Simple Tips to Improve Your Overall Mental Health
I hung up the phone and immediately started to cry. I felt overwhelmed by my endless to do list. I was going a million miles an hour without taking a breath.
It was then I realized I needed to inhale.
Mental health is a priority. It has to be. I know that when I don’t make it a priority, I don’t function properly. This typically occurs when I catch myself on autopilot, not present in my own body, soul and mind. I know I need to pause and check-in with myself, asking what it is that I need in that moment. That need is then usually met with the permission to do what I need to do to take the best care of myself. If you don't give yourself permission to do the things that lead to health you will never be as healthy and happy as you could be. I need to give myself the time for self-care which helps me feel more balanced in my overall mental health.
Being mindful of our own mental health is important for us to feel the balance of what we need and what is reasonable. It’s a way to re-charge, breath deep, and spend time doing the things that fuel us. I have put together a quick list of evidence-based tips to improve your overall mental health. Try one or two of these a week and track your emotional well-being in a quick little journal (even if it’s on your phone). You will be surprised that when you implement things into your daily life, things WILL start to improve.
Let's get to the facts.
7 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health:
Spend time with people you love: We all love to feel heard and valued. Who are those people in your life that you enjoy spending time with? When was the last time you saw them? Spending time with people you love can bring you joy and provide support when times are difficult.
Try something new: Learning a new skill and trying new things such as traveling, or meeting new people can refresh your soul and bring energy to your life. Make a list of all of things you want to learn or are interested in trying and pick one you will start this month.
Volunteer: Give back and get involved! It always feels good to help those in need, and there is always a need. Look on your city council website for volunteer opportunities, or help a friend accomplish any upcoming projects they may have. Giving back not only helps those in need, but it can actually help you live longer. A Harvard article discusses the benefits of volunteering, resulting in lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.
Get to know your community: We are wired for connection! Feeling connected to people is an important part of staying healthy. A lack of contact with others can contribute to feeling lonely and disconnected. A great way to get involved in your community is to look at the local events calendar in your city, or introduce yourself to a neighbor.
Exercise, eat well and get enough sleep: These are great ways to feel healthy, improve a negative mood, and create overall balance in your life. For example, exercising daily for about 20 minutes, even if it’s a short walk will increase your health. According to the CDC, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Set goals: Structure can provide stability and purpose in your day and can help you manage your time well. Try beginning your day by writing a list of 2-3 things that are on your mind or that you would like to accomplish. Then create a goal for each of those items. If you don’t meet all of your goals in one day, that is okay! This is when practicing grace for yourself is important. You can always add it to your list the next day.
Work in a job you love: Find a job that is meaningful to you, and can provide you with a sense of purpose. A New York Times article looks at this deep psychological state known as “flow.” It occurs when you are so immersed in an activity that you lose track of the passage of time and ultimately can become an expert in something. By choosing to focus on pursuing what you love, you’ll enjoy the long hours you spend in your lifetime at work. Not sure what that is for you? Try job shadowing for a day or become and intern at a place that interests you. Take a personality test or career test to determine what might be a good fit for you. At Novo Life Counseling, we can provide you with this assessment. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.
What are some ways you’ve improved your health and well being?
If you want to talk more, don’t hesitate to contact us! You can reach me directly at Leanne@novolifecounseling.com. If you want to book an in person or Telehealth session with me you can do that here.
Founder, Novo Life Counseling