Most of us have experienced problems with our mental health at some point or another. Some of you might have had poor mental health for several years and not been able to improve. I want to talk about some of the habits for good mental health that should help you in the long run.
We need to look after our mental health just as much if not more than our physical health and often times our mental health is neglected at the expense of work and other things in our lives.
Even the smallest of changes can have big impacts on our mental health. Keeping up with at least some of these habits can help slowly improve your mental health or maintain it at it’s current state. Change takes time and results aren’t going to be instant but once you’re in a routine it’s far easier to get your mental health back under control again.
1. Get Good Sleep
Getting a good amount of sleep is one of the easiest things you can do to boost not only your overall health but also your mental health in general.
We have very busy lives and often overlook sleep when we want to improve our mental health because it’s not something you easily associate with your mental health.
The problem is that sleep deprivation has a significant impact on your mental health. Stress and anxiety skyrockets and you become more susceptible to depressive episodes.
A good night routine could look something like this:
- No electronics 30 minutes before bed.
- No caffiene for at least 4 hours before bed.
- Lower the room temperature just before you get into bed.
- Aim for around 8 hours of sleep per night.
- Go to bed and wake up at consistent times.
2. Regularly Do Away with Technology
With everything that’s happening at the moment surrounding the cost of living crisis, global events, as well as in our own busy lives, our devices represent a significant source of stress for many of us.
Phones can be a source of addiction, you can consume yourself with whatever you want and sometimes this is the opposite of what we need.
Scheduling an hour or a few hours a week to just avoid technology can work wonders on your mental health.
Studies have consistently shown that the more time we spend on social media is linked with increased anxiety and lower self esteem.
One great way to get away from technology is to take a walk in the park. It’s a great way to get away from technology but also expose yourself to the natural environment.
3. Talk to Someone
It can be very difficult to open up about your mental health to someone else, especially if you have few actual friends to do it with.
Opening up is really difficult but it can honestly work really well to help you come to a realisation that you’re not alone and there are people there for you.
As Human being we are social creatures, we seek out friendships and connections with other people. This creates a feeling of belonging and a feeling of safety.
Talking through your problems with someone else gives you the opportunity to vent some of your mental stresses and hopefully improve your own mental health.
Exercise is one of those things most of us don’t get enough of. It’s great not only for our physical health but also our mental health.
Regular exercise has been linked to lower rates of depression and happier lifestyles.
Exercise stimulates the release of “feel-good” hormones known as endorphins. This makes us feel good but also helps improve memory and concentration.
You don’t have to become an athelete either just a simple 30 minute walk a day will do the trick. Of course if you want to do more exercise then have at it.
5. Create a Journal or a Blog
This is exactly what I did and it really helped get my feelings on paper and it helped me track how I feel over time. I can go back a year and look at the difference between me then and me now and the difference is striking.
I have agreed to myself that everytime I start to feel depressed, lonely, or whatever mental problem I have that I will write it down in my journal. Just get pen to paper and write what I’m feeling.
It’s a safe, secret place that I can get how I feel out without having to deal with other people or explain things that are maybe not so easy to get our in a normal conversation.
Another way of going about it is by writing in your journal on a regular schedule, like every morning or before bed. That way you can out all your thoughts into your journal and not have to worry so hard about them.
The world is a stressful place, we are in constant need of rest to ensure our minds stay healthy.
This could be a quick 5 minute break from working or a whole guided meditation session. It’s entirely up to you and what fits in with your schedule.
A break is anything that means you aren’t using your brain thinking about things you should be relaxed.
You can incorporate these mini breaks into your daily routine. Whenever you feel like you need a break take a quick break. If you’re in a stressful situation quickly sneak out for a break.
In the long run you won’t regret it, we aren’t built to be running around after people 24/7 we really need time to ourselves and to think.
7. Find a Hobby to Focus on
When you find youself down and with nothing to do it can help to find a new hobby to keep your mind occupied and avoid thinking about your mental health.
One of the ways I did this was by starting a blog.
It provided a great opportunity to express my emotions as well as put my writing skills to the test. It’s a passion of mine that I’ve had for some time and is something that almost anyone can do.
A hobby should be something that fulfills you, that occupies your mind. It’s all about making you happy and creating a sense of purpose.
This could be anything from going out on a hike, learning a new skill, photography, gaming, pretty much anything you think you’d like. The important thing is that you’re willing to try new things.
8. Drink Lots of Water
Did you know that dehydration can actually have an affect on your mental health? I bet you didn’t, in fact it can have quite a staggering impact, especially in the long run.
One of the simplest ways of mitigating this is to simply drink enough water.
But how much is too much?
You might hear people saying that you need 8 glasses of water per day to stay healthy. But this is somewhat of a misconception, most people do not really need this.
In fact the body already has ways of telling you that you need to drink water. My advice to you would be to drink when you feel thirsty, or when your pee goes yellow. These are sure fire ways to tell when you need a glass of water.
9. Create a Routine
An important part of taking control of your own mental health is learning to build a routine.
It’s about building goals and sticking to them. Start your day on a positive not, don’t press snooze and stay in bed all day, give yourself an hour to get things done.
When we don’t schedule things we end up rushing or panicking when things confront us. Having a routing let’s us get prepared for what life has to through at us and not leave us wondering what we should be doing.
Even when you go to bed, a good night time routine tells your body that it’s time for bed and helps you stay in control of what you are going to be doing.
10. Limit Alcohol / Smoking
Some of the two most addictive things in modern day life and in all honestly they don’t really serve any positive value in society.
Alcohol and smoking both have a negative effect on our mental health. They lead us into addiction and make it harder for us to control our mental health.
Although they might make you feel good in the short term they offer virtually no long term reward and only serve the purpose of making us feel happy in the moment.
So my last tip is to cut these out as much as possible if not entirely