Taking care of mental health has never been that important before as it is now. With social distancing, compulsory mask use in public places, career changes, etc. We’ve all had a lot to accustom ourselves to in recent times. Some more than others.
While we may have had some time to adjust to these changes, there’s still a lot to deal with. Let’s then read some proven and simple ways which you can employ to boost you mental health.
1. Start Your Day On A Positive, Energized Note
The way you start your day has a lot to do with how you feel during the rest of your day. Instead of grabbing your phone and scrolling through social media immediately your eyes pop open in the morning, consider doing something more positive and energising.
For instance, you could mentally run through all the things you’re grateful for. Or better still, you could pick up a pen and write these things down in a gratitude journal.
Doing some yoga or getting through a quick workout routine is also a great way to start your day. You could also step outside or open up a window and take a few deep breaths of fresh air while enjoying the beautiful morning atmosphere.
Starting your day with positive thoughts and organic energy can do wonders to boost your mental health throughout the entire day. You may also like reading 10 simple ways to relieve stress.
2. Eat A Healthy Breakfast
Eating healthy isn’t just a must-do for our bodies; it is also invaluable for our mental health. Research has shown that eating a healthy breakfast leads to improved concentration and a balanced, more positive mood.
So what exactly is a healthy breakfast? Hint: sugary cereals, toast, and other meals high in refined sugars are not it. Foods rich in protein, complex carbs, good fats, and fibre are ideal breakfast options. These encourage your body to release feel-good hormones such as serotonin and endorphins, thus improving your mood.
Having a cup of coffee could also do a lot to boost your mental health. Coffee is known to raise energy levels and mood as well as to stave off depression. Other beverages such as green tea could serve as superb, mood-boosting alternatives to coffee.
3. Take A Mental Break
No doubt there’s a high chance that you have a lot on your daily to-do list. However, once in a while, give yourself some time out of your busy day to zone out and take a mental break. It could just be 10 minutes to reflect, process your emotions, or zone out in a quiet place. This can help you recover from stress and give your mental health the boost it needs.
4. Get Some Exercise
Exercise seems to be a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to keeping fit. And this applies to mental as well as physical fitness. Being active does wonders to your body, both in the short term and long term. It relieves stress, reduces anxiety and depression and generally boosts your mental health.
When you exercise, your body produces hormones that put your brain in a good mood. In addition to all this, being active also gives you a sense of achievement, which boosts your mood.
Getting these fantastic exercise benefits doesn’t mean you have to do some high-intensity training or run a marathon. You don’t even need to visit the gym. Walking your pet, going for a jog, or even doing some chores may be enough to do the trick. Also read 10 home workout options to keep yourself fit.
Have you ever heard anyone say something along the lines of “when you help others, you help yourself too”? Well, this isn’t just a gimmick to get you to do something good for others. It packs quite a lot of truth. Helping someone or giving your time or resources to a good cause boosts your self-esteem and makes you feel good.
Try volunteering at a local charity, helping out a neighbour with a chore, or just giving something to someone in need. You may be surprised by how much this can give your mental health the boost you crave.
6. Have Fun Doing Something You Love
This seems like an obvious one, but with how busy everyone is these days, it may be effortless for you to overlook the need to focus on yourself. Sometimes, whether we’d like to admit it or not, we tend to see having fun as a waste of time. But trust me, it’s not.
Make out time for yourself to take a break. Watch a movie, hang out with friends, or sleep in. Give yourself time off. You could plan an exciting activity or even a vacation. Just having something entertaining to look forward to can do wonders for your mood.
After your fun break, you’ll feel refreshed, refuelled, and ready to take on new – or even old – challenges.
Don’t be scared of being a bit selfish once in a while. Your mental health is important, so if you need to turn down a task once in a while, do so. This is especially important when you are overworked and pressured. Saying “no” may be difficult, but you’ll come to realise the magic it does to relieve stress and boost your mental health.
7. Get Quality Sleep
The role of sleep in boosting and maintaining good mental health cannot be overstated. The optimum amount of sleep needed by the body and brain varies from individual to individual. However, it often falls somewhere between 8-9 hours per day.
There are chemicals in our body that work to manage our moods and emotions. Sleep helps to keep these chemicals in the right balance. Not getting enough sleep puts us at risk of anxiety, stress, depression, etc. No matter how busy you are, try your best to set aside some quality time for a good night’s rest. Do this consistently, and you’re sure to experience a boost to your mental health. Also read 7 secrets to a good night’s sleep.
8. Set Realistic Goals
The first step to achieve your goals is first to set them. Deciding what you want to accomplish in the various aspects of your life is a commendable practice. Aim high and dream big, but above all, make sure your goals are realistic. To do otherwise would be setting yourself up for failure, which can adversely affect your mental health.
While setting goals, one way to make sure they are realistic is to write down the steps you can take to reach these goals. Give the purposes a valid timestamp as well. If, along the way, you realise that you may not have given yourself enough time, don’t be afraid to tweak your goals a bit to provide you with more time and to make them achievable.
As you achieve your goals, you’ll enjoy a sense of accomplishment and self-worth that is nothing short of therapeutic.
9. Talk It Out
It may be tempting to try to suppress or ignore your feelings. But here’s the thing, these feelings most likely won’t magically disappear. Sometimes, talking to friends or family and getting their emotional support could be enough to boost your mental health. Simply writing down your feelings could do the trick.
If you need professional help, don’t be afraid to seek some out. Talking to a professional is not a sign of weakness. It’s quite the opposite it’s a sign of personal strength. Treatment options are available and effective. And sometimes, you may find that all you needed was some professional advice specific to your needs.