Following are tips to help improve your Mental Health in this busy crazy world we live in today. We all need a little help sometimes.
What You Eat Affects Your Mental Health
Research shows a correlation between diets high in refined sugars impairs thinking and can cause mood-related symptoms.
Tip: If you know you have a busy week ahead, meal prep on Sunday to ensure you have healthy meals and snacks during the week. Avoid snacks high in sugar–keep it simple with protein, vegetables, fruits and good fats like those found in nuts. Without proper sleep, you’re more likely to feel stressed throughout the day. Young adults and adults should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night in order to function properly and perform at peak productivity.
Tip: If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, establish a bedtime ritual–go to bed at the same time every night, try meditation, reading, or journaling. Television screens, computer screens and vigorous exercise all cause difficulties in falling asleep. Exercise or movement has been shown to improve mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self–esteem and cognitive function. Spending as little as 20 minutes a day on exercise can actually increase your overall productivity, and decrease energy wasted from mental stress.
Tip: Even a short walk can help clear your mind, improve your mood, and boost your energy level. Get up and move while you are working–take a walk around the office or stretch by your desk.
Tip: Listen to a sleep relaxation session each night to relax and empty your mind, relax your body and achieve a great restful rejuvenating sleep.
Friends are Important for Emotional Health
Loneliness is a key risk factor for poor overall health. Friends can make a stressful situation much less taxing by providing outside perspectives and insights you may not have thought about. Find time to share and to listen. Take time to laugh, or even cry with friends—social connections can make all the difference in how you embrace the world. Research tells us friends are an important part of life balance, enjoyment and stress release. Having two or three friends is enough we are told; the rest are often acquaintances we can banter with.
Tip: A mental health problem doesn’t mean that you’re never able to support or laugh with someone else. In fact, laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress.
Strive for Balance between Work, Rest, Alone Time and Social Time
Too much of any one thing, especially for sustained periods, can elevate stress and lead to emotional strain. It’s easy to let the demands of work and family make it feel like relaxing isn’t an option. But you have to make sure you’re getting a healthy balance in order to flourish psychologically.
Tip: Balance your work and social / family time. Do what works for you. Socialise, undertake physical activities, yoga or meditation, be involved in family activities while focus on your work in the hours allocated. Do your best to leave work at work. Take your hat, lancet off, leave your bag and work keys at the door, remove your work shirt before or as soon as you enter home. Take some Me Time each day or two to just Be. Remember deep breathing, muscle relaxation and tranquillity throughout your entire mind and body.
Take Up a Hobby
Whether it’s cooking, volunteering, playing sports, exercising, playing an instrument, DIY projects, owning a pet, or gardening, finding a hobby you love helps you become more in–tune with yourself and lead a happier, healthier lifestyle. A hobby provides a great emotional release and can help you cope with stressful situations. Hobbies encourage you to take a break and to focus away from work. Hobbies also offer a positive challenge and urge you to continue to learn new things, while also reminding you to stay present and connect you with others who have the same interest.
Tip: Choose hobbies that reduce stress and compliment your current lifestyle. This will give you the opportunity to focus on something else while exercising your brain in new ways and teaching you new skills.
Love Who You Are, Accept Yourself
Loving yourself isn’t always easy, and often, we can beat ourselves up and punish ourselves, thinking that will lead to change. Real change comes from loving who you are and embracing your gifts and talents. It is not selfish to care about yourself. Compassion for yourself means showing concern for your own feelings as well as for others. The emotions we feel about ourselves carry real chemicals with them. Shame and embarrassment raise cortisol levels and inflammation in the body. Being comfortable in your own skin and being proud of who you are is a great step in a healthy mind.
Tip: Say something positive about yourself every single day. Write it down and carry it around with you or put it on your bathroom mirror so you see it as soon as you wake up in the morning. Be with people who support and love you the way you are. Use an affirmation each day. It can change every day or week. Believe it, believe it, believe it. No one is perfect and expecting perfection of our self or in any area of our self can be harmful. Do the best you can, learn a better way, keep moving toward your best, do this and you have reached your fulfilment.
Eliminate Guilt and Trauma
When we carry baggage or trauma, we are affecting our life detrimentally. Taking charge to eliminate these unwanted feelings, thoughts and removing the blocks we so often have in place, can free us to life a happy, fulfilled life. These things happened to you, and as unfair it may have been, you no longer need to carry it with you nor allow it to keep affecting your life or relationships. Guilt and trauma can destroy us, if you let it. Allow yourself permission to let it go, to thrive, because you deserve it.
Tip: Take steps to remove this weight carried for far too long, these experiences that were never meant for you. You can eliminate it, once you know-how.
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