to anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Setting boundaries around your phone and computer usage can significantly improve your mental well-being.
  • Nourishing your body with healthy foods: Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides your brain with the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
  • Engaging in regular physical activity: Exercise releases endorphins, natural mood boosters that contribute to reduced stress and anxiety. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
  • Practicing gratitude: Regularly expressing gratitude for the good things in your life, no matter how small, can shift your focus towards positivity and improve overall well-being. You can keep a gratitude journal, express appreciation to loved ones, or simply reflect on what you’re grateful for throughout the day.

By incorporating these healthy habits into your daily routine, you’ll be laying the foundation for sustainable mental health in the New Year. Moreover, remember that consistency is key. Even small changes made consistently can have a significant impact on your overall well-being.

4. Build a Supportive Network: You Are Not Alone


No one should navigate life’s challenges alone. Consequently, having a strong support network is crucial for maintaining good mental health. As we transition into the New Year, it’s imperative to prioritize nurturing your relationships with the people who matter most. This could include:

  • Connecting with family and friends: Spending time with loved ones who make you feel supported and loved can provide a sense of belonging and boost your mood.
  • Joining a support group: Connecting with others who share similar experiences can provide a sense of understanding and help you feel less alone.
  • Seeking professional help: If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor. They can provide you with tools and support to manage your challenges and improve your well-being.

Remember, reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Furthermore, having a supportive network in place can make a world of difference in navigating life’s ups and downs, especially when it comes to protecting your mental health.

5. Celebrate Your Progress and Embrace Imperfection


Setting mental health goals is an ongoing process, not a one-time achievement. There will be days when you stumble or fall short of your expectations. However, instead of letting setbacks define you, celebrate your progress, no matter how small. Acknowledge your efforts, forgive yourself for slip-ups, and recommit to your goals with renewed determination.

Moreover, remember, progress, not perfection, is the key to sustainable mental health. Embrace the journey, learn from your experiences, and be kind to yourself along the way. Every step you take towards prioritizing your well-being is a step in the right direction.



As the New Year unfolds, let’s proactively make mental health a priority. By consciously embracing self-care, mindfulness, healthy habits, and cultivating a supportive network, we can proactively cultivate a profound sense of well-being that will empower us to thrive in the year ahead. Importantly, remember that you are not alone on this transformative journey. Take deliberate steps to care for yourself, earnestly celebrate your progress, and warmly embrace the imperfections that make you uniquely you.

With genuine compassion and careful consideration, each of us has the power to collectively create a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling New Year for ourselves and for those around us. 

If you, or know of someone who could use some online counseling to feel heard and learn ways to cope, please connect with one of our therapists today for a free consultation.


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