KEEP IT REAL: Resolutions can be helpful if realistic

Published 9:40 am Friday, December 29, 2017

Making New Year’s resolutions can help people live better, healthier lives, so long as the resolutions are realistic.

Ruth Racz, the crisis residential home coordinator at South Central Alabama Mental Health, says it’s important to set goals to cut bad habits, and know when to reach out for help.

“I think it’s important to cut unhealthy habits from your life like smoking, drinking and other substance abuses. It’s also important to know when you have a problem,” Racz said. “A good indicator of you knowing yo2u have a problem is when you’ve tried several times to stop those bad habits and have failed.”

Racz says that New Year’s resolutions are excellent if there are realistic expectations set.

“A lot of people set goals like losing 100 pounds in three months. Those aren’t obtainable, and they can actually make you feel down about yourself. It can increase depression, anxiety and just make you feel bad.”

Racz says that a good way to be accountable is to write things down.

“Journaling is a really good way of tracking how you’re doing as far as your resolution or goals. It helps when you can physically see your progress. Also, tell someone who will really push you that you’re trying to achieve these goals. So on those bad days, you cheat yourself, and that person will be there to question and push you to do better.”

The key to a New Year’s resolution is being in a positive mindset, Racz said.

“Half of it is actually going forth and trying to obtain these goals, but the other half is the mental aspect,” she said.

There’s a stigma around mental health and none of it is true, Racz said.

“It’s OK to reach out for further help, and a big part of furthering yourself is mental,” she said. “Everyone can benefit from therapy, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

The New Year is used as a time to change because it’s fresh, Racz said.

“But in all reality, each day is fresh. Every day has new possibilities out for everyone. Challenge is hard, it’s a work in progress. But if you truly want to see change, you will change.”

Every Thursday, the SCAMH has open access starting at 8 a.m. The appointments are first come, first serve and are for initial patients. The appointment will be dedicated to setting up a treatment plan. From there, appointments are set up by the need of the patient and availability of therapists on staff.

For more information contact the center at 334-222-2523.