8 Tips To Improve Your Mental Health
Posted: 10/15/2022 10:30 AM by
Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), Interim HealthCare is partnering with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to help spread awareness of the importance of taking care of your mental health.
Did you know that one in five adults experience mental illness every year? Did you know that 50% of chronic mental illness begins by age 14? If you experience issues with mental illness, know that you are not alone. The challenges of everyday life are hard enough but can be particularly challenging for caregivers, someone who receives healthcare at home, and even for healthcare workers.
We recognize the role that mental health plays in your overall well-being–and you should, too. Here are eight tips to help you improve your mental health, no matter what role you play every day.
1. Focus on exercise
Exercise is often praised for boosting our physical health, but just 30 minutes of exercise can make a huge difference in your mental health, too. Exercise increases the flow of serotonin in your brain, which is the “feel-good” hormone that helps boost your mood. So when you’re feeling stressed or down, move your body. Exercise can help improve your mood!
2. Keep an eye on your nutrition and water intake
Similar to exercise, your doctor wants you to make sure your diet is healthy for physical benefits. But eating a healthy diet can also help your mental health, as well. Rather than focusing on removing unhealthy foods from your diet, try to add healthy foods to your daily diet. Limit caffeine intake as much as you can, and aim for at least 60-80 ounces of water every day.
3. Get the rest your body needs
If you’re not sleeping well, your brain doesn’t have time to recharge every night. And when your body doesn’t have the quality sleep it needs to recover, this can certainly affect your overall mental health. Take the necessary steps to sleep better every night. These tips apply to everyone, not just seniors.
4. Find a relaxing activity that fits your lifestyle
If you’re a caregiver, someone with a chronic condition, or a healthcare worker, you might laugh at this one. It may be hard to think about finding the time to relax! But just like you schedule times to go to the doctor, schedule regular times for healthy activities you enjoy, such as journaling, meditation, gardening, or just taking a walk around the block. Even if you have to block it off on your calendar daily, scheduling “me time” to do something you enjoy is very important for your mental health.
5. Set goals and learn to say no
It can be overwhelming and hard to function when you have an overflowing plate every day. Try to set goals for what you need to get done one day at a time, and focus on what you have accomplished rather than what you haven’t gotten done. If you feel that you have too much on your plate, learn the art of saying “no.” It can be great for your mental health!
6. Focus on gratitude
Have you ever heard the phrase, “A heart full of gratitude leaves no room for anything else”? When times are tough, it may be hard to find things to be grateful for. But, taking stock of even the most basic things you have to be grateful for, like running water, food to eat, and breath in your lungs, can help boost your mood and give you a better perspective on life.
7. Allow positivity to take over
It can be so easy to allow negative thoughts to take over your mind every day. Simply re-directing your thoughts when you get overwhelmed by the negative can make a huge difference in your mental health. Allow the positive to take over and kick negativity to the curb!
8. Recognize when to ask for help
If these tips don’t sound possible to you, or if you’ve tried them and you’re still experiencing issues with mental illness, reach out for help. If you don’t know where to start, try asking your primary care provider for help. Or, look for mental health professionals in your area and schedule an appointment with them. Most importantly, if you are experiencing an immediate mental health crisis, reach out to one of the many hotlines that are available 24/7.
Make your mental health a priority just as much as you make your physical health a priority, every day of the year.