A Brand New Start
With 2022 just around the corner we reflect on a year full of changes and challenges for all of us all at Camino a Casa but at the same time celebrate the many accomplishments of this past year. Many of us, including our children and teens, look forward to the new year and setting our New Year’s resolutions. Not accomplishing New Year’s resolutions by the end of December can negatively affect the mental health of children, teens, and adults.
Take Control of Your Mental Health
Help your child (and yourself) take control of their mental health and make a resolution together to put mental health first. Here are some ways you can put mental health first with intention:
- GET HELP: If your child or teen has been struggling with their mental health the past year, make a resolution get the help your child or teen needs. This can include: researching appropriate doctors, therapists, and programs; making necessary appointments; and communicating with your child or teen to be sure they are receiving the care they need.
- POSITIVE MINDSET: Make it a goal to development a positive mindset, to remove negative thinking habits. Helping your children or teen develop habits such as journaling, good sleeping habits, and spending time with family and friends are all ways to foster a positive mindset. There are even daily podcasts that focus on developing a positive mindset.
- TAKE CARE OF PHYSICAL HEALTH: The body and the mind are interconnected. In addition to getting help for mental health, be sure to emphasize to your child or teen to take care of their physical health. Regular hygienic care, exercise, appropriate vaccine care, and doctor’s visits for any physical illnesses or ailments should be part of the plan to take control of you and your child’s mental health.
Set SMART Goals
Setting New Year’s resolutions like “write a book” or “run a marathon” are great goals, but for many children and youth struggling with their mental health, it is important to set realistic goals. Parents and guardians can help manage dreams into realistic goals. By helping them achieve their goals in school and beyond you can help them build confidence and continue to strive for even bigger goals and dreams.
- Set daily or weekly goals: Help your child or teen break down goals into daily, weekly, or monthly goals so they do not feel overwhelmed or stressed about reaching their ultimate goal. Instead of “run a marathon,” set a goal of “I will run a mile daily, weekly, or monthly.”
- Participate: Participate in your child’s New Year’s resolutions to create community and to bond with your child. They want to run a half marathon? Train with them! The exercise is great for you too and working towards common goals as a family not only increases time spent with your child, but also encourages them to complete their goals through accountability.
- Keep it fun! Setting and reaching personal goals creates a sense of accomplishment and positivity. Fun is an important element of making the hard work less hard. Training for a half marathon? Change up the location of your run, make a fun new playlist, or even buy a fun new running accessory. By adding an element of fun to working towards a goal you can alleviate stress on your child and not aggravate any existing mental health issues.
Let’s put mental health first as we go into the new year. If you observe signs and symptoms of depression in your child or teen and believe it may be more than stress, call our admissions team today for a free and confidential screening at (805) 366-4000.