If you’re struggling to keep up with your mental health, there are steps you can take to improve it. These practices can boost your mood, handle emotions better, and build resilience.
Unlike physical health, strong mental health isn’t just free from depression or anxiety; it also means having a positive outlook on life and the ability to cope with adversity.
If you’re suffering from mental health issues, it may be time to consider adding some exercise into your daily routine. Exercising can help you feel better, manage depression symptoms, boost your mood, and alleviate stress. It can also help you sleep better and improve your cognitive functioning, which can lead to a healthier life overall.
According to research, exercise is a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression. It helps people feel more energetic throughout the day, reduces depression symptoms, and can improve memory and self-esteem.
It also boosts feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin, which can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. It increases blood flow to the brain and produces a protein called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which can also help reduce depression symptoms.
Getting started can be difficult, but you should try to set small, attainable goals. Initially, you might start with a few minutes a week of gentle exercise and build up from there.
You might also want to make exercise a social activity, such as joining a group workout or attending classes at your local gym. This can be a great way to motivate yourself to continue exercising and can make it more enjoyable.
Another benefit of exercise is that it can help reduce rumination and anxious thoughts. This is because it can encourage you to focus on the present moment, instead of ruminating over the past or future.
However, if you have a mental health condition, it’s important to talk with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Your doctor can help you determine which exercise type and level is best for your particular condition.
2. Spend Time with Family
Getting in the habit of spending time with your family can be a huge help when it comes to improving mental health. This is because it encourages communication among the members of your family and helps them build trust. It also decreases stress and enables people to discuss their problems and worries openly.
Studies have shown that a strong family bond is linked to better emotional well-being, as children who grow up in healthy families are likely to develop more positive attitudes and behaviors. In addition, they are more likely to pursue higher education and have good relationships with others.
If youâ€™re looking to improve your mental health in 2019, be sure to make it a resolution to spend more time with your loved ones. This is an especially important goal for those who are experiencing stress due to work or other commitments, Shrout says.
Itâ€™s best to plan out your family time on a regular basis so that everyone can feel included and connected. You can start by scheduling a family meal each week and making it a priority to do so.
Another way to boost your familyâ€™s mental wellbeing is by taking part in activities together that are fun for the whole family. For example, spending a day at the zoo or a museum can be a great way to bond with your family and explore new things together.
Finally, getting plenty of exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle and can be a fun way for your family to spend time together. Try shooting some hoops, jogging, or playing sports together.
Itâ€™s also a great idea to have a consistent bedtime routine, as this can help regulate your bodyâ€™s internal clock and ensure you get enough rest each night. This will benefit your overall health and prevent you from gaining weight.
3. Eat Healthy
Eating healthy is a way to put yourself in the best possible position to tackle any challenges you may face. Not only can it protect you from disease, it can also help you stay calm and focused during times of stress.
The key to eating well is to prioritize nutrient-dense foods that are easy to prepare and enjoy. That means avoiding ultra-processed foods and choosing whole, natural ingredients that are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
For example, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and fish are all great sources of important nutrients that can improve your mood. These foods are also low in calories and contain a wide variety of antioxidants and phytochemicals that can boost your brain health.
In addition, studies have shown that consuming foods with anti-inflammatory properties can lower symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is because certain foods that are high in anti-inflammatory agents can reduce oxidative stress, which can cause a number of mental health issues including depression.
Similarly, foods that are rich in vitamin C can help regulate cortisol levels, which are a common hormone released during stress. Berries and other fruit are also a good source of this nutrient.
While there is a lot of conflicting advice on diet and nutrition, there are some simple things you can do to get started on the road to better health. For starters, make sure you get enough protein and healthy fats in your diet to keep your body strong and your mind sharp.
If you find it hard to eat healthy on your own, try talking to a registered dietitian who can create an individualized plan for you. They can help you identify foods that are high in the nutrients your body needs and teach you how to eat them in a way that works for you.
4. Sleep Well
Getting adequate sleep is vital for a healthy life. It improves memory, clear thinking and helps your body repair itself.
Quality sleep can even help with overcoming mental health problems. It can reduce anxiety and depression and increase emotional intelligence.
When you’re not sleeping well, your brain can become more reactive and irritable. This can lead to negative feelings and a decreased sense of self-esteem.
If you’re struggling with sleep, talk to a doctor about making changes that can help. They may prescribe medications or psychotherapy to help you get to sleep.
Many people have a hard time getting to sleep, or they wake up throughout the night. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress and worry.
One of the best ways to ease stress before bed is to relax and focus on your thoughts. This can be done by writing your thoughts down or meditating.
You can also make a relaxing bath or foot soak a part of your bedtime routine. You can also try a yoga pose or stretch to help you unwind.
A bad night’s sleep can be a trigger for many mental health problems, so addressing it early on can be helpful. You can also avoid certain habits that can keep you from getting enough sleep, such as watching TV or eating late at night.
Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your overall health and increase the risk of developing conditions like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and other chronic diseases. It can also contribute to accidents and injuries.
5. Practice Self-Care
Self-care can be a great way to improve your mental health. It helps you manage stress, lowers your risk of illness and improves your energy levels. It can also help you feel better about yourself and reduce your risk of depression or anxiety.
Self-care doesnâ€™t always look the same for everyone, but it can be a very important part of your daily life. It can include things like meditating, journaling, thinking outside the box, asking for help when you need it, and learning to love yourself more.
Emotional and psychological self-care can be important for all people, but it may be especially important for those with a mental health diagnosis. Practicing emotional and psychological self-care can be very helpful in dealing with issues that arise during your day-to-day life, as well as during treatment and recovery.
Spiritual self-care can also be helpful for people with mental health issues. It can include spending time in nature, finding a community, identifying values that are most important to you, and volunteering.
Taking care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually is essential to living a healthy life. The key is to make self-care a habit that you practice regularly.
If you are new to practicing self-care, it is important to start small and add an activity that fits into your everyday life. Examples of this can include going for a walk, listening to a wellness podcast, drinking a glass of wine, sharing your feelings with a close friend or loved one, and eating a healthy breakfast.
Practicing self-care doesnâ€™t have to be complicated or expensive. It can be as simple as a few minutes of deep breathing or a seated meditation practice. By doing these things on a regular basis, you can improve your overall mental health and prevent any issues from arising in the future.