AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — In the New Year many focus on physical health and how they can achieve these goals. Family Support Services of Amarillo director of behavioral health and wellness, Kathy Tortoreo, said that in the new year people should also focus on their mental health and how they can improve it.

“Being aware of your mental health is so very important. We are not saying you should be happy and ridiculous joyful all the time. The idea is to be able to manage your emotions,” Tortoreo said. “Feeling happy, understanding that sadness occurs, understanding that grief happens, there are reasons to be anger. And be able to moderate those and keep them in check but also do things that are health for you. “

She added that the first step in bettering your mental health is by setting boundaries. She said that having these boundaries and having the will to say no are both important factors in keeping your mental health a priority.

“Boundaries are so very important as far as us taking care of ourselves because we can overextend ourselves. We can make commitments that are too overwhelming which leaves no time for ourselves.,” she said. “So, having those boundaries of, yes have the grandkids over a couple times in the week but you know, if you feel like this is not something you can do being able to say no.”

Tortoreo said that we as a culture are attached to family and because of this many are more resilient to set those needed boundaries.

“Having those boundaries, sticking to them. Not as a way to upset other people or fell as though that we are being selfish but to understand that we have our needs,” she added. “And, when we are at our best, we can take care of other people and help them be at their best as well and so much of family interaction is about that.”

She talked about why cutting out toxic people regardless of the relationship is important for mental care.

“We have expectations of people, being close to family members and doing things for family members. Unfortunately, there can be some people that can be very toxic and have unreasonable expectations for us,” Tortoreo said. “They can expect us to do things for them or they are so aggressive, or demanding, or controlling, that it’s just not healthy to continue or maintain a relationship with that person even though they are by blood our family.”

Tortoreo added that it’s important for the community to be knowledgeable on mental health because it not only benefits them but the people around them as well. Family Support Services of Amarillo offers many services and classes for the community. You can find out more on their website.