Mental health is a state of wellbeing that helps you to cope with the stresses of everyday life, and empowers you to work towards achieving your full potential. Sometimes, keeping a clear head and a healthy mind can be easier said than done. Life does throw unexpected challenges at us every day, after all. Fortunately, there are a few good habits you can cultivate to protect and improve your mental health.
- Better Nutrition for Body & Mind
Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to function properly. Eating right improves your mental state as well as your physical health. Low levels of certain nutrients (such as B-vitamins) lead to issues like depressed or anxious moods.
Make sure you eat a balanced diet, and cut out junk food wherever you can. You might also want to speak to your GP or pharmacist about the best nutritional supplements you can take to make up for any nutrients that are lacking.
- Less Clutter = Less Stress
If you’re clearing the junk out of your fridge and pantry, now is also a good time to take stock of the clutter in the rest of your house (and office) too. Your surroundings can influence your moods. Clutter breeds dust and dirt in your home, which is bad news for your health. It also has a negative effect on your mood and mental state.
It’s time to adopt a “less is more” mentality. Go through your closets and donate the items you haven’t worn in a year. Sell or donate old books, toys, appliances and even furniture. Commit to only keeping things in your home that are useful or beautiful. You’ll feel much lighter and freer after giving your personal environment a spring-clean.
- Mindfulness as a Stress-Buster
Whether it’s at work or at home, the stress and strain of daily life can take its toll if you don’t manage it properly.
Practising mindfulness helps to keep stress levels in check. It’s a great way to calm your thoughts and prevent yourself from panicking. Meditation or simple breathing exercises can help you to relax and focus when things feel like they’re spinning out of control.
- Connecting, Caring, Sharing
Looking inwards and focusing on the moment at hand are great mindful practices. However, it’s important to avoid becoming inwardly focused, or you can get wrapped up in your own worries and lose perspective. Connecting with others can help you to maintain a positive balance and focus outside of yourself. Spend quality time with your family and friends, or volunteer at a local charity. Talk to your loved ones about how you’re feeling, and avoid bottling things up for too long.
- Positive Influences
Surround yourself with good people who inspire and encourage you. Just like you’ll feel healthier after cutting out junk food, you’ll also feel better after cutting out unhealthy relationships and habits. Too much time browsing your phone? Too many nights spent working overtime at the office? Too many negative people on your social media feed? Start by stepping away from these stresses, and you’ll soon feel more energised and positive.
This Mental Health Awareness Month, make your wellbeing a priority and start putting these helpful new habits into practice.
Ten Things you can do for Your Mental Health. Retrieved from: https://www.uhs.umich.edu/tenthings
How to Look After your Mental Health. Retrieved from: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-mental-health