Sometimes, life can be overwhelming. When things get tough, it’s important to check in with yourself about how you’re feeling. Recognizing that you need to take some time for yourself is important for your health. There are many small ways to support your mental health every day. So, take a few minutes of “me time” and try some of these tips below.
- Eat comforting foods. Studies show that certain foods, like a hearty soup, can improve your mood and decrease the sense of loneliness. It may be tempting to reach for convenient or packaged food when you’re feeling down, but healthy food leads to a healthy brain according to experts. Try to eat less sugar and get more vitamins like magnesium, which are found in most nuts, black beans, and even dark chocolate.
- Make sleep a priority. We often skip on getting enough shut-eye at night, with the average American sleeping around 6 hours or less. Always plan to get at least 7 hours per night. Not sleeping can wreak havoc on your mental health, from poor performance during the day to irritability and mood swings.
- Get up and get moving. Exercise has great physical and emotional benefits. Movement releases stress-relieving hormones in your body and helps with blood circulation. If cardio and weights aren’t your things, trying doing yoga. It’s low impact and combines breathing techniques that will relax you.
- Take a “mental health day”. It’s okay to need a break from time to time. Schedule a day off so you can focus on yourself and do something you enjoy. Taking time for yourself helps you recharge and refresh for a new day ahead.
- Stay positive. Write down positive phrases and relaxation techniques on strips of paper and keep them in a jar. You may write things like “take a deep breath” or “today is going to be a great day.” Whenever you need it, grab a strip of paper and read it aloud.
- Drink coffee, no really! A cup of coffee a day may keep depression away. Coffee drinkers have lower rates of depression on average. Coffee is also a good source of vitamins. If you are caffeine sensitive, try drinking tea instead.
- Speak (or write) your mind. Don’t let issues bottle up inside you. If something is bothering you, try writing it down on paper or keeping a journal. You can look back at how you’re feeling throughout the week – and you never know – some of the problems that upset might resolve themselves.
- Make time to see friends. Meet up with friends or family. Seeing people you care about is important. It helps you feel connected and often, they are a great support system.
- Use your time wisely. Staying organized can help you feel accomplished and more in control of your week. For example, meal prepping can help make a busy week less stressful and gives you more time later to enjoy other activities. Manage your time effectively and you will reap the benefits!
- 5-minute meditation. Take a few minutes to focus on positive things in your life and be grateful. Meditation is a technique that focuses on breathing and being mindful. Find a comfortable spot in your home or office and sit down for 5 minutes. Focus on taking deep breaths and think about something calming. You will be surprised how effective This can help recharged you.
For more information about mental health month and resources available to you, visit https://www.nami.org/mentalhealthmonth.