Most of us have strategies for taking care of our physical health (whether we are conscious about it or not). Many of us are mindful about getting regular exercise and do our best to eat healthy, and many even schedule regular annual physical check-ups.
But most of us tend to become inactive when it comes to our mental health. Your mental health influences how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also affects your ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships, and recover from life’s setbacks and hardships.
This year, on World Mental Health Day, we’ve put together some of the most impactful and least intimidating ways to take care of your mental health.
Treat yourself with compassion and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favourite projects, or broaden your horizons. Plant a garden, take music lessons, learn a new language, or paint (mandala is a great way to start).
Take care of your body
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to:
Eat nutritious meals
Drink plenty of water
Get enough sleep
Surround yourself with good people
People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group.
Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. You’ll feel good about doing something tangible to help someone in need. It is a great boost for your mental health.
Coping with stress
Like it or not, stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills: exercise, take a walk, play with your pet or try journaling.
Try meditating, mindfulness and/or prayer. Relaxation exercises and prayer can improve your state of mind and outlook on life.
Set realistic goals
Decide what you want to achieve academically, professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to realize your goals. Aim high, but be realistic and don’t over-schedule. You’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth as you progress toward your goal.
Break the monotony
Although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety; a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road-trip, take a walk in a different park, hang some new pictures or try a new restaurant.
Seek help when you need it
Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness and addiction and lead full, rewarding lives.
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