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4 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
Our mindset impacts the way we approach life, whether it’s our job, family, or everyday responsibilities. That is why when you think of your overall health, you shouldn’t only consider your diet or physical activity.
Our mental health is key to maintaining our physiological well-being by influencing our thoughts and feelings every single day.
Did you know that mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety can lead to other conditions such as strokes, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease? That is why it is critical that you seek treatment for any severe mental health problems you may have.
- chemical imbalances in the brain
Having a strong mental well-being is important to living life to the fullest. Luckily, there are steps you can take to improve your mental health.
Here are four ways you can start working on your mental health today.
Take Care of Yourself
One way you can improve your mental health is by taking care of yourself. While this advice seems simple, sometimes you may find yourself skipping meals or getting less hours of sleep when you feel like you don’t have enough time to complete your tasks.
When you take care of yourself, you’ll feel empowered to make it through the day. Have you ever felt more confident after taking the time to dress nicely? When you put time into yourself, you’ll encourage a more positive outlook.
You might feel like you don’t have enough of time to take care of yourself, but it is essential to staying mentally strong. Here are some simple tips to help you incorporate self-care into your routine:
- Exercise regularly. Did you know that exercising encourages your body to relax? This is because exercising negates stress by reducing the effects of flight or fight responses.2 That means exercising can help calm your mind and help you stay focused.
- Meal Prep. If you don’t have enough of time to cook, you should consider meal prepping on the weekends. You want to ensure that you eat three meals a day, since food affects our brain directly. One example of how food influences our minds is blueberries yields antioxidants, which can help reduce stress levels and improve your brain’s age.3
- Wake up thirty minutes earlier. One way to give yourself more time in the morning is by waking up thirty minutes before you need to go to work or school. This can help ensure you have enough of time to prepare for your day.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time. One reason your mental health may be impacted is you aren’t used to waking up at the same time in the morning and going to evening. Try getting on a schedule that will help your body get used to waking up and going to bed at the same time.
Make Time for Hobbies
Another way you can improve your mental health is by pursuing your hobbies.
Engaging in a hobby can help you feel less stressed throughout the day. According to a study in New Zealand, creative hobbies produce long-lasting health benefits that will be present throughout the next day.4 These hobbies included things such as art and music, which are creative and stimulate your brain.
You should also pursue a hobby because it gives your brain a break from your obligations. Hobbies are an outlet that can help you recharge and feel mentally prepared when you return back to your tasks.
Some hobbies that are productive and will help you improve your mental health include:
- Playing an instrument
- Hiking outside
- Tai Chi
With these ideas and many more, you can begin utilizing your creativity every day to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Separate Work from your Personal Life
From managing the tasks your boss gives you to making sure you have enough time to cook dinner, you might feel as if your time is limited. And with the pandemic, some people have struggled to set boundaries between their work and home life.
One way you can improve your mental health is by separating your work from your personal life. Some ways you can do this are:
- Using separate emails for work and personal needs. One way to keep your work and personal lives separate is by using different emails. While it may be tempting to use your work email for personal use when you’re on the clock, you’ll end up checking it more often in your free time than what is needed.
- Set Daily Goals. Another way to improve your mental health is by setting manageable goals each day for your work and for personal life. Focus on completing these tasks, and if you’re given a larger project at your job, let your team know a reasonable timeline for you to complete it by. Sometimes when you don’t have goals, your mind will race with all of the tasks you have to do, which can cause anxiety.
- Take breaks. Sometimes it’s already 8:00pm by the time you finish eating dinner, and you feel like you don’t have enough time to recharge for tomorrow. To avoid mental burnout, take five to ten minute breaks throughout the day. Short breaks can help your mind recharge and help you focus better on the tasks at hand.
With all of these strategies in mind, start making a plan to hone your work-life balance today. This will keep your mind from feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
Take time to Reflect on Your Day
Reflecting on your day can help you identify the source of what impacts your mental health.
For example, if you are experiencing trouble organizing at work, taking time to think about this and making steps to overcome it can help relieve your stress and anxiety. The few extra moments you take to reflect on your day can help you make a plan to problem-solve your questions and concerns.
Another way reflecting on your day can help positively impact your mental health is by giving you a chance to write down what you are thankful for. By focusing on what you love and cherish, you’ll be able to better focus on what matters most in your life.
A few tips for reflecting on your day include:
- Reflect in a quiet space. You don’t want to be distracted by someone or the television, so you should aim to reflect in a place where you can focus. Quietness will help you relax when you think about your day.
- Journal. Sometimes journaling can help you focus your mind while you catalogue your progress. Try journaling to see if it can help you relax and appreciate your day. You can also utilize journaling as a way to keep track of your everyday goals.
- Be comfortable. When you reflect, you want to be comfortable. Find a chair where you’ll be able to relax but not completely fall asleep in as you reflect.
Start Improving Your Mental Health Today
Now that you have some strategies to help you improve your mental health, take some times to start working on your goals today. This can help you feel less stressed and live a happier life overall!
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “Learn About Mental Health.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed February 19th, 2021. Link: https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm
- “Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, mayoclinic.com. Published August 18th, 2020. Accessed February 19th, 2021. Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469
- “How Healthy Food Affects the Brain.” Saber Healthcare Group, saberhealth.com. Published August 10th, 2021. Accessed February 19th, 2021. Link: https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/how-healthy-food-affects-the-brain
- “How to Manage Stress and Relax More.” Saber Healthcare Group, saberhealth.com. Published December 2nd, 2020. Accessed February 19th, 2021. Link: https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/manage-stress