12 Top Tips to Help You Look After Your Mental Health
By Sidra Ansari
Given the current climate and the prevalence of ill or isolating friends or family members, low mental health is now quite common. This is a reminder not to despair.
There are, in fact, many things you can do to help this downward spiral. I’ve collected twelve ways you can improve your mental health, overall health, and well-being.
Here are the 12 tips you need to look after your mental health.
#1. A Little Bit of Sunshine
It’s so important to make sure you get out every single day. Boost your mental health by getting a bit of sunshine.
If you’re worried about the effects of too much exposure to the sun in the summer, the Cancer Research website recommends that as little as approximately ten minutes a day will make a difference.
If you haven’t got a garden that you like hanging out in, then be mindful of getting your essential Vitamin D some other way.
A daily outdoor walk should be prioritized. Vitamin D is super important for our bodies and our brains.
It helps our brains to release chemicals that improve the mood and trigger more positive feelings, like endorphins and serotonin.
Looking at nature is known to improve the mood so if you can get out to socially distanced places do so.
But if you can’t get out, believe it or not, pulling up scenic pictures to reflect on, while on your treadmill is hugely beneficial! And what a great way to do two great things for your mental health!
#3. Creative Energy
Harness your creative energy. Do things that help you feel more creative if you are a creative soul.
Going out in nature or exercising can help you feel more creative thereby improving your mental health.
Nothing like doing what makes your soul sing to put you in that zen zone, and that in turn will make you feel even more creative.
The act of movement after a walk, for example, will have your ideas and energy flowing more freely.
Many writers attest to a daily walk, helping to free them of the yoke of the dreaded writers’ block.
To be able to express yourself freely will in itself improve your mental health and general health and output (if you are a creative soul, any improvement in creative expression will in itself be a radical mood enhancer!).
#4 Physical Benefits
Research has shown that you’ll enjoy a longer life, strengthened muscles, a reduction in the loss of bone mass, improved circulation, improved sleep, good joint health, and much more through a daily walk or exercise routine.
Looking after your physical health is greatly connected to your mental health.
Exercise can do wonders for your stress and energy levels.
While we’re on the subject of physical health, let’s talk about the importance of eating healthily and maintaining a balanced diet to achieve great mental health levels.
Our minds need this as much as our bodies.
Certain mineral deficiencies, such as iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies, are known to give us a low mood.
#5 Addictions of Any Kind Can Be Detrimental to Our Overall Well-Being and Health
This can come in many forms. From addiction to our mobile devices, to sugary foods, gambling, excessive drinking, smoking, and drugs-use.
Some addictions such as alcohol addiction can lead to many mental and physical health damages.
These may be in the form of mineral and vitamin deficiency that impact health.
Excessive drinking, for example, can leave you with a thiamine deficiency.
That affects your energy production, your mind, and your mental health.
Thiamine is important for our brain function and a deficiency can lead to severe memory problems, motor (coordination) problems, confusion, and eye problems.
If you smoke, between cigarettes your body and brain go into withdrawal which makes you irritable and anxious.
Gaming and addiction to mobile devices can grow into mental health deficiencies and should be avoided too.
So you ALL addictions are bad for mental health.
We must really learn to be watchful and careful that our habits don’t spiral out of control into addiction.
#6 Positive Relationships
Consider exercising outdoors and in groups as it’s better for your mental health. Please note that during the pandemic group exercise may not be possible, but will be great when life goes back to normal and people can gather in groups without risking their health.
By building stronger and closer relationships, you will help to cultivate a positive mindset and, once again, naturally boost the feel-good chemicals in your brain.
Remember to avoid only maintaining the relationships you garner via social media.
As a human being, you will be at your optimum mental health, when your relationships exist outside of cyberspace and enter your real-life zone too.
Otherwise, the lack of human interaction is going to affect your well-being negatively.
#7 Managing Stress in a Healthy Way
Stress is often unavoidable, but knowing what triggers your stress and knowing how to cope is key in maintaining good mental health.
Try to manage your responsibilities and worries by making a list or schedule of when you can resolve each issue.
Often, if you break down your worries and stresses and take time to write them down, you realize that they are manageable in smaller chunks.
Write a list of what is on your mind and maybe even possible solutions too. Tick them off as you work through each one. Your load will feel considerably lighter. Consider also keeping a daily affirmation journal.
Optimal sleep is so important for our physical and mental health.
This is said to be around eight hours a day for a healthy adult.
