10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
April 11 2023
Tips to Help you Build Resiliency and Cope Better with Stress
Society as a whole over the past decade has come to realize just how important our mental health is to our overall well-being. In the past several years, we have become better about having much more open conversations about mental health, and we believe that can bring about great positive change in how we care for the mental health of individuals and for ourselves.
The bottom line is that when we feel good emotionally, it allows us to perform at our best. When our mental health is good, we are able to focus on the task at hand, whether it be getting the kids to soccer practice on time or writing up a proposal for work.
Good mental health also puts us in a better mindset to work on or deal with our physical health. Bettering our mental health teaches us how to deal with the stress that may come from managing a chronic health condition. Better mental health can also put us in a positive mindset that motivates us to reach health goals, such as losing weight or quitting smoking.
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of good mental health, let’s take a look at ten tips that can help improve your mental health.
1 | Take Care of Your Body
Physical and mental health are cyclical. Bettering one can help better the other. Work on taking care of yourself physically by:
- Eating nutritious meals and limiting sugary, fatty foods
- Drinking plenty of water
- Limiting alcohol
2 | Get Better Sleep
Along those same lines, better sleep can help improve our mood, decrease stress, and increase our ability to focus. To get better sleep, practice good sleep habits. Here are some tips to help you get better sleep:
- Be consistent in the time you go to bed and wake up, even on days off
- Make your bedroom dark, quiet, and relaxing
- Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature
- Avoid watching TV or using electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime (try a quiet activity such as meditation instead)
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
- Exercise during the day to help you fall asleep more easily at night
3 | Practice Gratitude or Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to get your emotions out on paper. It can also be an opportunity to show gratitude. Learning to show gratitude for even the smallest things each day can help us see the silver lining easier on even our worst days.
4 | Create a Circle of Positivity
Who we surround ourselves with can have a big impact on our mood and mental health. Cut toxic people out of your life and surround yourself with good people to create a support network. Make plans with supportive family members or friends when you need them. Also, seek out activities you love where you can meet new people. Socializing is an important part of decreasing our risk for depression and feelings of isolation!
5 | Work on Your Resiliency
Resiliency is key to dealing with stress better. To become more resilient, you need to practice good coping skills. Resiliency is about learning to roll with the punches, but it is also about learning to step back for a moment, take a breath, and then enter back into the fray with a more emotionally controlled mindset. It means you aren’t reacting to stressful things in an emotional way, but a more logical way, which can help keep you from becoming overly emotional and stressed. Some good coping skills include:
- Taking a moment to do some deep breathing exercises
- Getting up to take a five minute walk to clear your head
- Learn to see the humor in life
- Journal in the moment for a few minutes
6 | Learn to Quiet Your Mind
Meditation is a great way to quiet your mind and learn to be more present. Learning to be more present can help you cope with stress, making meditation a good long-term option for stress management. In fact, research has shown that meditation may help you feel calm and can enhance the effects of therapy. If you are just starting out with meditation, download an app that walks you through a guided meditation.
7 | Practice Self-Care
Showing ourselves some kindness and grace is important. Taking time out of your weekly schedule for some self-care allows you the time and space to show kindness and grace to yourself. Self-care can be taking a hot bath, knitting, gardening, or anything else that you enjoy. The goal is to slow down and enjoy the moment. But whatever you decide to do for self-care, be sure to actually schedule it into your week. When it is scheduled, you are more likely to practice self-care, rather than pushing it off to later.
8 | Give to Your Community
Giving to others gives us warm and fuzzy feelings. Volunteer your time to help someone else as it will help you feel good helping someone in need. Plus, volunteering is a great way to meet new people and socialize!
9 | Work on a Hobby
Hobbies give us time to decompress and can be part of a self-care routine. If you don’t have a hobby, it can be a great time to try out something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do. Hobbies have the added bonus of helping us learn new skills, which can boost our self-confidence and self-esteem.
10 | Take a Break!
Taking a break is key to mental health. This includes both breaks throughout your day as well as longer breaks, such as a vacation. These breaks allow us to refresh and reset ourselves. Breaks boost our overall happiness and help us come back ready to work hard!
Mental health can greatly affect our overall well-being. When we feel good mentally and emotionally, we are able to cope with stress better and can focus on other things, such as work, family, and bettering our physical health.
Remember that if you need help, reach out to talk to someone. It’s okay to not be okay all the time. If you are dealing with long-term depression, be sure to speak to a healthcare professional. Therapy and medications in conjunction with the above tips can help you get back to feeling more like yourself!