Gen Z’s best New Year’s resolutions reflect a cultural shift away from physical fitness goals

As the end of the year approaches, attention has shifted to New Year’s resolutions.

In contrast to years past, when New Year’s resolutions focused primarily on physical health, in the coming year younger generations appear to be more focused on improved mental health.

The cultural change was discovered through a November forbes Health/OnePoll poll of 1,005 adults in the United States, in which 45 percent of respondents said improving mental health is one of their top resolutions.

The number of people planning to focus on mental health in 2023 was higher than those planning to improve their physical health, as only 39 percent said improving fitness is their top goal. A solution to weight loss or improved nutrition accounted for 37 percent and 33 percent of respondents, respectively.

According to the results, Generation Z is the generation most concerned with mental health. The survey found that 50 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 25 plan to work on improving their mental well-being.

The younger generation is not alone either. The shift also extends to millennials, whose focus has shifted from physical health to mental health. According to the survey, 49 percent of respondents between the ages of 26 and 41 named mental health as their top resolution for the coming year.

The findings also come amid a rise in anxiety and depression as a result of the pandemic. As noted by forbesThe World Health Organization (WHO) reported in March 2022 that anxiety and depression increased by 25 percent worldwide in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, a Harvard-educated clinical psychologist, professor, researcher and forbes A member of the Health Advisory Board, told the publication the results of the survey should be positive as they show people are aware of the importance of mental health.

“There has been a dramatic increase in awareness of the importance of mental health among younger generations,” she said forbers, adding that this is “probably due to the combination of increased exposure, learning about the experiences of others through various outlets (e.g. social media platforms, videos, blogs, articles), the spread of the mental health industry and due to reduced stigma [that] created more resources to discuss experiences and receive care.”

In terms of how respondents plan to prioritize their mental health in 2023, the survey found that 10 percent plan to use online therapy providers, while 17 percent said they plan to rely on meditation apps, to achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

In addition to a focus on overall mental health, the study also found that a number of respondents across all age groups are aiming for a better work-life balance in the new year. Others, particularly Gen Z respondents, want more time for hobbies.

When it comes to the most popular resolution not related to mental or physical health, the survey found that people of all ages plan to improve their finances — a top goal for 34 percent of millennials surveyed.

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