It’s no secret that we’re supposed to take care of ourselves physically – but what about our mental well-being? While it may not be in the spotlight as much, it’s just as important – and can even affect our physical well-being sometimes, too.
You'd be surprised at how much our mental health affects everything else in our bodies, from our skin to even our mood and energy levels. With this in mind, let's take a look at five ways of improving your mental health.
There's nothing like volunteering your time or resources to get out of your own head for a bit and improve your mental health overall. Volunteering can be a great self-esteem booster, as well as offering feelings of value and worth because you are actively helping other people.
It’s easy to check out what’s going on in your local community – all you have to do is look at your local notice board, or even go online and do a bit of research. There’s always something to help with, and with all of the benefits of helping others, it’s no wonder that this can be beneficial for your mental health.
This may sound like nothing more than common sense, but you'd be surprised how many people either choose not to or forget to communicate their feelings. No matter who you have in your life right now, whether it's your entire family or just one friend, it's vital to communicate consistently.
From financial stress to issues within a relationship, the more you talk and communicate about how you feel around these topics, the less you’ll be carrying around by yourself. If you keep it all in, the weight of it begins to take its toll, which can directly affect your mental health.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is similar to communicating your feelings with others – it allows you to get out whatever is going on inside. Often, being able to write out how you feel about the events of the day or week can help you reconcile your response to them, and process them mentally.
Whether you write in your diary once a day or once a week, this simple exercise can help you manage things like anxiety and stress.
Curb Your Vices
There’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine with dinner – but do you find yourself tempted to have a bit more? Especially if it’s been a hard day, the temptation to self-medicate with our vices is a hard one to resist.
If you’ve got some bad habits that need breaking, try tackling them one by one. Alcohol has been associated with mental health issues like depression and anxiety, so there is every reason to put things into perspective and begin prioritizing your mental well-being.
How busy is your day-to-day? How much time do you have left over once you've worked a full day, picked the kids up from school, cooked dinner, and ran the bath? There's a good chance that you feel like you simply don't have any time to decompress from your busy, stressful life.
Fitting in small amounts of decompression time is a great way to look after your mental health. Whether it's 30 minutes of TV at the end of the day, or a short walk with the dog after you drop the kids off at school, it's essential to have some 'me' time as often as you can.