In these difficult times, many people are struggling. We are here to remind you to take care of yourself. In this article, we will be exploring 13 ways that you can improve your mental health.
Exercise is essential to your overall wellness. Physical activity has been shown to relieve stress, boost overall mood, improve energy levels, increase self-esteem, and regulate sleep patterns (Help Guide).
Try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Make sure that you are doing exercises that you enjoy! Pick activities that you love to do and listen to music, a podcast, or an audiobook.
2. Nourish your body
What you eat can have an enormous impact on how you feel. A diet with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins has been shown to improve your mood, cognitive function, and overall wellness. It is also essential to drink water and stay hydrated.
A diet filled with highly processed foods, added sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can negatively impact your brain and mental health. Nutritional deficiencies and dehydration can also contribute to mental health issues.
To learn more about the connection between mental health and diet, click here.
3. Have a healthy sleep schedule
Sleep helps you recover from mental and physical exertion. Having a proper sleep schedule will help you get high-quality rest. Healthy adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep--while babies, toddlers, and teens need even more.
Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. This will condition your body to fall asleep faster and wake up easier. Avoid going on electronics an hour before bed since the bright light can interfere with your production of melatonin, a chemical essential to a good night’s rest. Creating a calming bedtime routine can help you wind down before sleep, and a morning routine can help you start your day off right.
Journaling is a great way to process and express your emotions, thoughts, and feelings. If you are anxious or you need to get some things off your chest, try journaling.
There are so many ways to journal! You can free-write, answer prompts, vent, write positive affirmations, draw, or bullet journal. Here is a guide to help you get started.
5. Practice daily gratitude
Make sure that you reflect on a few things that you are grateful for every day. Expressing gratitude puts you in a happy, positive mindset.
6. Develop a routine
Routines help us structure and organize our day, which is very important when maintaining our mental health. A routine is especially helpful if you are struggling with depression or anxiety. Completing a few essential tasks a day will motivate you and give you a sense of accomplishment.
7. Set goals
Setting realistic goals for yourself can motivate you to get more accomplished. Your goals could be personal, professional, financial, or health-related. Just make sure that you do not put too much pressure on yourself. Focus on growth, rather than perfection.
8. Use healthy coping skills
Coping skills are tools that you can use when you are struggling with your thoughts or emotions. Developing healthy coping skills can get you through difficult times.
Try a variety of healthy coping skills to see which ones work for you. You can try breathing exercises, visualization, writing, coloring, and more! Keep a list of your favorite coping skills and use them when you are feeling down.
9. Limit screen time
Spending too much time on electronics can be detrimental to your mental and physical well-being (Medical News Today). Avoid screens as much as possible, especially in the morning and before bed. Instead, make your health and well-being a priority.
10. Engage in hobbies
When working to improve your mental health and mindset, it is important to increase your positive experiences. you should do at least one thing that makes you genuinely happy every day.
11. Practice self-love
Self-love and acceptance are essential on the journey to becoming your best self. Instead of picking yourself apart, learn to accept and love your imperfections. Instead of being really strict and mean to yourself, give yourself grace. Here is a list of some actions you can take to move towards self-love.
12. Safely connect with friends and family
With the Coronavirus pandemic, it is important to stay home and stay safe.
If you are feeling lonely or isolated, set up a virtual get-together with your friends and family. There are so many fun social activities you can do through video calls. You can play games, discuss books and movies, do arts and crafts, sing, dance, or simply chat.
13. Volunteer and give back
When you volunteer and do good, you feel a deeper sense of purpose. In such difficult times, we must support each other.
Donate to shelters and food pantries, participate in fundraisers and campaigns, help out in your community, or do a small act of kindness for a neighbor. You can also look into online volunteer opportunities on sites such as VolunteerMatch.org and DoSomething.org.
If you are between the ages of 12-18 and are interested in discovering the power of Service above Self, you should consider joining our Interact Club! We participate in a variety of service projects that work to improve our communities. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe and healthy!