700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Making New Year's Resolutions? Try Mental Fitness!

Jan 01, 2019
image of books, walking feet, alarm clock and board game

Losing weight. Eating better. Getting in shape.

We’ve all set these types of resolutions that deal with our physical health at the beginning of the year. But have you ever set a resolution to help your mental health?

We know mental health is just as important as physical health. Here are some ways you can keep your brain in shape as a family!

  • Get enough sleep: this means everyone in the house, not just the kids. Sleep affects our physical health and our mental health. It affects our ability to function and lack of sleep can make us feel stressed and anxious. Sleep helps improve our mood. And we are so much more productive when our body and mind are rested.
  • Find something you are thankful for every day. Take time to recognize one thing you and your family are grateful for every day, even if it’s something small. You can do this in the morning over breakfast; over the dinner table; or even by writing a note/email/text to someone you are grateful for. Showing gratitude improves our overall mood, and it’s an awesome thing to teach our kids, too!
  • Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is focusing on one thing in the moment and pressing pause on all of your other thoughts and things you need to do. For example, go for a short walk around the neighborhood, but while you’re walking, really pay attention.Look at the colors of the leaves, the blue sky, listen to the sounds around you, and take a big breath in to smell the air. Just allow yourself to be present in the moment and take a mental break.This is another great tool to teach our children.

Are you interested in other ideas to stay mentally fit? We have a 21 suggestions for you and your family during the month of January. Learn more about the Mental Fitness Challenge and be sure to share how you are staying mentally fit by using #OnOurSleeves on social media.

Featured Expert

Gina McDowell
Gina McDowell
Behavioral Health

Gina McDowell is a licensed professional clinical counselor with Big Lots Behavioral Health Services at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  Gina currently serves as a clinical educator, assessing training needs and developing educational opportunities for Behavioral Health therapy staff to promote ongoing use of current, evidence-based practice.

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Pediatric News You Can Use From America’s Largest Pediatric Hospital and Research Center

700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.