Positive mental health is not just a destination it is also a process. It does not happen overnight and it takes hard work and intentionality to continue improving. Just because it takes hard work does not mean that improving your mental health has to always involve big things or intimidating tasks. In fact, there are many little things you can do throughout your day to create sustainable and non-overwhelming improvement!
I want to share with you five little things you can do to improve your mental health!
Call a friend
When you catch yourself in a slump or nervous about something, take a brief moment to call a trusted friend or family member. Connecting with the people we love brings feelings of joy and purpose! Having a good conversation can also energize you so once you hang up the phone you may find yourself ready to tackle the tasks of the day!
Use Artistic Expression
Words can be difficult to get out sometimes. Use your favorite median of art to communicate what you feel on the inside or just create something fun. Using your brain and hands on something purposeful re-directs your mind and relieves stress and anxiety.
Proper Hydration and Nutrition
Did you know that dehydration can make you irritable and affect your mental performance? Staying hydrated may sound silly but it is foundational to how our mind and our body work. Unfortunately, the processed foods that line our grocery store isles, while they can be yummy, they are made with many gut and brain disrupting additives! These additives can create dysfunction within our gut which is directly linked to anxiety and depression. To protect your mind and body try eating whole foods that are packed with nutrients and vitamins and aim to drink half your body weight in water a day!
Get outside and take a walk
Walking is a great easy and free way to boost your mental health. It requires no equipment and you can do it basically anywhere. Getting your body moving releases endorphins that relieves stress and boosts your mood! Even just going outside and getting some sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D which can help with depression and anxiety symptoms.
There is a saying by Levi Lusko that states “You will see more of what you stare at.” I love this quote because it is so true! If you are constantly looking at the negative or always looking for more you will never be content with what you have. A lack of contentment leads to resentment, anger, and depression. But contentment and gratitude for what you do have promotes a sense of peace and happiness. Being content does not mean you cannot strive or desire to improve. It simply means that you are grateful for what you have and patient for what is to come. To practice gratitude, start by writing down three things you are grateful for during your day. They can be big things or small things. You will begin to notice your perspective shift when you begin to focus on the good that is around you.
So get out there and practice these “5 Little Things” today, and let us know how it goes!
Madison, your resident Health Coach