5 mental health tips

5 Mental Health Tips That Will Improve Your Life

I have found the following mental health tips to be of utmost importance in my life. I recommend these to friends, family, and clients. Why? Because they work. Sure, there are other tips you can add to your daily routine to improve your mental health, but I have found that adding just these five tips will help lift your spirits tremendously. Try them and let me know in the comment section how they are working for you.

1. Get 30 Minutes of Activity Daily

The tried-and-true goal is to get 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 times per week. I’ll admit, this was not an easy task for me. So, to make it easier and more enjoyable I did some form of physical activity in 10-minute chunks of time. And I must admit, it does help with alleviating anxiety and lifting the blues. Personally, I love to walk in nature. Studies have shown that being in nature improves cognition and your mood. You can read all about the benefit of green and blue spaces in an article from the American Psychological Association.

2. Eat Healthy Foods

I’m sure you have heard to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and there are many reasons for this. Lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, reduce risk of stroke and heart disease, support digestive health, stabilize blood sugar just to name a few. But did you know that fruit and veggies can have a beneficial effect on your mental health? I wrote an article on how vitamins and minerals can affect your mood. You can also download and print a free checklist to assist with planning your meals. Also, make sure to include plenty of omega 3 fatty acids like salmon, spinach, flax seeds, mangos, and kidney beans.

3. Get Social

No one would ever call me a social butterfly. I’m just not! I love to study, read, and write which in turn leads to isolation. Isolation leads to increased depression and anxiety. I had to push myself to get social. I’ve pushed myself into many group activities, but my favorite is Celebrate Recovery by far. I have found that most people think Celebrate Recovery is strictly for drug and alcohol abuse. It’s not! So, what is Celebrate Recovery (CR)? CR is a 12-step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain, or addiction of any kind. I attend for anxiety, depression, and grief and I have found others in CR struggle with the same issues. For more information you can visit their site.

There are other groups you can seek out to get social. For instance, Meetup, which is a site where you can meet people, make friends, and find support. They have been around for 20 years and have groups where you can meet new people that share your interests.

4. Improve Your Sleep Habits

Your mental health can affect your sleep and your sleep can affect your mental health. So, what can you do?

  • Start by having a regular bedtime routine.
  • Decide when you are going to go to bed and stick with that time every night.
  • Turn off your electronics because they emit a blue light that tricks you into thinking it is daytime.
  • A warm bath can help you feel tired and relaxed.
  • Listening to music, white or pink noise, such as waves or rain, can improve sleep quality.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages before bed. Chamomile and lavender tea have a calming effect.
  • Make your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet. You can use blackout curtains and set the room temperature to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Reading a book is also sleep inducing if it’s free of suspense, action, and drama.

5. Practice Meditation

Meditation is calming and has a positive effect on mental health. And according to Headspace, there are 16 types of meditation and hundreds of techniques. All have positive benefits. Such as reducing stress, increasing focus and clarity, improved self-esteem, and self-awareness, as well as a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms.

I have practiced Transcendental Meditation (TM) since the 70’s and find it enjoyable and easy to do. There are hundreds of evidenced based studies supporting the positive effects of TM.

Whichever method of meditation you choose, I am sure you will find it calming. Please let me know the meditation technique you practice and share the positive effects in the comment section below.

Mental Health Tips: Final Thoughts

It is my belief that if you put these mental health tips into practice, you will see an improvement in your depression and anxiety symptoms.

However, if you find yourself struggling, seek professional help. You can find a list of therapists in your area by visiting Psychology Today.

I have created a one-page handout “5 Mental Health Tips” to help you stay on track. Click on the image to download your free printable.

5 mental health tips

All the best,

Diana Young, RD

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