Healthy ways to improve your mental health.
Finding new ways to improve your mental health is one of the most important self-care practices you can do. With all the chaos in the world right now, stress is at an all-time high. Everywhere, folks are worrying more and feeling less calm.
Malnutrition, lack of sleep, and serious mood swings are all side effects of poor mental health. Listen, even the news anchors look like they’ve aged fifteen years over the last quarter, and they typically thrive on high impact content.
We women are hyper-focused on making the fallout from COVID-19 work and mitigating all the shifts in daily life. But this can lead us to neglect our own mental well-being. I mean, let’s face it – we’re living the real-life version of Jumanji – but kicked up to level three.
So, what can we do? It’s actually a lot easier than you think, and it starts with taking just a few minutes to focus on yourself. It’s incredible how small changes can cause a waterfall effect.
Here are a few tips on how to improve your mental well-being and get self-centered.
Be kind and forgiving to yourself, and avoid self-criticism. This is a great habit to form, as it can set a wonderful example to your kiddos on how to deal with a snag. Instead of self-criticizing, acknowledge the misstep and think of a new tactic.
Take Care of Your Body
It’s especially important to take care of yourself physically. Eating well and having a balanced diet can produce a sense of well-being. It’s why you have that sense of pride when you order a salad instead of that yummy burger.
In a systematic review conducted in 2014, children who had an unhealthy diet (saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and processed food) had poorer mental health. According to research conducted by Michigan University, studies found that a Mediterranean-style diet (fish, nuts, vegetables, fruits, grains, cereals, or unsaturated fats like olive oil) had a reduction in depression amongst participants over a six-month period.
It’s so important to get your beauty sleep. Proper sleep supports emotional well-being and healthy brain function. When we sleep, our brain is forming new pathways to help us learn and maintain new information. Quite the little wonder to think we only use 10%.
Lack of sleep has the exact opposite effect. You find yourself struggling to focus and solve problems, and this leads to negative self-value and emotional vulnerability.
Surround yourself with good people – you know, those people that when you sit with them, you let out a huge sigh. It’s like you’re subconsciously saying thank you for your energy!
Then, there are those that tend to walk the negative edge, and you feel heavy after you leave, like a cloud is hanging over you. Or, my favorite – when you see them coming and you look like a scared bunny trying to get out of eye-line.
Surrounding yourself with positive and relaxed people allows you simply enjoy the conversation or event without the stress.
Try meditating or doing relaxation exercises. A study by JAMA Internal Medicine showed that mindful meditation programs over an eight-week period had moderate evidence in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Did you know that daily meditation can also help prevent memory loss? And another bonus is that mediation can help you sleep, because of its calming and quieting effects on the brain.
Now, admittedly, I am horrible at meditating. But when I do manage to quiet my mind, I honestly have the best attitude afterward. I feel focused and centered to my goal for the day.
Give these tips a try. Small little changes can make huge improvements over time. Being self-centered just took on a whole different and powerful meaning.