Sleep helps to regulate the chemicals in our brain that transmit information, and develop memory and cognition.
These chemicals are also important in managing our moods and emotions.
If we don’t get enough sleep, we can start to feel depressed or anxious, irritable, and have impaired judgment. Sleep affects many areas of health including weight and hormonal balance.
Related posts: How to Sleep Better at Night Naturally
How to Cope With sleep Anxiety Naturally: Practical Tips for Better Sleep When You Have Anxiety
And one just doesn’t feel right when they are sleep deprived.
If there is one crucial thing to do for your mental health is sleep. But keep in mind many of the other points made in this post can impact your sleep.
A good amount of sleep, along with regular exercise and a healthy diet will also help to maintain a strong and healthy immune system.
That also helps because if you can dodge that bug, you of course feel more alert and full of mental and physical vigor.
So you see, sleep is quite crucial in keeping your mental health at the optimal zone of calm and happiness.
#9 Build Self-Esteem and Maintain Powerful Feelings of Self-Purpose by Doing Something New:
Looking to rejuvenate yourself? Some fantastic (albeit very simple things to do) are listed ideas here!
- How about taking on a new responsibility at work, such as mentoring a junior staff member or improving your presentation skills?
- Maybe you could begin work on a DIY project, such as fixing a broken bike, garden gate, or something bigger. These days you can ‘YouTube’ almost anything, and you’ll find a tutorial on it.
- Consider signing up for a course at a local college. Again, due to Covid 19, there are plenty of online opportunities for you to choose from. You could try to learn a new language or even a practical skill such as gardening. Working with the earth every day will have an amazing effect on your general well-being.
- Take up a new hobby that challenges you, such as writing a blog, taking up a new sport (although choices may be limited in the current climate), or learning to paint.
These new activities and hobbies will provide movement and excitement in an otherwise monotonous day.
It’s natural to want to expand one’s skill set and many successful people have been known to do this really late in life. It’s never too late to pick up a new skill, don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise!
Related posts: The Habits of Highly Successful Women
14 Habits of the most confident women: What self-assured strong women do differently
#10 Acts of Service
Small acts of kindness boost health and well-being. Things such as voluntary work, offering help to family or friends, support for your neighbors and community and, even the simple act of a friendly smile can help!
Looking at your overall health in a holistic way will improve your mental health drastically.
Being in tune with your body; listening in when it’s in need of quiet moments and doing as it bids, surpasses everything else.
Think about taking a digital detox.
Mindfulness and inner reflection will help you become more in tune with your body, soul, and your Higher Power, God, the Universe, or Mother Nature. (Indeed, whatever you may call the Power that is greater than you and looking after you).
Speaking of which, my advice is to hold tightly to that rope of faith because you may find therein lies your greatest strength to get through tough times.
#12. Now Is the Time to Reach Out
Speak to people you’ve never spoken to before. Even though social media relationships shouldn’t be the only ones you cultivate, the internet is an amazing tool to connect the most unlikely of people.
Use this time to connect to people who you wouldn’t usually take the time to get to know.
This unique situation has us all experiencing the same thing at the same time.
We have all been taught a massive lesson that what divides us is surely in our minds.
Let’s try to glean something positive from this situation and be aware of those around us.
Let’s look past appearances and find companionship in the fact that we all belong to one race- the human race!
Throughout lockdown, current second-wave announcements, and information overload through the internet, it is a well-known fact that public mental health has suffered a great deal.
I’ve gathered together twelve tangible ways to help improve your mental health now and even beyond the pandemic.
From prioritizing daily walks to picking up a new hobby, there are plenty of practical things you can do to benefit your overall well-being.
Don’t forget that (although some boats are larger than others!) we’re all in this together. Reach out for support if you feel alone or especially stressed.
It is a unique time to find solidarity, no matter who we are or where we come from.
We should learn from the events of lockdown and more, that we are not separated by race and other such attributes.
We are in fact one race- the human race- and below the skin color lies buckets of the same red blood.
Let’s reach out and be there for each other and make something truly positive come from this horrible situation.
And above all, each day, take time to practice these 12 tips look after your mental health.
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Sidra is a freelance writer for hire. She is a professional writer who will soon be a published author of her book “Finding Peace Through Prayer and Love” which will be out in October 2020. She now writes for clients and specializes in writing about personal development and lifestyle including motherhood, travel, and food. Get in touch today to find out how she can help you with your content writing needs. You can check out her blog and learn more about her writing at The7ofUs.blog and Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/sidra.7.ansari/