6 Daily Habits To Improve Your Mental Health
When it comes to improving our physical health, we all pretty much know what we need to do. Eat healthily, exercise, get your steps in, don't eat too much sugar...the list goes on.
But when it comes to how to improve our mental health, it can seem a lot more challenging!
If you went to the gym for 3 hours once a month, you wouldn't see much of a physical improvement...but if you went for 10 minutes a day, you would see a considerable difference in a month!
The same logic applies to your mental health. Little habits performed consistently lead to a long-term improvement in your mental health.
So, here are 6 simple daily habits to help you improve and maintain your mental health!
1. Get out into nature
We weren't built to sit in front of screens all day. Getting out into nature has been proven to improve your mood and reduce stress. The beauty of nature is its diversity. You can choose to go for a wild swim, head for a hike, take up gardening, and so much more.
Make a conscious effort to get out into nature every day. That can be as simple as a 25-minute walk on your lunch break.
2 - Drink enough water
We all know we should probably drink more water. Did you know that even mild dehydration can lead to low moods? Our brains are 75% water: so it makes sense that a lack of H20 can lead to poor mental health.
How much water you should drink depends on your height, weight, and activity level. In general, though, 2.5 litres is a good place to start.
3 - Get enough sleep
Your mental health and sleep are closely connected. A short-term lack of sleep can lead to low mood, fatigue and irritability. Chronic sleep deprivation increases your risk of developing a mood disorder, like anxiety or depression.
Our sleep needs vary from person to person, but you should generally get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
If you struggle to sleep, try turning off any blue-light-emitting devices 45 minutes to 1 hour before you want to get to sleep. Instead, try and do something relaxing, like reading a good book, having a nice cup of tea, and lighting your favourite candle (just remember to blow it out)!
4 - Get sunlight
The darker winter days tend to lead to an increase in low mood for many people. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and is thought to be caused by inadequate sun exposure in the winter.
Try and get 30 to 60 minutes of sunlight, preferably early in the morning. Of course, this is easier said than done in the UK! One alternative is a lightbox, a device that simulates the sun's light. Try using this for 1-2 hours while you're working.
It's also worth supplementing with Vitamin D, as many of us become deficient in the winter months.
5 - Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness, meditation, yoga - all of these habits have been shown to improve our mental health.
If you're just starting out, though, don't feel you have to jump into 1-hour meditations and complex yoga poses. Try starting with 5 minutes of mindfulness a day.
Simply breathe deeply, and try focusing your attention on every part of your body - starting from your toes all the way up to your head.
6 - Create a gratitude journal
Journalling has been proven to help us process our thoughts and emotions. To journal, simply get a bit of paper, and write whatever you feel like.
If you need a bit more direction, consider a gratitude journal. Simply write down 3 things you're grateful for that day. They don't need to be big each time. They can be as simple as being thankful for a perfectly made cup of coffee!
Adding these little habits to your life makes it easier to maintain a healthy mind. Of course, life can be challenging, and sometimes things just feel too overwhelming. If you think your mental health is lower than it should be, always reach out to your doctor or a medical professional. Never suffer in silence.
Want to Feel Good now?
- Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
- Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.