If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that we don’t take nearly enough care of ourselves. With the demands of work, family life, relationships, school, etc., your own needs quickly become less of a priority, which comes as a disadvantage to your mental health. Stress quickly takes over, making life way harder than it needs to be. If you’re looking to give your mental health the boost it needs, look no further than these six tips.
Get Enough Sleep
According to various studies, sleep is like a dishwasher, cleansing your brain of the toxins that build up during the day. It is thought that some of this waste product build-up could be a precursor for dementia, so getting enough sleep is crucial. By setting a regular bedtime and sticking to it, you are helping to regulate your body’s internal clock, which, in turn, positively impacts the dopamine levels in your brain.
Energize the Healthy Way
Sometimes, no matter how much sleep you get, you still wake up feeling tired. Perhaps you frequently experience the mid-day slump. While many of us turn to coffee and sugary energy drinks for help, this can actually aggravate anxiety symptoms. If you are running low on energy, a healthy alternative is energy supplements, many of which are made with natural ingredients and provide additional benefits such as heart health, immune system boosts, and improved mood. There are tons of ads for energy supplements, so do your research, read reviews, and talk to your healthcare provider to help you find the right one.
Write It Out
Talking about your stresses and problems can be helpful, but sometimes writing them out on paper is the kind of emotional release you need. Journaling helps you to better understand your jumbled thoughts and feelings, problem-solve, and get to know yourself and the things or people that are causing you stress. If you’ve had a particularly bad day, you might find it therapeutic to shred or burn your journal entry to physically symbolize letting go of your problems. A journal can also be a good way to check in with yourself.
Relive Your Childhood Creativity
Being an adult is stressful, but who says you can’t enjoy the pure happiness of childhood minus the tantrums? Being creative can help reduce depression and stress, not to mention it’s a fun way to escape for a bit and just be a kid. Some activities to try include adult coloring books, jigsaw puzzles, and video games. You can really throw it back by purchasing gold star stickers. Make it your goal to perform at least one self-care activity each day, and when you earn an allotted amount, treat yourself to a mental health day.
Whenever you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, have you ever noticed that going outside to get a breath of fresh air seems to help? According to research, spending time outdoors results in reduced stress levels, lowered anxiety and depression, and a greater overall sense of self-esteem. The best part is that the benefits of walking in the great outdoors can be experienced in the park or woods, as well as simply glancing out the window or looking at photos of nature scenes. If you can’t make it outside or don’t have a window with a view, you can bring the outdoors inside with a few houseplants or a pretty vase of flowers.
Make Time to Relax
It might sound difficult, but you can make time to relax by just saying “no” to projects, outings, and anything that someone else can handle or you just aren’t capable of committing to. Learn to delegate, and use that extra time to meditate, nap, take a warm bath, or read a book.
The year has just begun, so why not make this the year you finally start prioritizing your mental health? It’s easier than you think. Once you get started, you’ll wonder why you never gave your mind some serious TLC in the first place.
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Author: Brad Krause