Mental health and mental wellness refers to an individual’s psychological wellbeing. Mental health could include various facets of one’s life including the way someone feels about themselves, the quality of their relationships and their ability to manage and cope with difficult feelings and situations. Over and above this, optimum mental health also refers to the absence of any mental illnesses and the ability to function to the best of one’s capabilities. Every once in a while, it is natural for people to experience mental health and emotional health related issues. However, taking the right steps at the right time can ensure that these lows do not sustain for very long and one can emerge from them effectively.
Here are 13 mental health related tips that can help elevate your mood, can help you become more resilient and can improve your mental health at home:
1. Make Time For Social Connections
As commonly known and heard the phrase – ‘humans are social animals’ is, it holds significant relevance because the quality and quantity of social relationships in one’s life have an effect on one’s mental health and mental wellness. While we may be connected with people through social media and phones, quality face to face interactions with people whose company you enjoy can cheer you up and energize you. Socializing gives one the opportunity to open up and share and this leads to the process of placing trust and receiving trust from others. This can help build self worth and improve your mental health. Being kind to people also helps build self esteem and can boost happiness.
2. Stay Active & Exercise
Exercising is not just good for the body but also for your brain and mental wellness. Exercising helps in improving your moods, reducing stress and anxiety and it supports your cognitive function. Physical activity leads to the release of endorphins, which are known to release stress. Exercising also releases dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine — which can help regulate your mood. Exercising even for 20 minutes a day can help with your mental wellness and can help you cope with stress.
3. Open Up To Someone
Talking and opening to someone may feel like it’s not important but it can help you feel significantly better and relatively lighter. It might feel hard at first but try opening up to someone who you trust. Talk to them about your concerns, stress and worries. Talking to someone who cares can help in calming your nervous system and in relieving stress.
4. Do Something That Pleases Your Senses
Listening to a song that calms you, squeezing a stress ball, taking a walk in the park and enjoying the sights and sounds, lighting scented candles, these are all sensory inputs that help you feel relaxed and calm. Identify what activities make you feel better and include them in your daily routine.
Meditation, yoga and deep breathing, these can help reduce your overall levels of stress. Meditating regularly is a great habit that will not just help you feel calm but can also enhance the effects of therapy.
6. Take Out Time For Leisure & Contemplation
Down time and leisure is extremely important for your mental health and mental wellness. Taking out time to relax, unwind, contemplate and reflect is necessary because it allows you the space and time to process a lot of things that you may not have had the opportunity to in your day to day routine.
7. Eat Healthy
Eating a well balanced meal that is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can improve your mood and cognitive function. A healthy diet needs to include a lot of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. The foods that can help your mood include fatty fish rich in omega-3s, nuts, avocados, beans, leafy greens and fresh fruit such as blueberries.
8. Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep or low quality of sleep can have an effect on your productivity and your mood. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may feel irritable or may not be able to concentrate well. Sleeping well, on the other hand, can recharge and rejuvenate you and can help your body and mind feel more energetic.
9. Do Things That Mean Something To You
It is very easy to get caught up in the mundane routine of work, chores, tasks and managing or running a household. But it is important to take time out for things that mean something to you and truly make you happy. This could include: engaging in work that makes you feel useful, spending quality time with people who are important to you, volunteering for charities and events and so on.
10. Set Goals For Yourself
Accomplishing goals can bring the feeling of accomplishment and it can have a positive impact on your self worth and esteem and on your overall mental health and mental wellness. Whether the goal is to lose a couple of kilos, save up money for something that you wish to buy or aiming to get the promotion you’ve been working for – the process of setting and achieving these goals can make you feel more determined and can give you something to look forward to in the near future.
11. Manage Your Screen Time Smartly
Spending too much time on your phone or on social media right before sleeping or right after waking up can have an effect on your mood and mental wellness. Reading, texting or posting stuff keeps your mind active and if you do it right before sleeping, instead of winding down, your mind stays active, and this can affect your quality of sleep. In the mornings too, instead of being on the phone, spending time looking out the window or journaling or meditating can make you feel a lot fresher and better.
12. Break Up The Monotony
Shaking things up and breaking the monotony is important. Being spontaneous can bring a lot of joy and excitement and sometimes it’s all you need to improve your mental health at home. Taking a road trip, going to a new restaurant, changing some things around the house, these are all little things that can positively affect your mood and overall mental health at home.
13. Seek Professional Help If Required
Admitting to yourself and to others that you’re struggling can be hard. But it’s the first and the most important step in improving your mental health. If talking to close family members or friends doesn’t make you feel better and if the feelings of stress, sadness or negativity linger for too long, it is important to seek professional help. You can either look for therapists and counselors online or you can ask your primary care doctor to recommend a professional therapist.