Many of us are proactive in trying to protect our bodies. We exercise and try to eat well to lower the risk of disease and reduce the risk of injuries. When it comes to our mental health, we’re not quite as diligent. Just as you can protect your body, you can also take steps to lower the risk of poor mental health. In this guide, we’ll explore some simple but effective strategies.
Take time to rest
A lack of sleep is one of the most common causes of stress and it can also put you at greater risk of anxiety, depression and mood swings. Most of us live our lives at a frantic pace and we don’t take the time we need to wind down, relax and rest. If you feel like you’re always spinning multiple plates, or you have a neverending to-do list, try to ensure that you make time to unwind and recharge your batteries. Take regular breaks during the working day and block out evenings or weekends to enjoy activities that help you to feel calm. Establish an evening routine, which enables you to relax, and aim to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Experts recommend around 7 hours of sleep per night for adults.
Recognize when you need help
Most people wouldn’t hesitate to pick up the phone if they had an injury or they were experiencing symptoms such as a skin rash, recurrent headaches or back pain. When it comes to symptoms that affect our minds, however, we are much more reluctant to seek help. Recognize when you need support and advice. We all have days when we don’t feel great, but there is a difference between natural human emotions and signs of mental illness. If you are worried about how much you’re drinking, you’re taking prescription medication to get through the day or deal with stress, you feel low for prolonged periods, or you find it impossible to switch off, consult your doctor. There are solutions and treatments available. From reading American Addiction Centers reviews online and speaking to a therapist to taking medication and joining group support sessions, there are options to explore. Reaching out can be the hardest step, but it can also be the most rewarding.
How often do you make time to hang out with friends, indulge your hobbies or get away for the weekend and discover new places? For many of us, life revolves around going to work, running a household and looking after others. It’s so important to try to find a balance and allow yourself time to have fun. Make the most of evenings and weekends with your family, spend some time alone doing activities that you love and treat yourself occasionally. We all deserve to have fun.
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good
Our relationships with others can impact our mental health dramatically. Some relationships have an incredibly positive impact, but this is not always the case. Devote time to people who lift you up and make you feel good and limit contact with anyone who puts you down or makes you feel worthless. Your friends and family should be supportive and caring.
Many of us prioritize our physical health over our mental wellbeing. This year, make it your mission to protect your body and mind.