It is getting the idea of improving your mental health that is hard to sink in since it seems like too much effort.
You operate like a robot in your 9-5 routine and wonder where all the color and joy went in life. Your mental health is something you must always keep at a high pedestal. It makes up your emotions, decision-making ability, satisfaction from life, dealing with stress, and how well you handle your relationships.
You see people religiously hitting the gym to shed weight but rarely see anyone meditate in the morning sun. If you don’t face your mental health issues on such a daily basis, that shouldn’t mean turning a blind eye on them either.
Being mentally fit and healthy improves nearly every aspect of your life. You should keep your mental health fit as you work on your physical health. Because you never know when something like depression, anxiety, or stress might bring you down.
And keeping your mental health in check isn’t nearly as hard as you think it to be. So, to break the stereotype, here is what you can do every day to keep yourself mentally healthy.
1. Make Out Yourself-Time
Getting stuck in the work routine is quite normal. There are days when you simply have to give more than you can. You stay late at the office and even respond to emails from your dinner table. All that is good for your career but is equally damaging to your mental health when it becomes too frequent.
The only real connection you can keep with yourself is by doing a bit of what you love every day. Is it gardening, traveling, reading, playing an instrument, or watching a comedy?
Whatever it is that makes you happy, do more of it. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. In the days when there’s too much work, you don’t really enjoy your personal life. And that distances you from who you are. It makes you vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and even depression.
If you cannot hit the bullseye with what makes you happy, start with the little things in life. Maybe enjoy your meals fully by putting your cellphone on silent or away from the table. Or, spend some time with your kids before tucking them to bed. These small acts of making yourself happy keep you near to the things you love. And it is these things that improve your mental health gives you the strength you need in life.
2. Watch Your Diet
What you eat has a serious impact on how you turn out to be physically and mentally. Your body needs fuel to perform daily tasks. And if you keep on feeding it low-quality fuel, it isn’t going to do so well.
More than your daily caloric intake, the nutritional value of what you eat matters. Because a burger may keep you on track with the daily caloric count. Still, it is nowhere near lean protein and leafy greens down on the nutritional content.
Too many mental health issues are linked to a poor diet. Conditions like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases are mostly the outcomes of unhealthy eating. And above fifty percent of such health issues lead to depression, anxiety, and stress disorders.
It is never too late to make a change in your life. And before you buy yourself a crash diet book, remind yourself that it has to be a lifestyle change. Don’t be too hard on yourself to see quick results. Instead, look up the nutritional and caloric contents of the food you like and try having a little more of it in your daily life, to begin with.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation are by far the best practices you can do to improve your mental health. Many cultures for thousands of years have followed them. But even modern science is ready to back the therapeutic effects of mindfulness today.
Making it to the end of the day mindlessly and waking up the next to follow the same routine makes life too noisy. You spiral down in never-ending thoughts, and it gets harder to put those on hold. But mindfulness offers you a sweet escape.
Although it may not be the easiest of things to begin, it does get better over time. Taking even ten minutes of your day to sit at a peaceful spot and focus on your breath rebuild certain neural pathways in your brain. It makes you calmer, more responsive to emotions, and handle stress much efficiently.
However, if you’re looking for a quick start, you might want to start with guided meditations. You can find tons of them online as they would ease your way into meditation. And as soon as you’re confident enough to calm your thoughts yourself, you can say goodbye to the guided meditation tracks.
4. Improve Your Sleep
What do you do when after a physically demanding trek or an exceptionally tiring day?
You want to hit the bed and not wake up for a pretty long time. Because when your body’s tired, that’s the only way to recover your strength.
Now, have you thought about your mental health the same way? Could working too much at the office and staying up late tire your brain as well? Of course, it does!
Your brain works endlessly round the clock. It keeps you breathing, digesting, and immune even when sleeping. And it is needless to say your brain needs a fulfilling rest after a long day at work. Being sleep-deprived can cause a number of mental health illnesses. Since you’re not fully rested to handle stress, it spirals out of control before you know it.
As recommended by experts, you must complete at least seven hours of sleep every night. You can use herbal CBD oil products to help you doze off more easily if you need to. But, either way, letting your mind rest adequately makes you mentally healthy.
5. Exercise Often
Although not everyone likes the idea of working out like some of us, it is still probably the easiest way to keep yourself fit and healthy.
Research tells us that regular exercise brings down the levels of stress hormones in the body. Moreover, it also boosts the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your body. These are the happy hormones that make you feel better. No wonder why they say, “nothing feels as good as a completed workout.”
But the catch here is that it is very easy to overwork yourself when you’re not doing things properly at the gym. Your motivation may spike up on some days while it lays dormant on others. So, finding a sweet spot is what you should do when starting to work out.
If you’re spending one hard day at the gym and lying on your couch for the rest of the week, you’re doing no good. Low-intensity but frequent exercise is the most beneficial for your mental and your physical health.
You can start with something as easy as walking, swimming, dancing, or jogging. Because if you keep your exercises interesting, it will be much less likely for you to stop. But the emphasis on frequency, again!