Every New Year, many of us prioritize how we eat and how much we exercise. Obviously, these habits are important. What about mental health, though?

In a world obsessed with keeping up appearances, we tend to ignore what’s inside—which is just as important. Which is why, instead of taking you through a list of what you must eat (and an even longer list of what you mustn’t), we want to work on what’s truly valuable to our overall wellbeing: a mental “cleanse”. Ahead, we list 5 ways to help you clear your headspace of toxic thought patterns and the vicious loophole of anxiety—even if only just a little!

#1. TAKE UP JOURNALING

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Assign a notebook to journal your thoughts, and use it anytime you’re overwhelming with emotion or worry. Write everything and anything that you’re thinking (without judgement!) as a way of releasing whatever thoughts you’re harboring, whether rational or irrational. Research proves a regular journaling habit helps improve your mental headspace.
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#2. LIMIT ONLINE TIME

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Too much time online affects our mental health more than we admit to ourselves. Which is why it’s imperative to make a conscious effort to limit the time we live on the Internet. Place your phone on airplane mode, or put a pause on Instagram. Just a couple of hours offline may lessen Internet-induced anxiety and help you live IRL.

#3. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS, HOWEVER IT LOOKS LIKE TO YOU

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Most people think mindfulness is meditating in complete quietude. While that’s one way, there are many ways to practice mindfulness and improve your presence (and peace!) of mind. It’s just a matter of what mindfulness looks like to you—whether it’s listening to music, talking a walk outside, or lighting a candle and taking a quick moment to recollect yourself. There isn’t a right way!
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#4. LEARN TO ENJOY THE OUTDOORS

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Enjoying the outdoors just 20 minutes everyday can impact your mental health positively. A walk outside, or just a visit to the park can help lower anxiety levels and improve your overall wellbeing. Make it a habit to enjoy the outdoors, even if its in your own yard, try live in the moment, and reap the rewards right then and there.

#5. REMOVE UNECESSARY CLUTTER

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Make like Marie Kondo, and remove any clutter you have. It’s proven that cleaning out items that aren’t of use to you has a correlation to your mental headspace, too. If that has you anxious? Try it on items you can clean up within an hour or two, like your handbag or your vanity table. In no time, you’re headspace might look as clean as your home looks!
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