There’s no better time than the present to start looking after yourself. When we think about looking after our bodies, in most cases, we think about our diets and exercise. However, a big part of looking after our bodies includes looking after our minds.
Our minds are our powerful tools and can take us to great places when used productively. However, our thoughts can consume us and so looking after your mental health is as important as looking after your physical health.
Here’s a look at a few tips that can help you gain a healthier mental state of mind.
Talking about your feelings
Talking about the way you are feeling is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength and is a vital part of taking care of your well being. Expressing how you are feeling can be a way of coping with a problem, which may also help you find a solution.
Sometimes it can be hard to describe how you are feeling to someone but by simply telling them what’s on your mind, is a start. At first these conversations many feel awkward but when developed naturally, like when doing an activity together, they can make all the difference.
From a scientific point of view, many experts have revealed that exercise releases chemicals in our brains that can make us feel better. Partaking in regular exercise can also boost self esteem as well as helping sleep at night and concentration.
When most of us think of exercise, doing specific exercises or going to the gym comes to mind. But there are more natural ways of exercises which include walking in the park, housework and gardening. Doing about 30 minutes of exercise five days a week can have a positive effect on mental health and can help boost your mood.
Food can have a lasting effect on our mental health and as the saying goes, you are what you eat. Our complex brains need a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and to function properly. Our brains need a balanced diet which consists of different types of fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, wholegrains, dairy products, fish and lots of water.
Limiting high sugar foods and drinks with high caffeine levels is a must. Reducing alcohol is a must too as it can cause lasting damage to our brains. To help your mind, you must eat at least three meals a day while drinking lots of water. Keeping a food diary can help you stay on top of what you are eating.
Take a break
Being cooped up in the same environment can be a real mood killer. A change of scenery is a must for mental health. Your brakes do need to be long and can be as little as five minutes. A few minutes to de-stress can make all the difference , allowing you some ‘me time’. A good way to do so is to download mindful apps on your smartphone which can help you with small exercises everyday.
Taking a break may include being very active, however, doing something completely different to what you were doing before is the key. It is also important for you to listen to what your body is telling you. If you are feeling tired, give yourself some time to sleep. A lack of good sleep makes our mental health suffer, reducing concentration.
Ask for help
It’s totally okay and normal to ask for help. No one is superhuman and we all need a little helping hand now and then. The feeling of things going wrong can be tiring and overwhelming. Approaching friends and family is a good place to start and they can offer you practical help or just an ear to listen.
There are also many services available if you search around. For example you may be able to join a support group or find a counselor to help you deal with feelings and problems you may be facing. As mentioned above, talking about your feelings can make you feel better and improve your mental health.