What’s it like at the start of a new year? I would venture to say for most people that it’s a time of reflection and for some, re-evaluating their lives. I am constantly telling my clients in my private practice to do positive things daily, to help better their mental health.
10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
In this short video, I describe 10 things you can do to improve your mental health on a daily basis. Your mental health as well as your physical health need a balance and it’s important to do a check-in regularly to see if they are matching up!
Here are some of the key points I discuss in this video that I believe are essential to maintaining great mental health.
This list comes from the following website: https://www.uhs.umich.edu/tenthings
1. Value yourselfTreat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favorite projects, or broaden your horizons. Do a daily crossword puzzle, plant a garden, take dance lessons, learn to play an instrument, or become fluent in another language.
2. Take care of your body
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health.
Be sure to:
- Eat nutritious meals
- Avoid cigarettes
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise, which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods
- Get enough sleep
Researchers believe that lack of sleep contributes to a high rate of depression in college students.
3. Surround yourself with good people
People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group.
4. Give yourself
Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. You’ll feel good about doing something tangible to help someone in need — and it’s a great way to meet new people.
5. Learn how to deal with stressLike it or not, stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills: Try One-Minute Stress Strategies, do Tai Chi, exercise, take a nature walk, play with your pet or try journal writing as a stress reducer. Also, remember to smile and see the humor in life. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body, and reduce stress.
6. Quiet your mind
Try meditating, mindfulness, and/or prayer. Relaxation exercises and prayer can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. In fact, research shows that meditation may help you feel calm and enhance the effects of therapy.
7. Set realistic goals
Decide what you want to achieve academically, professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to realize your goals. Aim high, but be realistic and don’t over-schedule. You’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth as you progress toward your goal.
8. Break up the monotonyAlthough our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road-trip, take a walk in a different park, hang some new pictures, or try a new restaurant. See Rejuvenation 101 for more ideas.
9. Avoid alcohol and other drugs
Keep alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other drugs. Sometimes people use alcohol and other drugs to “self-medicate” but in reality, alcohol and other drugs only aggravate problems.
10. Get help when you need it
Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness and addiction and lead full, rewarding lives.
Thank you for watching my video! I wish you great health and happiness in the New Year. If you are struggling and need counseling, please contact me at my information below. God bless you and take good care.
“Dandelion,” courtesy of Aleksandr Ledogorov, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Beach walk,” courtesy of Ana Gabriel, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Pebble piles,” courtesy of Tyler Milligan, unsplash.com, CC0 License