Our psychological and mental health is the basis of who we are. [iStockphoto]

Did you know that without the right mental state, it will be difficult to achieve any resolutions that you set at the beginning of this year?

According to Dr Geoffrey Wango, a senior lecturer in counselling and psychology at the University of Nairobi, plans and goals must include all the essential components of our lives; psychological, spiritual, social, moral, emotional, mental and intellectual.

"Our psychological and mental health is the basis of who we are - everything we do and how we do it," Dr Wango says.

He suggests these steps to help improve your mental health:

  1. Work on relationships

Dr Wango says a major way to improve one's life is to connect with your feelings and with other people.

"Social relations and spending time with those we love boosts our confidence and moods. Practice gratitude, forgive others and reward yourself."

He advises using social media and the internet to your positive and personal advantage, for example, linking up with family and friends rather than using it to access fake or negative news.

  1. Stay spiritually healthy

Dr Wango says daily habits such as praying, meditating and reading scripture are important as these decrease stress and improve moods.

  1. Do something you love

Attending to hobbies such as cooking, swimming, reading, writing, gardening, stitching or puzzles, exercise and relaxation activities like taking a walk in nature or taking a long bath helps one to avoid preoccupation with too many thoughts.

  1. Work smart, sleep well

Dr Wango says being independent will raise your self-esteem and give you control over your finances and daily activities.

However, getting adequate sleep (6-8 hours each day) allows the brain to rest and recover which helps us regulate our emotions and cope with stress.