4 simple tips to improving your mental health
Managing your mental health can feel exhausting and overwhelming. Many people view self-care as days at the spa or bubble baths with bath bombs, and while that may work in the moment it is important to focus on long term, daily activities that we can use to cope with our mental health. These four tips can help improve your mental health long term.
Social Connection Improves Mental Health and Physical Health
Social connection is important for people of all ages, not only does it improve your mental health, but it can also help with physical health problems such as pain management, high blood pressure and obesity. Feelings of loneliness can shorten your lifespan as much as smoking fifteen cigarettes per day. Creating friendships and connection as an adolescent through sports teams or after school clubs can help decrease symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation as well as improve self-esteem throughout your lifespan.
Many adults struggle with the ability to connect and create friendships as they get older. Joining group fitness classes, book clubs, adult sports leagues, and other hobby-oriented groups are a good way to find meaningful connections while improving your mental and physical health.
Creating a balance between work and life can improve your overall mood.
A balance between work and life may seem impossible, especially when you struggle with mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. Over 75% of American’s think they will be punished for taking a day off to work on their mental health, this leads to digestive problems, exasperated mental health conditions, and sleep problems. So how can you create a balance between work and life?
How do you create a work life balance?
Creating daily achievable goals can greatly increase your mood at work and reduce any stress. Working towards daily goals can also help you focus on deadlines.
Take breaks when you start feeling overwhelmed. Getting fresh air and taking a walk can help improve your mood. Taking short breaks can also increase productivity by keeping your mind clear.
Using meditation, prayer, light exercise or daily positive affirmations can help you get through any stressful life moments at work, or at home!
Unplug from technology for one hour a day either before or after work. This can help you focus on your time with your family or loved ones. Unplugging can also give you time to work on any hobbies you may have, without distraction.
Laughter improves mental health in more than just the moment.
Laughter can cause a decrease in the stress hormones and releases endorphins, making you feel better in the moment. When struggling with negative thoughts or going through difficult times, finding something funny to distract yourself can help keep you feeling better. Occasionally finding humor in the circumstances of life can lift your mood and help people deal with uncomfortable or difficult feelings. Finding a comedian that you like and watching them in times of distress, writing down one funny thought or memory in a daily journal, or talking to friends and family that understand your humor can increase your mood, your immune system and relieve anxiety.
Owning a Pet Greatly Increases Mental Health
Did you know that owning a pet can decrease stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and improve your mood? According to studies done by National Institute of Health, owning a pet can also help children develop social and emotional skills by increasing feelings of support, as well as decrease feelings of loneliness. Something as small as owning a pet fish or as big as a dog, can help increase your mood. While owning a pet may not be a feasible option for you, there are other ways to get the good feeling of being around animals, such as volunteering at a local shelter or starting a dog walking business.
Are you struggling with a crisis?
If you or someone you know has tried everything and still feels hopeless or trapped by there mental health condition, ask for help. You don’t have to ever live in the shadows of your mental illness again when you chose recovery. Recovery from your mental illness is possible, and its only one phone call away.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts please call 911.