10 Long-Term Mental Health And Wellness Goals To Set Anytime
It does not matter what stage of recovery you are at or the place you’re at on your mental health journey, having specific mental health goals to work toward can help you live (and enjoy) your life to the fullest while gaining traction on your recovery journey.
Maybe you began your mental wellness journey with a small goal of writing in a journal once a day or taking an evening walk in the garden every day – good for you! It’s a goal, nonetheless, that you’re working towards.
If you’re wondering how and where to start when it comes to setting mental health goals, ask yourself, “What can I do today that can bring me closer to where I want to be?”
Once you have an answer to this question, you will figure out what your larger or long-term mental health goal will be. Smart small goals are just the stepping stones, my friend and in this blog, I’m here to help you learn how and what long-term mental health and wellness goals you should set.
Don’t worry, you can set these goals anytime! Don’t need to worry about a day or a year to begin.
First things first. Let’s understand the S.M.A.R.T. way to set goals.
How To Set S.M.A.R.T. Mental Health Goals?
By using the S.M.A.R.T approach to set goals, I mean is:
- Specific: What does your goal look like? Who all are involved in this goal? What do you want to achieve with this goal? Why is this goal important?
- Measurable: Can you measure this goal? Can you track your progress and measure the result of this goal?
- Achievable: Is this goal challenging? Can you achieve this goal without much difficulty? Is the goal you’re setting achievable?
- Relevant/Realistic: Is your goal realistic? Does your goal make sense? If it’s important, then why is it relevant?
- Timely: Is there a time limit on this goal? If yes, what is it? When are you expected to or expecting to achieve this goal?
Understanding the S.M.A.R.T. technique can help you set the right goals, relevant to your objectives. With this approach, setting an appropriate goal can become easier and less tedious.
The idea of setting a mental wellness goal is to encourage growth and mental progress during your recovery. Setting mental health goals during your recovery can help you overcome many mental health roadblocks. Setting a smart goal for mental health can help you recover lost motivation, improve performance, and restore your interest in activities.
Moreover, when you’re struggling with poor mental health, there’s a high possibility that you might feel a loss of control. Setting long-term mental health goals can help you regain control. Even if you’re in therapy, goals can help speed up your therapy performance especially if you are using cognitive-behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy approaches.
Below are 10 long-term mental health goals you can set anytime.
Long-Term Mental Health Goals To Set
When it comes to mental health, sleep is an important goal you can’t ignore. The quality of sleep is not to be underestimated when setting mental health goals. Restful and quality sleep is important because it helps reset the brain chemicals. If you don’t get restful sleep, your brain will keep you anxious, depressed, and stressed just because it can.
When setting long-term mental health goals, sleep hygiene should not be ignored. Make sure you use the right pillow, and mattress, and have the right sleep environment during the night. Here are some tips to reset your sleep schedule and how not to make sleep mistakes.
Another goal that you should not underestimate is boundaries. Setting boundaries is your key to mental peace and happiness. When people, responsibilities, and other duties become too much, they can overwhelm you and affect your recovery process. Boundaries help keep you secure and avoid causing overwhelming emotions.
Here are the types of boundaries you can set to affirm your mental peace and emotional strength. Trust me, saying “no” when you don’t want to do something can go a long way in helping you keep your mental wellness intact.
Yes, physical health is also a long-term mental wellness goal you should consider setting. Your physical and mental health are very closely intertwined so keeping your physical health assures good mental health. Make sure you eat healthily, engage your body in exercises that activate your endorphins, and keep the happy hormones flowing.
You might struggle with keeping your new routine but try to cut down junk food, aerated and sugary beverages, replace processed foods with healthy options, and avoid caffeine. You don’t have to change everything, only a little change can be hugely beneficial.
4.Self-Love And Self-Compassion
When our mental health is down, we become our worst critics and forget to shower ourselves with the same self-love and compassion that we shower on others. When our self-esteem takes a dip, it becomes more challenging to not focus on our shortcomings and weaknesses. For example, if your friend makes a mistake, a healthy mind would accept it, say it’s OK, and correct the mistake made. However, an unhealthy mind might drown itself in negative self-talk.
Trust me, when setting healthy long-term mental health goals, make sure that you find ways to love yourself and be self-compassionate. Try to cut back on your negative thoughts and focus more on how to be resilient.
Another goal you should set for mental health is; stress management. Stress can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and physical health so to prevent stress from activating a stress response that causes a significant (and not so good) change in your body and mind, make sure your stress management techniques are up to date.
Stress hormones can also affect your appetite, increase your heart rate, and negatively affect your immune system. While everything becomes normal after the stress is drained out, the effects of stress might linger. Practicing effective stress management techniques, regularly, can help keep stress levels down and your mental health levels up!
If you’re looking to set mental health goals, do not forget to set one aside for your support system. Family and friends – your support system – can help a lot when it comes to protecting and encouraging your mental wellness. When you are there for your loved ones during their times of distress, why not let them be there for you?
Make sure a support system is in place. Having a support system means having people who are empathetic and supportive around you. Try to keep toxic and negative people away and surround yourself with positive people. You can join a support group or connect with a therapist too until you form your support system.
7.Listening To Feelings
Our brain is quite susceptible to subtle differences. For example, when you meet someone and you feel there’s something wrong in that interaction, this could manifest as a heaviness in your stomach or that initial flutter of anxiety. Do not ignore this! When setting long-term goals, do not ignore your feelings, your instincts.
Listen to your emotions as they can help you move on to the next step and help improve your mental health. When you are in tuned with your emotions, you accept and acknowledge them as they are instead of bottling up and letting them fester.
Being stuck in a rut can also affect your mental health so make sure that when you set goals for mental wellness, you learn to break the monotony. Trust me, our brains need a little excitement and adventure now and then. Try to work on a new hobby or an exercise you haven’t tried before. You can also commit to playing a sport you haven’t played before – for your better mental health.
The idea is to shake up your routine and allow your brain to exercise. Planning a vacation, a day trip to a museum, or joining a class can also work as mental health goals.
9.Social Media Time
We all spend at least 2-4 hours a day scrolling through our social media but did you know that it can be quite harmful to your mental health? When you scroll on social media, it’s not only an unhealthy waste of time but it also makes FOMO quite real. This pastime can also cause you to compare yourself with others, quite unfairly too.
So when you’re setting a long-term mental health goal, make sure to include a social media time limit there too. Try to spend a limited time scrolling through social media and if you feel tempted to do so, distract yourself with healthy distraction techniques.
Gratitude practice is as important to your mental health as self-love and self-compassion. Try to include writing in a gratitude journal when setting mental wellness goals. A gratitude practice can help you work on your perspective and thinking. List the things, places, events, and people you’re grateful for. Understand how they make you feel.
I can understand how hard it can be to find things to be grateful for, especially when you’re going through a mental health crisis but being grateful for at least one thing in your life can help put things into perspective.
Keeping your mental health intact now can leave a great effect on your mental health and wellness in the future. When you set healthy and smart mental health goals, you set yourself up for success and better overall wellness.
Remember, it might not be an instantaneous process and might take some time for these mental health goals to work but in the end, they’ll be worth it. If you’re not sure where or how to begin setting mental health goals, you can always connect with a counselor for help. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope this blog helped you understand how to set mental health goals and why they are important. For more, keep following us on social media, and do comment in the section below on what you think about this article. If you have any mental wellness goals of yours to add, leave them in the comments below too!
Take Care and Be Kind to Yourself!