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5 Mental Health Breaks to Help You Thrive in the New Year

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(BPT) - You’ve done it. You’ve turned the page on another year, gliding into 2024 with a new set of goals and ambitions. But don’t forget: Progress is a marathon, not a sprint.

You don’t have to overhaul your life to invest in your well-being. (Who has that kind of time, anyway?) Incorporating simple, positive changes into your routine can help you work toward a long-term goal without adding daily stress. Try one of the five mental health breaks below for more energy to tackle new challenges and opportunities this year.

1. Embrace the power of nature

Don’t underestimate the life-changing power of going outside. Research shows that being outdoors can help decrease stress, increase creativity and improve your physical and mental wellness.

You don’t have to take a five-mile hike, either. Even small amounts of time outside can be beneficial. Go for a stroll in the park or sit in your backyard so you can soak up the sun. Notice the trees, flowers, birds and natural wonders we sometimes miss. Take a deep breath of fresh air and let nature’s calming influence wash over you.

2. Unleash your creativity

Expressing yourself through creativity can foster a sense of joy and fulfillment. It’s also a great way to find confidence and new perspectives that can be applied in all areas of your life.

Whether you paint, write, sing or dance, rediscover activities that light you up to find renewed purpose. Try your hand at DIY crafting, or test your green thumb with indoor or outdoor gardening (window-sill plants count!) Even if you find a few minutes for self-expression in the morning or before bed, you can build a practice to look forward to every day.

3. Treat yourself

Carve out moments in the day for some “you time.” Relax with a mud mask, take a long bath or simply treat your tastebuds. Invest in your well-being with better-for-you routines and remedies that leave you feeling nourished and energized, like fruit-packed Tropic Bowls from Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

Tropic Bowls start with a base of delicious acai, chia oatmeal pudding or yogurt, topped with a layer of fruit, granola, chia seeds and more. They’re perfect for breakfast or an anytime snack, ideal for taking a break in your day, whenever it fits your schedule. Set aside the to-do list and take time for yourself, creating an everyday escape.

4. Move your body

Regular physical activity can benefit your physical and mental health, so let your endorphins flow when you need a lift. When you move, you can relieve stress, regulate your emotions and strengthen the connection between mind and body.

Movement can take many forms, so focus on a style that resonates with you. Hit the gym, dance to your favorite playlist, practice yoga or take a leisurely walk through your neighborhood. No matter what you do, remember that any amount of activity is better than none.

5. Disconnect to reconnect

Technology can help us connect with others professionally and socially, but too many notifications, obligations and online time can overwhelm. Technology can even have a negative impact on your health. This year, reconnect with yourself and others by taking a break from tech.

Dedicate time each day away from your devices to be present, mindful and ready to experience the small joys in life. Even if you’re just sitting in peaceful silence, breathing easy or laughing with loved ones, enjoy the freedom and engagement of going offline.

Are you ready to prioritize your well-being in 2024? Refresh your routine and embark on a journey of self-discovery this year using these five simple tips for quick mental health breaks.