The importance of looking after your mental health is widely accepted these days. There are plenty of awareness campaigns and online resources discussing the topic, and many celebrities are open about their own struggles with the issue. However, it’s often not clear what practical steps you should take to boost your wellbeing. To help you out, here are some top tips on how to protect and enhance your mental health.
Embrace the concept of mindfulness
Mindfulness has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years, but it’s a concept that has genuine value. It essentially means being fully present in the moment, instead of worrying about the past or the future. Give it a try by:
- Meditating or doing breathing exercises
- Using an adult coloring book
- Writing down three aspects of your life that you’re grateful for—and why—every day
- Walking alone in nature (without music or podcasts!)
Schedule self-care time
Many people find it difficult to actually get around to self-care thanks to the competing demands of work, family life and other obligations. Therefore, it can be helpful to literally schedule in a time slot in your diary for it. Block off anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour a day for your activity of choice, and be strict about sticking to it. Remember, you should not feel guilty about setting aside time to take care of yourself!
Work with a professional
If mental health is an issue that you truly struggle with, it can be extremely beneficial to work with a professional. This could be a counselor, therapist or life coach. Choosing to enlist a mental wealth expert to help you find direction or feel happier is often more effective than going it alone, as they can offer personalized guidance and provide you with the techniques and mindset you need to thrive.
Look after your physical health
Your body and mind are inextricably linked, and poor physical health is certain to have a negative impact on your mental health. That’s why you should make it a habit to:
- Exercise or do another activity every day
- Eat a balanced diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables
- Drink six to eight glasses of water daily
- Avoid vices such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol
Make sleep a top priority
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of a good night’s sleep. You should aim for seven to nine hours of good-quality shuteye every night in order to keep your body healthy, your mind sharp and your mood positive. Eye masks, blackout curtains, a comfortable bed and a cool temperature in your bedroom can all make it easier to drop off.
Build a support network
Isolation is hugely damaging for your mental health, so try to ensure that you have a support network of friends and family around you. Dedicate time to keeping those relationships strong, whether it’s through phone calls, video chats, messaging services or meeting up in person. Then you can rest assured that you’ll always have someone to turn to in times of need. Of course, it’s crucial that you make sure that you’re there for your loved ones when they need you in return!