Mental well-being is as serious as maintaining one’s physical health. Our mental health status affects us in so many ways. If your mental health is suffering, that’s going to impact your relationships, your work, and your physical health.
When you are struggling to cope, keep in mind that mental health resources are out there. Treatment with a psychotherapist is available and will provide you with the necessary guidance.
Free resources also exist online with things like workbooks. Taking the first step and getting professional support is the ultimate beginning to improving your mental health.
In addition, there are numerous changes you can make to your daily life to improve your mental health. Here are ten habits to get you started:
Meditation has been shown to be effective at dealing with stress, depression, and anxiety among other mental health conditions. Meditate for at least ten minutes every day, if possible.
It’s as easy as closing your eyes and focusing your mind. Numerous meditation techniques can be read out online or viewed on YouTube. Find one you like and start meditating.
2. Go outdoors
When you’re outside and getting some sunshine, this has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress. This can be starting a garden on your property, taking a hike, or going fishing.
If typical outdoor activities aren’t available to you where you’re living, take a drive out. Alternatively, taking a walk to a local park can be very helpful as well. This gets your mind concentrated on things other than yourself.
3. Eat a healthy diet
When we eat poorly, it has a negative impact on our productivity and mood. Eat right and it optimizes your focus and mood in a way that’s not otherwise possible.
Some of us don’t eat enough healthy foods, while others consume too many calories. Evaluate your diet. Be honest.
Change what isn’t working for your body. It can be tough to start but within a couple of weeks, chances are you’re going to see a major difference.
4. Be physically active
Just like mental health impacts you physically, your physical health can impact you mentally. Activity is a good thing.
Unfortunately, not all of us have the time or ability to do a lot. Even if it’s just a 20 walk every night before or after dinner, this is enough to get started. If you can accomplish more at a fitness level, signing up for classes or joining a gym is even better.
5. Do something for others
Consider volunteering for a cause or community organization, reaching out to an old friend, helping someone in need, or getting around family more often. When you do things for others, your self-esteem will build, and you begin to feel better about yourself.
There’s no shortage of help or opportunities out there. A lot of people are in need, even if they aren’t being upfront about it.
6. See the positives every day
There’s enough negativity in the world. Tell yourself something positive.
If you perceive yourself or aspects of your life in negative ways, find a way to change those into a positive. By changing the language that we speak and think in, it can do a lot of good with those patterns of mental health trouble that plague so many of us.
7. Set boundaries and define
Mental health issues can originate from a range of places. If it’s work, set boundaries on what’s work when you intend to work, and what your goal is with it.
If it’s your relationship, talk it out and re-define what would make you happy in the relationship. Sometimes, simply defining and addressing the problem can be enough to get you halfway there to overcome it.
8. Take a shower every day
The first thing we give up when we are overwhelmed with mental health trouble is usually self-care. Every day, make it a point to get out of bed, take a shower, and get dressed.
Even if after you take a shower, you just end up going back to bed, at least you can say you got up, did something, and you’re clean. A shower or bath daily is such a positive thing you can do for yourself. Don’t forget.
9. Open up to a trusted friend
So many of us suffer in silence. Even our closest family and friends don’t know the battle we’re going through.
The people close to you are likely more supportive than you can imagine. A way to improve your mental health is by being honest with someone special to you.
Open up a bit. Trust them, share with them your emotions, and see what happens. Even if it’s not what you’d naturally do, it can feel really, really good to share.
10. Go to bed on time
Sleep matters. Mental health-wise, we need the right amount of sleep to keep our minds in optimum shape.
This means getting to bed every night at a defined time and waking up at the right time. No sleeping in.
Some of us get too much sleep while others have a sleeping schedule that’s all over the place. Define your sleep and treat it like you would any other treatment.