You don’t have to live with mental illness to benefit from good mental health. These tips can improve your life!
Manage your stress levels
Keeping control of your stress can make a world of difference when it comes to your mental health, especially if you live with anxiety (and anxiety is on the rise, as research suggests). There are several ways you can manage your stress levels: go out for a walk, dance to your favourite song, do some colouring, or read a thrilling new book. These tips may help you, but remember that it is a personal experience, meaning that each person uses different ways to manage their stress levels. Try different things and see what works for you!
Being in the present is important for managing stress, especially as our modern lives are in constant motion. According to Mindful, a non-profit organization, “mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” Try practicing a little mindfulness everyday.
The people around us have more of an impact on our mental health than we think. There are those who bring us joy, and other who bring us misery. Remove toxic relationships from your circle: they not only bring you down, they contribute to additional stress. Make sure to maintain your interpersonal relationships with family and friends. Close relationships with people increase your sense of support and fulfill the social aspect of your being. If you do not have close friends, get involved in your community or sign up for an activity; you will meet new people that can become your close friends!
Make sure you get the right amount of sleep
We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep, and yet we often neglect it. On average, adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you have trouble falling asleep, try deep breathing or put on background calming music. Another trick is to not look at electronic devices one to two hours before going to bed. By looking at a screen, especially in the dark if you are in bed, you are unbalancing the melatonin levels in your brain, which help with falling and staying asleep.
Follow a healthy diet
What we eat can have an impact on how we feel. If you eat too much junk food or miss out on important nutrients, your body will be negatively affected. This doesn’t mean you should avoid your favourite junk foods completely! You have to practice moderation. Insert healthier foods like fruits and vegetables in your diet, and don’t feel badly when you have the occasional indulgence.
Exercise a little every day
A lot of people groan at the dreaded word “exercise”, but there is no need to fear! Exercise can mean going to the gym and following a regimented routine, but it can also be taking a daily walk around the block. Depending on your schedule and health, there are countless ways to exercise. Even just 10 minutes at a time can make a difference. When you exercise you release endorphins in your brain, which elevate the chemicals that make you feel good.
Keep a work-life balance
Sometimes the lines between work and life are blurred, especially when our work emails are always accessible on our phones. Although it might be tempting to check that email that just came in after your work hours, don’t look at it! Make sure that there is a separation between your work life and personal life, meaning that you maintain a healthy and enjoyable personal life outside work.
Reach out to others when in need
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you are struggling. Reaching out for help is not sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. Call a friend to talk, or visit a community organization that can connect you with the resources that will best help you. AMI-Quebec is here for you. You are not alone!