3 Tips for Maintaining Your Mental Health
Mental health is not something most people think about. You get a broken leg and you immediately run to the emergency room to take care of it, but if you’re anxious or depressed, we tend to disregard those feelings. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and maintaining both should be your top priority.
Take control of your physical health
Your physical health contributes directly to your overall mental health. If you’re not eating the right foods or exercising each day, you will inevitably face some health issues. Therefore, start with your body first. Give it the nutrients it needs to be healthy, which come from water, healthy foods, and proper sleep. We constantly lose water, which leaves the body dehydrated unless you’re constantly refueling it. Dehydration can lead to brain fog, slower reactions times, and slower circulation. Dehydration makes all your organs — including the brain, heart, and lungs — work much harder than they need to. Your energy levels will be much lower since your organs are essentially sucking all your energy just to keep you going.
Most of us don’t get enough shut-eye each night either. According to the National Sleep Foundation, many people do not prioritize sleep. Your sleep patterns are directly linked to your overall health and how well you function each day. Not getting enough sleep because you cram so much into every day can lead to depression, anxiety, and other issues. Eating the correct foods each day and fueling your body with the nutrients it needs will help maintain both your physical and mental functioning. Minimizing tobacco and alcohol also helps regulate the hormones and natural chemicals within the body.
Give yourself a time out
Giving yourself a “time out” not only lets you disconnect from the daily stresses of life, it also lets you reconnect to your needs and reset yourself. This may be different for everyone. It could be listening to your favorite music for a few minutes, working on a crossword puzzle, partaking in your favorite hobby, or even sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing. Everyone has stress in their lives, but it’s your reaction to it that you can change. Using a coping skill like a one-minute stress strategy, taking a walk, writing in a journal, or even playing with your pet can help alleviate stress. Many adults have recently started coloring again since it has anxiety-reducing benefits.
In addition to hobbies, sometimes you just need to escape it all. Take a weekend getaway to someplace you’ve never been before. Get some sunlight. This sounds so simple, but a little vitamin D exposure can go a long way in reducing depression and anxiety. It can even help to reset your circadian rhythms which help with sleep regulation and overall happiness.
Talk to someone
Talk to a friend, a relative, or even a neighbor. Reductions in stress, depression, and anxiety can happen simply by having a conversation with someone. Try to make a connection to someone each day. This may be easier said than done sometimes, but talking to someone while waiting in line can brighten not only your day but theirs as well (so long as they seem receptive to it). Talk to coworkers, extended family members, or neighbors about whatever’s going on.Seek out a professional and find a therapist to talk to if you continue to struggle. Seeking professional help from a therapist can be easily done when you search for a “therapist near me”. It’s better to start talking to a therapist before your mental health worsens further. Keeping your physical and mental health your top priority will ensure that you live a long, healthy life.