Taking care of your mental health is absolutely critical to overall personal wellness. To some, caring for your mental health might sound like a vague, somewhat nebulous concept. The term “mental health” encompasses your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. This means improving your mental health will probably be accomplished through many different channels—some physical and some mental.
With this in mind, you might be wondering how you can begin improving your mental health on a day-to-day basis, starting now. Establishing a routine that supports your psychological well-being can make all the difference in the world. The following mental health activities can easily be embedded into your normal routine and can help relieve built-up stress and depressive-like symptoms.
Create A Gratitude List
While our brains like to wallow a bit while we’re feeling blue, it’s much healthier for you to focus on what’s going right in life. This can be difficult if you’re going through a particularly emotional or stressful period. But no matter what you’re experiencing in life, there are always things you can be grateful for. Studies show that people who practice gratitude daily tend to experience happiness more. Take time every morning to write down five things you are grateful for. It could totally revolutionize your mood.
Make Your Bed
Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, explains that making your bed is a pivotal habit. This means it sets in motion a series of other positive habits throughout your day. For example, he found that people who made their beds were more productive, stuck to their budgets, and had a greater sense of well-being. The added bonus of making your bed is that you’re less likely to cave into your bad mood and lie in bed all day.
Try making your bed as soon as you wake up every morning. Starting your day with an immediate task can help you feel accomplished for the rest of your day.
Take A Walk Or Go Outside
If you’re feeling down, getting some exercise might be fairly low on your list of things you want to do. However, if you can muster the motivation, exercise is usually worth the effort. Exercise releases endorphins which can act as a natural form of pain relief. Physical activity can also help relieve stress, so if recent worries are making your mood worse, you might see some improvement after a quick walk.
Spending time in nature can also help lift a low mood and relieve stress and sadness.
This is partly thanks to sunlight. Sunshine can trigger the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that improves moods. Additionally, spending time around trees, flowers, running water, and other elements of nature can also relieve your feelings of sadness and stress and benefit your overall well-being.
Pick Up A Good Book
Bibliotherapy refers to either structured or voluntary book reading with the goal of relieving mental health difficulties. It may sound silly on the surface, but reading has actually been found to decrease a person’s depressive symptoms. An act as simple as diving into a good book can calm the mind and relax the body, helping to decrease blood pressure, slow the heart rate, and more.
In particular, multiple studies have indicated that reading works of fiction can be particularly beneficial. Engaging in fiction can increase your sense of empathy by relating to characters, and also gives you really great talking points in future social interactions.
If you find yourself feeling beaten down or overwhelmed, cracking open a good book could be just what you need to get back on track.
When To Seek Professional Help
One caveat—while these tips and suggestions are researched ways you can improve your mental health, depression and continued feelings of sadness should not be taken lightly. If improving your mental health is a consistent struggle for you, you may want to set up regularly scheduled doctor’s appointments to make sure you are fully caring for yourself in the ways that you need.
Protect Your Long-Term Mental Health
If your mental well-being and general health are at the top of your priority list, you might have pressing questions about your health insurance.
If you are from the Kosciusko area and have questions about your health insurance options, set up a time to meet with insurance agent, Michael Suhany. With his years of experience, he can walk you through various insurance plans and find one that prioritizes your long-term mental health needs. Contact him today to set up an appointment.