Tuesday, December 19, 2023

More Than 1 in 4 U.S. Adults Plans to Make Mental Health a Priority in 2024

Over 75% of U.S. adults plan to start 2024 with a New Year’s resolution—including 28% who are resolving to work on improving their mental health, according to APA’s latest Healthy Minds monthly poll. The poll was conducted online from December 2 to 4 among 2,202 adults.

Of those who want to work on improving their mental health, the most common steps they plan to take toward this goal include exercising more (67%) or meditation (49%). Other actions included seeing a therapist or psychiatrist (35% and 21%, respectively) and journaling (26%).

“Many see the new year as a time for a new chance, or to try something different, which is great,” APA President Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., said in a news release. “At the same time, in mental health—just like physical health—maintenance and care matter. Preserve your healthy routines, maintain your relationships with loved ones, and take good care of yourself, as well as the people around you.”

Other mental health–related resolutions include focusing more on spirituality (40%), cutting back on social media (31%), and using a mental health app (21%). Additionally, 6% chose “forest bathing”—a still relatively unknown practice of immersing oneself in natural green spaces—as their mental health resolution.

Other popular resolutions identified by those polled included the following:

  • Physical fitness (39%)
  • Finances (34%
  • Diet (26%)
  • Social/relationships (22%)
  • Traveling (21%)
  • Hobbies/skill-based (18%)
  • Organization/decluttering (15%)
  • Professional/career (13%)
  • Giving/volunteering (12%)

“Taking care of your mental health doesn’t need to be tied to a holiday—any of us can take any of these steps any time,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “That said, the change in year is a terrific excuse to try something new to care for your mental health.”

For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “Experts are Positive That Positive Psychiatry Works.”

(Image: Getty Images/iStock/FreshSplash)

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