With the existence of covid-19 and the pandemic, the amount of stress and worry one dealt with was amplified. You must prioritize and take care of your mental health, especially in such trying times. Prioritizing your mental health will help you lead a happy life. Here are four tips that can help you take care of your mental health.
1. Look After Your Body
Our minds and our bodies are closely linked with each other. How you treat your body has a direct impact on the way that your mind works. Taking care of your body and giving it special treatment will help nurture and nourish your mind. You can focus on your body by:
The food you eat fuels your body and allows it to perform its daily functions. A balanced diet and eating well will allow you to be more productive and work more efficiently. According to research, the food you eat majorly impacts your mental health. Fatty and unhealthy foods such as fast food are scientifically proven to make you feel more down and depressed, whereas healthier alternatives such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables help lift your mood.
You can practice good eating habits by having a balanced meal three times a day with a few healthy snacks between meals if you get hungry. Skipping a meal can make you feel lethargic, irritable, and unproductive. Lower the amount of caffeine you consume, as it can make you feel more anxious and cause trouble sleeping at night. You should also keep your sugar intake in check, as it is a good source of a quick burst of energy but can end up making you feel more exhausted and drained afterward.
The amount of sleep you get every day also impacts your mental health. Not getting adequate sleep can cause trouble concentrating, thinking, dealing with stressful situations, and remembering things. You can practice healthy sleep habits by engaging in calming and relaxing activities, such as yoga, a few hours before bedtime.
Eat smaller portions and stay away from alcohol and caffeine right before your bedtime. The environment that you are in affects your sleeping habits as well. The room you are sleeping in should be dark, quiet, and comfortable. Also, try to stop using devices with blue light at least two hours before bedtime; engage in other habits such as reading and writing instead.
Exercising is an excellent way of keeping your body fit and maintained. Staying active for just 30 minutes every day is enough to bring out some huge changes to your overall mood. Exercising lowers your anxiety levels, boosts your mood, and is an excellent way of destressing yourself. Try starting by exercising 2-3 days a week, till you get the habit of exercising every day. Pick an activity you enjoy, such as running or dancing, and partner up with someone to stay motivated and have fun.
2. Build Connections
Humans are social creatures, and staying isolated can negatively impact our mental health. You need to maintain close connections with people, as this can help with good mental health. Social connections make up a large chunk of one’s mental health, so you can help establish a support network for yourself. You can do this by talking to people, meeting them and participating in different activities, or joining support groups if you have difficulties dealing with an issue. Building close connections also mean cutting out all the toxic people in your life, as these connections will not be supportive of you and will bring you down instead.
You should also reach out and ask for help when you need it. You should not feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help if you’re not feeling well. It’s always best to talk to a friend or chat with a doctor or counselor so they can help guide you through. Most individuals in Williamsburg go for therapy. If you’re located in Williamsburg, it’s best to opt for Williamsburg therapy options close to you. Going to therapy or speaking to a professional is yet another way to take care of your mental health.
3. Practice Mindful Thinking
Just because you have good mental health does not mean that sad or upsetting thoughts will never plague your mind. You will encounter problems in your life, and having good mental health allows you to assess the situation clearly and get through it. You can practice mindful thinking by avoiding “thinking traps”; these thoughts are harmful and can help you get stuck, becoming the gateway to a train of such feelings. Try to avoid thinking things like:
- Everything bad always happens to you.
- There is no such thing as a gray area; something can either be only completely good or completely bad.
- Only hyper-focusing on the negative aspects of a situation
- Jumping to conclusions before getting a problem solved
Instead, try to assess the situation by figuring out facts. Do you have any proof of this thought? Have you looked at all sides of the situation? What about the positive aspects of the situation? What would you say if a loved one was in the same position as you? Looking over these facts will help you solve your problems without getting stuck into thinking traps.
4. Engage in Relaxing Techniques
It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of this world. If you feel anxious or stressed out, it’s advisable to give yourself some time to slow down and relax. Relaxation techniques prevent you from getting too overwhelmed and burnt out to do even the simple and basic tasks.
Relaxing and cooling off will help you look at your situation from a different perspective, with the solutions present in front of you if they weren’t before. You can slow down and relax by engaging in various activities such as meditation, yoga, reading, painting, exercising, or gardening. If you’re feeling particularly anxious, engage in breathing exercises as a way of grounding yourself and helping yourself calm down.
Mental health is a sensitive topic for discussion for most people. However, breaking the stigma around it and making it a part of your everyday discussions will make individuals more open to reaching out for help. It can also help you be supportive of those who are trying to prioritize their mental health. These tips can help you put your mental health first and focus on leading a happy and fruitful life.