We all need good mental health, and it is crucial to our everyday wellbeing, enabling us to lead healthy and happy lives. While it is impossible to be feeling at your best mentally all the time, you can do things to make a difference when you are feeling low. Here are ten simple tips and changes that can make a big difference to help you feel your best long-term.
Get a good dose of sunlight.
Everyone knows that vitamin D is essential for our bodies and brains – both for our physical health, improving our immune system, and mental health. Sunshine is one of the primary sources of vitamin D and helps release chemicals in our brains, such as serotonin, to improve our mood. Therefore, it is essential to be out and about in the sun when possible to soak up vitamin D.
Ideally, 30 minutes to two hours of sunlight daily if at all possible is optimal, but always remember to wear sunscreen to keep your skin protected. During the winter, there is less sunlight which can often lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder which causes people to become depressed due to the lack of sun. That’s why it’s crucial to take extra care during the winter season – make sure to get outside on days that are sunny and invest in a light-therapy lamp to help alleviate any symptoms.
Connect with others.
Engaging in social contact with others is excellent for mental health, even when you might not feel like it at the time. When feeling anxious or low, spending quality time with friends and family can help boost your mood, and talking to someone about your feelings can improve your wellbeing and stop you from feeling lonely. Even if you can’t always meet up with people physically, talking to someone over the phone, online, or via video chat still reaps the same benefits.
Get plenty of exercise.
Similar to the effects of Vitamin D from sunlight, exercise also boosts happy chemicals in the brain, including endorphins. Not only that, but taking part in physical activities can also promote a sense of achievement, eliminating stress and anxiety, and has been linked to living a longer life. Being active also increases energy levels and is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health.
Stay in the present.
It can be challenging to stay in the present moment and not look back towards the past or forwards towards the future. Staying self-aware helps us notice our thoughts and feelings and what is happening in the world around us. Therefore, not getting sidetracked can help us become more mindful and deal with negative thoughts and feelings before they develop into something worse.
Ensure you have a well-balanced diet.
It is well-known that eating well is crucial to physical health, but did you know it is just as vital to our mental wellbeing? Deficiencies including B12, D, and iron can all result in low moods and even depression. Eating a balanced diet will ensure that you are not deficient in any vitamins. Cutting back on sugar and caffeine will help with jittery feelings and a racing heart resulting from stress and anxiety.
Take time for yourself.
Don’t underestimate the importance of taking the time to do something for yourself. Whether learning a new language, partaking in a new hobby, or simply taking the time to have a bubble bath and relax, it is essential to indulge in things that make you happy. After all, you can’t give from an empty cup.
Far from a waste of time, engaging in hobbies and taking well-deserved breaks can boost your creativity, mood, and self-confidence. They are essential for your continued happiness and sound physical and mental health. So learn a new skill like picking and making locks, go hiking or biking at the local nature park, or simply relax at home with a good book and a warm drink.
Eliminating stress is impossible and is, unfortunately, an unavoidable fact of life. However, knowing how to manage stress, realize your triggers, and find coping strategies are crucial to maintaining excellent mental health. Everyone has different ways of coping, so you need to find what works best for you. From meditation, breathing exercises, or journaling, these coping strategies will make stress seem more manageable and help you tackle any issues you are facing head-on.
Get good quality sleep.
Sleep is paramount for our health, leading to depression and anxiety, amongst other things, when we don’t get enough. Good-quality sleep makes a huge difference in how we feel, so it is essential to get enough as it helps to regulate chemicals in the brain that transmit information and manage moods and emotions. Have trouble sleeping? Find tips online and check out CBD Genesis to help with a lack of sleep due to anxiety.
Ask for help.
Recognising when you are no longer coping and knowing when to ask for health is one of the most important ways to keep yourself healthy. Everyone goes through rough patches in life, and there is no shame in asking for support when you are feeling low. If you don’t want to speak to family and friends, talk to your local GP for further guidance and support to get back on top of your mental health.
Too often, we fall down the rabbit hole and become too preoccupied with ourselves. Get out of this frame of mind and help others instead! Not only is it great for the people you are helping, but it is also good for your mental health, improving your self-esteem.
Helping your local community and taking part in causes that are near to you, such as volunteering for a charity, make you feel better about your place in the world. It can also help you to see things from a new perspective. Not only that, you will be engaging with others, and being part of a community will do wonders for your mental health.
It is as essential to take care of your mental health as your physical health for overall wellbeing and happiness. There are several things you can do to make sure you are keeping yourself mentally healthy. These include managing stress, taking time for yourself, connecting with others, and asking for help from family, friends, and your local GP.