Do you ever feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed? Many of us feel like we can never catch a break. We go to work, come home and do the same thing all over again. It’s no wonder that so many people struggle with mental health issues these days!
If you are feeling stressed out or anxious, it may be time to take a break from the whirlwind of life and pay your mental health a visit.
Why not start this week? There are 9 tips below that will help get you started to make mental health a priority and making sure that it remains in good shape as long as possible!
9 Tips To Improve Your Mental Health
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Yet many of us don’t take the time to pay attention to our mental wellbeing until something goes wrong. By then it might be too late.
The good news is that there are plenty of things we can do to boost our mental health and emotional wellbeing. Here are just a few tips:
1) Be Good To Yourself
You cannot give what you do not have, so be kind and loving towards yourself!
Treat yourself with gentleness and respect, and avoid self-criticism.
Accept who you are. We’re all unique individuals. It’s far healthier to accept your distinctiveness than to desire that you were more like someone else. Positive self-esteem allows you to face life’s challenges with confidence.
Tip: If you find it hard to be good to yourself, try writing out a list of things you like about yourself or recording your thoughts in a journal. This can help remind you how wonderful you truly are!
2) Set Realistic Goals
When it comes to our mental health, setting and achieving goals is key! However, it’s important that these goals are realistic.
Unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and frustration, which can have a negative impact on our mental wellbeing.
Tip: When setting your goals, make sure you take into account your abilities and limitations. Also be mindful of the fact that things may change, so be prepared to adapt your goals as needed.
3) Get Plenty of Sleep
One of the best ways to take care of our mental health is by getting plenty of sleep! Most people need around eight hours of sleep per night in order to feel their best. Not getting enough sleep can lead to fatigue, irritation, and problems with concentration.
Tip: Try to go to bed at the same time every night, avoid caffeine late in the day or before going to sleep, and get yourself into a relaxing routine before turning off the lights for good!
4) Be Physically Active
Another great way to take care of our mental health is by being physically active! Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. It can also help us to manage stress and improve our sleep quality.
Tip: Find an activity that you enjoy and stick with it! Whether you prefer running, cycling, or swimming, there are plenty of ways to get active.
5) Eat Healthy Foods
There is a strong link between our diet and mental health. Eating nutritious foods helps to provide our brains with the nutrients they need to function properly. Poor nutrition can lead to problems such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
Eating foods rich in omega- fatty acids, such as salmon and walnuts, has been shown to be beneficial for mental health. These fatty acids help to support the development of new brain cells.
Tip: Make sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, and opt for whole grains instead of processed foods.
6) Perform a Random Act of Kindness
There is more to mental health than just taking care of yourself. It’s also important to be kind to others. Acts of kindness can help to boost your mood and make you feel good about yourself. There is more happiness in giving than receiving, after all.
When we give to others, we also help to create a sense of connection and inner happiness. This is especially important for people who may feel isolated or alone.
Tip: Perform a random act of kindness for someone today. It can be something as simple as holding the door open for someone, buying someone a coffee, or sending a kind text message or sending a handwritten note to a friend or doing something special for your loved ones.
7) Talk About Your Feelings
Studies have shown that expressing our concerns and negative feelings with someone we trust may be highly therapeutic—reducing stress, boosting the immune system, and reducing both physical and emotional distress (Pennebaker et al., 1988).
It’s important that we allow ourselves the space to express how we feel however uncomfortable or difficult it may be. This also helps us to develop emotional intelligence as well as manage our emotions more effectively in time for when challenges do arise.
Tip: Confide your feelings only to those you trust implicitly who will be supportive and non-judgemental.
8) Learn How To Manage Stress
The negative effects of stress are well recognized. When stress becomes excessive and continuous, the danger of mental illness and bodily issues rises. Stress over a long period of time raises the likelihood of anxiety and depression, as well as substance abuse and sleeping problems, discomfort and bodily complaints such as muscular tension.
Try to keep stress levels under control by practising relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation. These help to improve our sense of wellbeing, increase focus and concentration, as well as reduce stress levels.
Here are tips to help manage stress:
- Identifying what causes your stress and trying to remove or reduce these things from your life where possible
- If you find it difficult to relax by yourself, join a class or get a friend to practise with you. Coping mechanisms such as these can be very beneficial in the long run.
- Try to take some time out for yourself every day – even if it’s just for a few minutes. – During this time, do something you enjoy that relaxes you such as reading, listening to music or taking a walk.
- Avoid overthinking things and learn how to let go of negative thoughts and worries.
- Focus on your breath and allow any thoughts or worries to pass through your mind without judgement.
- It can be helpful to keep a stress diary in which you write down the things that tend to cause you stress. This can help you to become more aware of your triggers and work on ways to manage them.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes as they can all aggravate stress
9) Get Help If You Need It
If you find that your mental health is deteriorating, or if you are struggling to cope with day-to-day life, it is important to seek professional help.
Seeking mental health treatment is necessary since a trained therapist is best equipped to examine your symptoms and assess the severity of your condition. This awareness is critical for developing appropriate therapies and treatments that can help you live a happy, productive life.
A mental health professional can provide you with the support that you need to manage your mental health and get back on track.
Tip: Join a support group to assist you in making positive life changes. If you are feeling suicidal, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) immediately.
If you’ve been neglecting your mental health lately, it may be time to start paying attention.
These 9 tips are a good start, but if you’re struggling with depression and need more help than what we’ve offered here today, please seek professional care.
Depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the world and it can be treated by mental health professionals like psychologists or psychiatrists.
If this blog has helped you think about how to manage your mental health better, please share it to others who might also find these strategies helpful!