We tend to set our goals around external things, such as business or fitness, but quite often neglect our mental health, which underlies everything we do. Mental health is our psychological and emotional wellbeing and how we manage our thoughts, behaviors, and stress. Which is why it’s so important to look after you mind, as well as your body!
Sure, our mental health is important. Vital, even. But how do you even begin to make sure you’re taking care of your mental health? Here are 5 ways you can prioritize your mental healthy – immediately!
5 Easy Ways How to Prioritize Your Mental Health
Educate Yourself on Mental Health
We all have mental health, but not everyone suffers with or has been diagnosed with a mental health problem. Whether you suffer yourself or not, it is still an important thing to be aware of. When you have a better understanding of mental health, it can help you understand yourself and your behavior better, help you deal with stress and anxiety, as well as support others around you who may be suffering with their own.
Having good mental health does not mean you don’t experience stress or anxiety; it just means you manage it in a healthier way.
Utilize Stress Management Tools
If you struggle with stress and anxiety, there are many ways you can help yourself manage these experiences. Everyone is different, so it is key to experiment with different tools to find the ones that work for you. Some of these may include journaling, breathing techniques, therapy, meditation, yoga and exercise. Seek professional help or resources to get you started.
Regular exercise can not only be a good stress and anxiety reliever in the moment, but also have the power to play an important role in your mental health. Not only does it release endorphins which enhance your mood, but it been shown to help improve your quality of sleep, reduce inflammation and increase feelings of calmness. Exercise can also release tension in the body and reduce the mental and physical lethargy that comes with mental health struggles.
Make time to move your body each day, whether it be walking, cycling, yoga, or high intensity training.
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Sometimes we get so caught up in life, that we forget to take a time out. Between work, families and commitments, when was the last time you just stopped and relaxed? Taking time out or slowing down can not only help promote calm, but also gives your mind and body time to rest and reset.
This doesn’t just mean a break from commitments, but also a break from things like social media and thinking. Often, if you struggle with your mental health, it is common to be consumed by negative thought patterns, too, which can be tiring.
Find something that allows you to take a mental and physical break from things; for example, reading a book or going for a walk.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is underestimated! In a world that seems to be moving at an unprecedented rate, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to do everything we want. Whether it is because you get stuck in a scroll hole in the evenings, are pressured by your company to work, or struggle to sleep, setting boundaries in this area can be key to your mental health.
Getting enough quality sleep is important, without it your mental health will suffer. This is because a lack of sleep can negatively affect your attention, concentration, appetite, memories, heart health, immune system and emotional wellbeing. It also leaves you more likely to reach for more caffeine, which in turn, can increase anxiety and keep you up the next time. It becomes a vicious cycle! Lack of sleep makes you agitated and even more stressed, and for a good reason too. Sleep is when your brain resets and is an essential part to your health.
Start by going to bed a little earlier and getting up at the same time everyday. This will help eliminate all the snooze alarms (over time). Health experts recommend at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
There are many other factors that affect your mental health, and many more ways to make it a priority. These 5 tips are a great place to start! If you are struggling with your mental health, don’t be afraid to seek support. There are many organizations, professionals and resources out there. Start with a close friend/family member and your general practitioner for support, and to implement a plan for moving forward.