Good mental health is important for everyone. Though you often hear people talking about getting more exercise or eating better, we often forget to take care of our mental well-being, too.
Though some circumstances may require a mental health professional, there are ways that you can look after yourself too—and they’re easier than you think. Start by framing your life positively, then read these five tips to boost your mood, reduce anxiety, avoid crises and, most importantly, work on your mental fitness.
1. Take Care of Your Physical Needs
Our bodies and minds are interconnected and this means that our physical health directly impacts our mental health. In other words, one of the first ways you can improve your mental health is to take care of your body. Avoid high sugar, high fat processed foods and instead choose natural foods like fresh fruit and vegetables and those containing whole grains. Be sure that you get the right amount of sleep every night to help recharge and implement regular exercise into your daily routine to increase energy and feelings of positivity.
2. Engage Your Community
Connecting with those in your community can help you build a strong support system and to feel as though you’re a part of something significant. By finding ways to volunteer or pitch in around your neighbourhood, you can also enrich your own life and cultivate some of your passions, leading to a sense of purpose. Plus, you might make some new friends along the way while learning new skills.
3. Find Balance
Life is all about finding balance. While work is important, so is play. It’s wonderful to spend time with people, but sometimes we need our own space.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed looking at all the things you need to accomplish, it might be time to take a break, relax and then prioritize what’s actually important. Learn how to focus on the bigger picture and find ways to balance your lifestyle so that you have time and energy for yourself, others and the things you love most. This will help you to reduce stress and anxiety and allow you to get important things done while still making time for your passions.
4. Learn to Set Boundaries
With those positive relationships in mind, it’s also important to develop boundaries. By learning how to say “no” in a healthy way, you will reduce your own stress and anxiety. Furthermore, it’s beneficial to learn how to separate your own feelings from others’ feelings. While empathy is wonderful, you also don’t need to feel exactly how everyone else around you feels. Instead, take responsibility for your own feelings and share these with confidence when you need to.
5. Ask for Help
Above all else, know that it’s ok—and healthy—to ask for help when you need it. Figure out who your support network is whether it’s friends, family, coworkers, teachers or a mental health professional. Even just knowing that these people are there for you can help to reduce your stress and anxiety and, of course, calling on them for assistance can reduce your risk of crisis. Having a positive support network can simply put you at ease as you go through life—not only will they be there to chat or laugh, they’ll also be there when you need them most.
Tending to your mental wellness doesn’t have to be time consuming. In fact, it can (and should!) become a part of your everyday life. Keep these five tips in mind and go forth into the world with your newfound positivity—you’ll be surprised how well it’s received.
Photos: Stokkete / Shutterstock, Benoit Daoust / Shutterstock