Steps towards mental wellness can improve energy and concentration, boost mood, strengthen relationships and even increase immunity. Here are nine tips to get there:
Create an environment of positive people – this may include cutting ties with those who drain your emotions.
1. Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential to mental wellbeing. It allows the brain to process emotions and recharge after a busy day. Without enough rest, your memory could suffer; concentration could become difficult; and decision-making abilities could become impaired.
Prioritise getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night by cutting caffeine consumption for several hours prior to sleeping and following a relaxing bedtime ritual like taking a hot bath, reading or meditation before heading off to bed. Also avoiding screens before bed may help speed up the process.
People with strong mental health are better able to deal with stress, change and disappointment more effectively; this ability is called resilience. Unfortunately, having strong mental health does not guarantee you won’t encounter emotional or mental problems; everyone experiences setbacks; it is normal to experience sadness or anxiety from time to time – the key lies in finding healthy ways of coping and seeking assistance when needed.
2. Eat healthy
Food plays a direct effect on mental health. A poor diet can contribute to weight gain, fatigue and depression while eating too little can be counter-productive and lead to fatigue and anxiety. Aim to include plenty of fruits, vegetables and healthy fats while drinking lots of water daily for maximum mental wellness.
Physical activity has also been proven to enhance mental wellbeing. Exercise gets your heart racing, triggers endorphins and lowers cortisol, the stress hormone. Aim to incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day–be it walking to work, going for a run, or simply climbing stairs!
Caring for your mental wellness doesn’t have to mean being blissfully happy all of the time; rather, it involves developing healthy habits that will enable you to navigate life’s ups and downs with greater ease. Begin small and build these practices gradually – it’s never too late to put mental wellness first! For more information please check out our Mental Wellness Series.
Researchers have long recognized the many physical health benefits associated with exercise. Even moderate physical activity can improve mood, ease anxiety and boost energy levels; plus it improves sleep, provides a sense of accomplishment and can even help manage stress.
No gym membership or running miles on end are needed to experience the mental health benefits of exercise; even 30 minutes of physical activity five times each week may be enough. Begin slowly and build gradually until your body can handle more.
Schedule your workouts during times when you have the most energy, such as first thing in the morning or at lunchtime before mid-afternoon lull. Make it more of a social event by exercising with friends or your children; this could make sticking with your exercise goals easier.
4. Take care of your body
Body is an effective means to aid mental wellbeing. Sleeping enough, eating healthily and exercising regularly are all proven strategies to relieve stress, boost concentration and energy, as well as improve mood and energy.
These steps to mental wellness may not be the only solutions, but they’re certainly essential starting points. If you’re finding it hard to strike a balance, speaking to a counsellor might also help.
Do not overlook the importance of self-esteem and having a supportive network for mental health and wellness. People with strong mental health can overcome disappointments and losses more easily and bounce back more easily from stress, anxiety and emotional problems – this is known as resilience. This doesn’t mean they won’t ever experience emotional issues or tough times – everyone goes through these things at some point – but those with stronger resilience tend to handle these things better and feel happier overall in life.
5. Seek help
Steps towards wellness can make a significant impact in your life, but many still require assistance managing their mental health issues. If no matter what efforts are put forth to enhance mood or coping abilities, professional assistance might be required to reach optimal wellbeing.
Talking with a therapist such as the Center for Mental Wellness in San Diego doesn’t need to be daunting; studies reveal it actually helps improve coping and reduce stress, providing tools necessary for life’s challenges. Finding the appropriate treatment plan is key if you are struggling with depression, anxiety or eating disorders – there’s no shame in seeking assistance and it could have an enormously positive effect on the quality of your life.
6. Keep a diary
Journaling can be an essential element in maintaining mental wellness. Writing can help clarify thoughts and regulate emotions, promote self-reflection and personal growth as well as problem-solving skills.
Journaling can be used for all sorts of topics – from everyday mundane things to your deepest feelings and thoughts. Consider adding in a daily gratitude practice whereby you write down three things each night that make you thankful.
Journaling can provide valuable perspectives on situations causing you stress and anxiety, and reduce rumination – the negative thought pattern associated with negative thinking patterns. When journaling it’s also important to record positive experiences so when looking back you feel an overall sense of healing and accomplishment. Starting journaling may seem intimidating but making it a regular habit will bring many long-term mental health benefits.
7. Practice gratitude
Studies show that people who practice gratitude experience better mental health, including lower stress levels and increased self-esteem. Being thankful can especially benefit those dealing with chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes or HIV infection.
Moskowitz works with those afflicted by illness or who are dealing with loved ones who are sick or dying to help them incorporate gratitude into their daily routines. She emphasizes the need for authenticity when approaching gratitude – tapping it does not equate to accepting bad behaviors or dismissing how harsh some experiences have been.
There are various ways to express our appreciation, from writing a thank-you note or keeping a gratitude journal, but Dr. Brandon advises finding one that works for you and committing at least six weeks for real results.
8. Make time for yourself
Work, family, and daily living responsibilities can take their toll, but it’s essential to set aside some time just for you. Even small steps like taking 15-minute walks a day or journaling for 10 minutes every night can have a major impact on our mental wellbeing over time.
Leisure time is an integral component of emotional and mental wellbeing, so it is vital that you spend time doing things you enjoy – such as watching an amusing film, walking in nature, listening to music or spending quality time with loved ones and friends.
Positive people and environments are important in order to feel well, so be sure you get enough sleep (7 to 9 hours each night), avoid violent movies or upsetting news reports, and follow people on social media who bring value into your life. In addition, learn when it’s necessary to say no and set healthy boundaries for yourself.
9. Talk to someone
One of the best things you can do to support your mental health is talking with someone. This doesn’t have to be done through professional services (although that may be best in certain instances); simply telling someone trustworthy that you feel under-par can help tremendously.
Assimilating someone who understands your context can be extremely useful. Furthermore, joining a peer support group could also prove valuable.
Sometimes when opening up to someone, they may not listen or dismiss your feelings as silly or not real. If this occurs, try keeping the conversation going by explaining that their reaction could be due to cultural expectations or fear of upsetting you; if they continue not listening offer to connect them with a mental health professional.