Mental health is an important part of life as it is about your emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. Unfortunately, many people don’t focus on taking care of their mental health as much as they do their physical health, and this can be detrimental as mental health is what affects how we think, feel, and act, determining at every stage of life how we handle stress, connect with others, and even the choices we make. As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, here are five easy steps to take to start looking after your mental health:
1. Eat well
The phrase “you are what you eat” particularly rings true when it comes to helping your body stay fit and keeping your wellbeing in check. Eating unhealthy foods, consuming too much caffeine, and making junk a staple of your diet can have a long-lasting effect on your waist and your head, and fortunately so can a healthy, balanced meal.
A healthy mind starts with a healthy brain, so feed your body and brain a mix of nutritious, well-balanced foods. Make sure to listen to your body as it will tell you what’s good for it and what is not, and it is always best to consult a health professional to make sure you are eating what’s right for you.
2. Exercise Regularly
It’s not news that a healthy mind starts with a healthy body. Indeed, experts have been saying for decades that when you move and stay active, your body releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good, boost your level of mental alertness, positively affect your self-esteem, and even help with mood, stress levels, and anxiety.
So, whether you like sports or dance, swimming or hiking, pick an activity you know you’ll enjoy and have fun doing it.
Keeping everything bottled inside can make one feel lonely and take a toll on your mental health. That is why people are always encouraged to talk about what’s bothering them with someone who they trust, who is caring, and who has their best interest at heart.
This confidant can be a close friend or a therapist; you need to understand who it is you want to share your worries with and who you feel will be a real supporter.
4. Stay Connected
And by that we mean with friends and family, in real life as much as you can, and not solely virtually. Humans are social creatures. That is why healthy social bonds are an important part of caring for your mental health.
So, actively reach out to friends as often as you can and make time to connect with the people you love every day.
5. Value Yourself
You know to be kind to others. But how often are you being kind to yourself? A key tip towards improving your mental health is treating yourself with kindness and respect
Start by focusing on your positives, avoid self-criticism, and always make time for yourself.