Life today is busy. It’s stressful and difficult at times—for everyone. And sometimes your mental health can suffer. The World Health Organization states that one in four people will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.
World Mental Health Day is October 10. It’s recognized worldwide on this date every year with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
Recognizing World Mental Health Day, here are ten things you can do to protect and care for your mental health.
Let’s start with the one we’ve seen firsthand help people improve their lives—both physically and mentally.
Studies have proven that your body releases stress-relieving and mood-boosting endorphins when you exercise. This makes physical activity a powerful antidote against stress, anxiety, and depression.
Experts have found that getting just 30 minutes of exercise daily will give you these mood-boosting benefits. At Jesse James Fit & Outlaw FitCamp, we can build workout sessions—tailored just for you—that give you everything you need in just a 30-minute session.
This is one of the most powerful ways you can improve your mental health. Give us a call and let us show you how we can help!
2) Get enough sleep
Mental health can really suffer if you are consistently not getting enough sleep. Getting plenty of rest is important for both your mind and body. Sleep is so important to your well-being, in fact, that we recently wrote an entire blog post about it. You can read it here: Strategies for Better Sleep and Why It’s So Important.
3) Talk about your feelings
Open up to someone. Talking about your feelings can improve your mental health and help you cope with difficult times.
Even if you spend just a few minutes a day at it, meditation is something everyone can do to improve their mental and emotional health. If you haven’t tried it before, don’t be intimidated by it. It’s not complicated! To reap the benefits, all you really need to do to is take a few minutes to calm down and focus on your breathing. If you don’t know where to start, just sit quietly and focus on breathing in and out, slowly, for two minutes.
There are endless videos on YouTube that will walk you through beginning meditation. Give it a try!
5) Eat well
Food can have a long-lasting effect on your mental health. Your brain needs a variety of healthy nutrients to function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. Vegetables and fruits are full of nutrients that feed every cell of your body, including the ones that affect mood in your brain chemistry.
6) Consider cutting back on alcohol
For many people, there’s nothing wrong with drinking in moderation. But if you’re drinking to alleviate feelings of stress, this is a very temporary fix. It can keep you from doing what it takes to actually work on your problems. Alcohol never solves any problems long-term, but it can create new ones. Always drink in moderation.
7) Take a break
Sometimes just walking away from stressful situations is the best thing you can do. A change of scenery, or a change of pace, can be very good for your mental health. Taking a break may be doing something active for some people, or just backing away and doing nothing for a while for others. The point is to step away and do something different until you feel better. This can be anything from just breathing for a few minutes, to heading out of town for the weekend.
8) Care for others
Helping others almost always makes you feel better. Plus, if you volunteer to help those less fortunate, it helps you see the world from another angle. This puts your own problems in perspective. Research shows that helping others makes you feel better about yourself and increases your feelings of well-being.
9) Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
One way to greatly increase your mental health is to pay attention to how your internal dialogue speaks to you. Saying positive things in place of the negative ones you may be saying to yourself greatly increases your well-being and mental health. We think this an important habit to get into and wrote a blog post about it recently: Can You Tell that Voice in Your Head to be More Positive?
10) Ask for help
Before you let problems get out of hand, take the step to get some help. This could be from a friend, a family member, your family doctor, or a mental-health professional. None of us are superhuman. When things are overwhelming, be willing to ask for help.
Take care of your health—physical and mental
It’s so important to take care of your mental health. If the steps you can take yourself don’t help, please see a professional. There are all sorts of treatments, medications, and counseling to get the help you need.
It may be enough, however, to just make sure you’re practicing all the important beneficial habits we’ve discussed.
And if you don’t currently have a daily workout routine, give us a call. Let us show you how a personally-designed fitness plan can be good for you—not only physically but for your mental health as well.