Mental health expert outlines healthy ways to keep goals in check

We asked viewers about their resolutions and spoke with a mental health expert about the best ways to keep them strong without feeling overwhelmed.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In this first week of the new year, for many people those resolutions may be in motion!

Maintaining them can be tricky. It’s a new year, but in many ways, you’re still the same you, even if there are some changes and goals you’ve set for yourself for 2023 in an effort to be *a better you.

We asked viewers what their New Year’s resolutions were for 2023:

Some shared that they wanted to travel more. For others, it was about being more present in 2023, meeting a goal, living better and healthier, as well as being better to others.

Angela Bradshaw was shopping at La Palmera Mall with her little boy and his family. She shared that she wants her mental health to be a priority in this new year.

“Making sure as a mom my mental health is okay,” Bradshaw said. “Making sure I don’t overload myself.”

For Cameron Salinas, that meant staying in check:

“To be the best man I can be for everyone, for my friends and loved ones, for my mom and my family,” Salinas said. “I want to be a man of God and just give things to people, be nice, be nice, be like a good soul.”

Crystal Kitchen, a Corpus Christi resident and local mental health therapist/counselor, shared that she also wants to invest more in her self-care.

“As a therapist, a mental health counselor, I, whatever I’m saying, I practice what I preach, and that really includes meditation if necessary, prayer of course.”

Alice resident Maricela Pérez shared that she lost her mother to COVID-19 two years ago, something that has changed her perspective on life.

“So live every day like it’s your last day,” Perez said. “Going to the gym, also working on myself. It’s been really hard without my mom, so that’s what I’m looking forward to and spending more time with the family.”

For Dr. Kathryn Soward, Locally Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Living Wellness CenterShe says this is one of her favorite times of the year: hearing about all the exciting goals people are setting for their new year and helping them achieve them in a mindful and healthy way.

Too often, she says, people will push themselves too hard to suddenly become a new, perfected version of themselves. Therefore, she gets exhausted and overwhelmed faster.

“When you look at the research, everyone sets resolutions, but by January 15, about 80 percent have already quit smoking, and by February 1 it’s down to just five percent of people who quit. keep up to date.”

Dr. Soward’s mission is to help improve the lives of others, and she said a lot can happen when you “keep things simple”:

“If you make it too complicated, you’re not going to do it,” Soward said.

“The brain responds absolutely better when you start with the positive because your brain loves to be a problem solver in a more positive way. So first: look and see, okay, what worked? And then switch to, okay What didn’t work? And then the third question is: what will I do differently? So it’s a very simple way to evaluate last year and then make a plan for this year.”

Dr. Soward advises that writing down your goals and reflections can also be an easy but powerful way to keep yourself accountable. She provided the following examples:

– “I’m not as healthy as I’d like to be, but I’m getting healthier every day.”

– “I made some progress last year, but this year I will do even better.”

“You’re never going to hit the mark unless you know exactly what it is, so it’s best if you write it down and then you know exactly what you’re trying to do,” Soward said.

“So it may be your goal, but it’s also your positive self-talk. You need to write those statements down and really go as far as reviewing them every day until they become a natural part of your routine where you feel more confident about of the efforts you’re making instead of just punishing yourself.”

Dr. Soward says to reflect on your process as you go. You may be surprised at the progress you are making over time!

“One of the things I have my clients do is on February 1st, you do a little update and go, ‘OK, how was January? What’s working? Do I need to do a little reset button?’ And you can do that every month,” Soward said. “Adjust your goals or reset, and then, especially in June, you do a reset halfway.”

The Living Wellness Center serves children, adolescents and adults. They can meet with individuals, couples, and family groups as well. In addition to advice from her, Dr. Soward said guests can also visit her and her team for advice on cooking, healthier ways to cook and learn how to best promote family wellness.

For more information on how to book an appointment, Click here or call (361) 814-1900.

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