4 Tips for a Happy and Healthy New Year’s Resolution

The start of a new year, not to mention a new decade, is a great time to set goals. Too often, though, we don’t follow through on our New Year’s resolutions. Before you give up on yours entirely, consider these tips for giving meaning to your goals so you can make them more permanent. According to an article from Psychology Today, here are some tips for making meaningful resolutions. 

Keep it Manageable

When you’re working on a major long-term goal that requires you to make several changes, focus on one step at a time. When that behavior becomes a habit, incorporate another into your routine; trying to focus on too many action steps at once is a recipe for failure and burnout. Instead, start with something small and relatively easy to accomplish. Using this approach will make it easier for you to tackle tougher tasks and make realistic changes. 


Sometimes, we fail to stick to our new year resolutions because we make too many of them in the first place. Consider the goals that are most important to you and place them at the top of your list. Look for creative ways to achieve multiple goals simultaneously. For example, if you have a hobby that you want to devote more time to, and would also like to start a side business, think about how you can turn your pastime into a paycheck. Concentrating on your highest-priority goals — and developing realistic action plans to reach them — will increase your chances of success.

Seek Support

When working toward your goals, it can be extremely helpful to have a strong support network rallying around you. When your friends and family members know what you want to accomplish, they can hold you accountable, cheer you on, and offer a listening ear when you need it.

Don’t Give Up

When we encounter setbacks on the road to reaching our goals, it can be tempting to give up altogether. When you stumble, just dust yourself off and keep going. Instead of only keeping your eyes on the destination, enjoy the journey, too. Take it a day at a time and don’t expect perfection. Be kind to yourself and be sure to celebrate your successes.

If improving your mental health is one of your resolutions for 2020, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital can help. We provide high-quality, individualized mental health services ranging from comprehensive inpatient treatment to intensive outpatient therapy. Contact us to learn more or to schedule an evaluation.


Signs of Burnout at Work & Ways to Relieve Workplace Stress

On-the-job stress is something almost all of us can relate to. It’s normal to occasionally feel a bit apprehensive about a tight deadline or difficult project. But when workplace stress becomes chronic, it can take a toll on your health and job performance. Here are some signs of workplace burnout to look out for, as well as what to do to promote mental wellness in the workplace.

Signs of Burnout at Work

These signs may indicate that job-related pressure is getting the better of you:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Physical problems such as headaches, stomach issues, and high blood pressure
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anger, irritability, sadness, and apathy toward work you once enjoyed
  • Turning to drugs, alcohol, or other potentially addictive habits to cope

Ways to Relieve Workplace Stress

If you’re experiencing signs of burnout at work, there is good news: You can find healthy ways to manage your stress. Consider these ideas for enhancing your mental wellness in the workplace.

Keep a “Stress Journal”

Keep a journal of stressful situations at work. Record what happened, how you felt, and how you responded. Not only can writing be therapeutic, but it can also help you identify common workplace stressors. Once you understand more about what’s causing burnout, you can come up with a game plan to deal with it.

Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

You’re better able to face difficulties at work when your body is well-nourished and rested. While it may be tempting to settle for fast food at lunch, choosing a healthier option will make it easier to stay focused for the rest of the day. Be sure to get enough sleep. And remember that regular exercise can go a long way toward boosting your mood, your immune system, and your overall well-being.

Build a Support Network to Overcome Burnout at Work

People who are experiencing signs of burnout at work often feel isolated in their jobs, so it’s vital to seek support from trusted friends and family. Your employer may be able to help you locate stress-management resources or get connected with a counselor. Building healthy relationships with co-workers can improve your morale and productivity, too.

If workplace stress is making you feel overwhelmed, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital can help. We provide comprehensive, individualized mental health treatment options and programs to promote mental health in the workplace. Contact us to learn more or to schedule an evaluation.


Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and How to Overcome SAD

As the mercury drops and the days get shorter, it’s tempting to go into hibernation. For many, this is more than just the “holiday blues” and actually manifests as a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (aptly abbreviated as “SAD”). If you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, here are some common signs of the condition, along with a few tips for overcoming it.

Signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD is similar to general depression but usually clears up with the arrival of spring. Common signs include:

  • Low energy– feelings of sluggishness and a desire to sleep more
  • Increased appetite– often accompanied by cravings for carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain
  • Feelings of depression, anxiety, and irritability

Practical Tips to Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder

Light Therapy: Many people with winter depression turn to light therapy (phototherapy) for relief. You can purchase a lightbox (online, without a prescription) that mimics natural light and is much more powerful than regular light bulbs. Phototherapy is most effective when done first thing in the morning, for about 30 minutes. Dawn simulators, which gradually brighten your bedroom to wake you up, may also be helpful. Since SAD is associated with a decrease in natural light, try to get outside every day and keep the blinds open to let the sunshine in.

Healthy Diet: Instead of reaching for starchy comfort food, eat a healthy diet of whole foods, especially those rich in Vitamin D. You may want to consider a vitamin D supplement if you’re not getting enough of the nutrient through diet alone.

Exercise: Regular physical activity can help you combat the holiday blues (and lose weight if you’ve been eating too many carbs). For best results, try some aerobic exercise outside. Even a brisk walk can help lighten your mood.

Reflection: Daily journaling can serve as an outlet for negative feelings while helping you sort out your thoughts and identify depression triggers.

Socializing: Although it may be the last thing you want to do, make a point of planning plenty of social activities so you don’t isolate yourself.

Comprehensive Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment

If SAD symptoms are interfering with your work and relationships, mental health treatment may be in order. Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital offers comprehensive, individualized mental health therapy that may include inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient counseling.


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February: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. As experts in providing specialized mental health treatment, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is prepared to take on the challenging task of treating victims of teen dating violence at their facility and through community outreach.