How to start the new year right and keep resolutions

BOSTON — 2020 was a year like no other and has left many wondering what 2021 could have in store. New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep typically, but how does one find the motivation following this painful year?

Dr. Marni Chanoff, a psychiatrist at McLean Hospital in Belmont, shared with Boston 25 her advice for overcoming mental hurdles and starting the new year on the right foot.

When brainstorming goals for the upcoming year, Dr. Chanoff emphasized that one should not make their goals too lofty.

“This is not the year to go big,” Dr. Chanoff said. “I think this is the year to go deep.”

Focusing on serving one’s communities or feeling comfortable asking for help are examples of resolutions that are both meaningful and realistic, two factors Dr. Chanoff said one should keep in mind this year.

Additionally, Dr. Chanoff shared with Boston 25 important tips for prioritizing mental health. During what was likely a lonely year for many due to social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions, it’s important to seek support from others and to not be alone.

Dr. Chanoff said depression rates are currently three times higher than previously and that a quarter of young adults considered suicide in May 2020. Make sure to look out for signs of depression amongst your loved ones, such as a lack of appetite or poor sleeping habits.

If you notice any signs of depression, please seek professional help and/or dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

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