Besides learning a new language, going out more, or making your family more of a priority, there are other ways to better yourself in this new year. One way is by means of expunging toxicity from your life. Our mental and emotional viability is much like the human immune system. To keep our psyches healthy, we must periodically treat ourselves to tranquil moments of deep, reflective introspection. We have to relinquish our vulnerabilities to a trustworthy and responsible mental health authority. Then extricate all pipelines for unnecessary and groundless stress.

The average American indulges in sedentary habits at least once a day. Due to this reality, most people should be taking multivitamins and supplements. They should also be engaging in regular exercise. Not to mention, investing in a balanced diet to maintain an optimal immune system. But much like an individual who fails to prioritize the actions necessary for their physiological robustness, your immune system will be forced to adopt a miserable lifestyle. Over time your body’s defenses will wither from neglect, leaving them weak. And you’ll be more susceptible to contracting a plethora of illnesses. Your body will be less equipped to fight off the ailments that will befall you.

The physiological equivalent would be failing to do your due diligence, in turn causing your mental stability to falter. You’ll be easily flustered and quick to anger, your mind will become more open to stress related disorders and they’ll eventually turn on you and bleed into every aspect of your life.

A huge part of ridding your life of toxicity is removing people that generate that type of energy. That’s much easier said than done, especially when this applies to someone you love. Maybe they’ve seen you in ways others haven’t, maybe they’ve been there for you in times of need, or maybe they’ve given you valuable tokens of wisdom that changed the course of your life, but if their poor qualities trump the good they’ve brought to your life then they may not need to join you in your journey through this new year.

Make a list either one of metaphoric or a literal nature and place their qualities into two categories, their pros and their cons. If they’re cons column consists of more than their pros, I would suggest taking that as a sign that it would be in your best interest to start distancing yourself from that person.

To see real progress within your overall self this year, you have to put your mental needs first, that’s going to be exceedingly difficult to do while you’re still associated with negative people. It will be hard and understandably so, but the results will be worth the bandwidth it took to get there. Do you have any toxic people you’ll be removing from your circle this year?

Zada Luby is a first-year student at Gwinnett Technical college, she’s a nursing major who loves art, nature, and helping her community grow. Follow her interests and more here.