Taking care of your mental health is just as important as caring for your physical health. Mental health can seem like a widespread, frequently used term that people interpret both correctly and incorrectly. If you are still uncertain about the definition of mental health, you aren’t alone. That being said, caring for mental health can better regulate your mood, emotions, and ability to take each day as it comes.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health encompasses your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Not only does it determine how you handle stress and relate to others, but it also affects your way of thinking, acting, and feeling. Throughout your life, your mental health may take a dive, negatively impacting your behavior, mood, and thoughts. Mental health problems are very common and can result from biological factors, life experiences, or family history.
There are so many resources at your fingertips in regards to getting help. Don’t ignore your mental health or allow it to decline, as that can lead to serious health consequences. If you have been feeling down or simply want to have a better outlook on life, practice the following daily habits to boost your mental health.
Cut Back On Social Media
Social media is the drug of choice for many people. Getting a notification, be it a like, subscribe, comment, or message is like a high for some people. Unfortunately, it’s easy to develop anxiety because of social media. Did enough people like your photo? Why are there only two comments? These thoughts weigh heavy on the mind and can lower your self-worth, increasing anxiety and depression. Take a break from social media by keeping your phone in a drawer while at work. Make a list of more meaningful activities to replace your scrolling times, and turn off notifications or delete the apps from your phone.
Connect With Others
Don’t connect over social media, email, or phone; rather, go connect with a real person. Social interaction has a big impact on human health. Connecting with others helps you combat stressors that you encounter daily. Be courageous and step outside your normal circle of friends or family. Get involved with community programs or volunteer to help lift your spirits. You’ll be surprised at what this can do for you!
Get Restful Sleep
Sleep isn’t a meaningless aspect of your health. It is the body’s way of rejuvenating and lack of sleep can contribute to a variety of mental health symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and stress. A 2021 study found that people who averaged six hours of sleep per night were two and a half times more likely to report mental distress than those who averaged more than six per night. Healthy sleep habits may be difficult to build, but you can encourage healthier sleep by avoiding caffeine after 3 p.m., making your bedroom cool and quiet, and avoiding screens two hours before bedtime.
Move Your Body…But On Your Own Terms
As much as people want to hate on exercise, it does wonders for both mental and physical health. In addition to relieving stress and lifting your mood, exercise may help manage symptoms of depression and anxiety. Movement is different for every person, meaning going to the gym is not for everyone. One person may enjoy a Pilates class, while another person may love going to Zumba. Find your movements that you enjoy and exercise on your own terms. Additionally, take time to stretch, as stretching oxygenates the body and helps you feel more relaxed.
Practice Gratitude And Stay Positive
Be thankful for the things you have in life because being gracious helps you stay positive, even when things aren’t always going your way. Take time each day to think about the positives in your life. If you enjoy journaling, consider jotting these positives down so that you can refer back to them. Even in your darkest moments, seeing what you have and what you’re grateful for can be the light in the darkness.
Spend Time In The Sun
Spending time in the sun is great for the body, especially the brain because it promotes the release of endorphins. Endorphins don’t just boost your mood, they also help reduce emotional stress and promote an overall sense of well-being. Sunlight is also a great source of vitamin D, which may combat symptoms of depression. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with anxiety, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and schizophrenia. Take some time out of your day and absorb about 30 minutes of sun to drastically improve your mental health.