Tips for Prioritizing Your Mental Health in 2021
Depression and anxiety can be situational or the result of a chemical imbalance. Whatever it is, it's easy to dig yourself into a rut out of which it's difficult to escape. You must practice self-care all the time, but especially when you're feeling these negative emotions. After all, you can't be a support to anyone else if you're not well yourself. There are several ways to boost and maintain your mood and pull yourself out of that hole. It will be an everyday process, but it will be worth the effort to give yourself a more positive outlook.
Meditation can be a great way of clearing your mind and sharpening your focus. Participating in relaxation efforts will also benefit your mental health awareness. When you're dealing with depression and anxiety, it can be challenging to stop your mind from racing, but once you learn how you should notice a significant improvement in your mood. If you're finding it difficult to calm your mind enough at first, you might consider taking a form of cannabidiol such as CBD gummies, which can benefit many aspects of your health; it's particularly great for lowering anxiety. The aroma of essential oils like lavender or citrus can also relax your mind and boost your mood, making it easier to concentrate.
Mindfulness is an excellent type of meditation technique that only allows you to remain in the present and prioritize your mental health. You don't even have to be sitting still to do this form of meditation; you can practice it while you're doing any task that requires minimal thought. Whether lying down or washing the dishes, concentrate on only being in the moment. Think about all of your senses and what you're feeling at that particular moment in time. Don't let your mind wander to the past or the future. Spending some time each day practicing mindfulness will make it easier for you to focus your mind when you get stressed and will give you a little time to escape to a relaxing place in your mind each day. It can also help you to sleep better at night.
Whether at home, the office or your vehicle, clutter can cause more stress and anxiety than you may realize. Make some time to clear out some of the clutter. It can help to make three piles: trash, donate and keep. Make sure that you only keep the things that you really want or need. Once you get everything separated, create an organizational system to help avoid collecting clutter again.
Adding routine physical activity to your daily life can make a big difference in how you see the world. It doesn't have to be anything complicated or strenuous. Even a 30-minute moderate-paced walk five days of the week can make a difference in how you feel. Walking is good since it's versatile and you can usually find someplace to take a walk, wherever you are. It's also easy on your knees (unlike running) but still gives you a good workout. Walk at least 45 minutes at a moderate pace, and you're likely to discover that your endorphins (some of your body's natural feel-good chemicals) kick in. You may also enjoy going to the gym for the diverse equipment available or social interaction. Maybe take a dance, yoga or spinning class. Check out some of the infinite numbers of online workout videos. Anything to get your up and moving that gets your heart rate up for a few days a week is excellent for your overall health.
When depression and anxiety are beating down on you, you usually don't feel like going out and socializing. However, visiting with loved ones or even a phone call to a friend could be the best thing for you at that time to prioritize your mental health. It'll remind you that you're not alone. Even if you don't talk to them about your feelings, just having some time with people with whom you're close can put you in a better frame of mind.
Create and Work Toward Goals
Depression and anxiety can weigh you down, making you feel very unmotivated to do anything, even things that you would typically enjoy. It's especially difficult to be motivated to do anything productive. An excellent way to practice your mental health awareness, though, is to set goals. Think about short-term and long-term things you want to accomplish and write them down. Then, write down actionable steps you can take toward achieving the goals. Executing a plan, even a tiny one, can feel like a real accomplishment. This could set you on an excellent path to being motivated to achieve more.
Consistently eating a nutritious diet will benefit the health of your body and mind. Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, eat lean meats and try to keep carbs and caffeine to a minimum. Be sure to include many probiotic-rich foods (e.g., yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles) into your diet. These foods will help the healthy bacteria in your gut to thrive, maintaining a regulated metabolism. Having a healthy metabolism will boost your energy levels and your mood. If you can't seem to get enough nutrition through your diet, try adding a supplement.
Learn to Say "No"
Life can get overwhelming at times, especially if you're already feeling depressed, anxious or stressed. Try not to overload your life with commitments that will only give you more anxiety. Let go of anything that you don't want to do that's not required if it's giving you stress. You can save that energy for more important things.
Try to begin and end each day with something positive. You might blast your favorite song on your commute to work or listen to your favorite morning radio show. Maybe it'll be some playtime with Fido or Fluffy before you leave for work. You could end your day unwinding with a good book or podcast while having a hot cup of tea.
Everyone loves having something to which they can look forward. Plan different activities for yourself that you can enjoy and eagerly anticipate. Whether it's a vacation or just a relaxing evening after work reading a good book while soaking in a bubble bath, treating yourself will go a long way in your mental health. Completely unplugging occasionally, even for just a few hours, is also extremely beneficial. Don't be afraid to take a mental health day from work if you're feeling more overwhelmed than usual one day.
Keep News and Social Media to a Minimum
Although you don't want to be out of the loop as far as what's going on in the world, you mustn't let yourself get inundated with it. Most of what you see on the news seems negative and can bring on even more negative feelings if you're already feeling down. Social media can also become overwhelming after a short time. While it's good to keep in touch with friends and look at funny memes, there's also a lot of drama. It's easy to get caught up in the negative emotions expressed by some people on social media which can harm your mental health.
Natural sunlight is essential for maintaining your wellbeing, both physically and emotionally. Try to go outside for a little while every day to get some rays and vitamin D. It'll increase your energy and boost your mood. If you don't have windows close to your work location, you might consider investing in a light therapy lamp, which simulates daylight.
Ask for Help
It's good for everyone to have at least one person with whom they can confide. It's crucial that these people listen openly and don't judge you. Keep in regular contact with these people, whether in person, on the phone or video chat. Let them know that you're there for them, as well. It's crucial that people feel heard, especially people who are experiencing depression. There are also different forms of counseling you can seek if you don't feel comfortable speaking with family or friends. You no longer have to physically go to a counseling appointment; several online chat and video chat options are available.
One helpful way to decrease anxiety and depression is to understand what they look like for you. How do you usually respond when you're anxious or depressed? Many people have a different way of reacting toward these feelings; some are more irritable, some people sleep a lot, some people find that eating or drinking is soothing during these times. You can learn a lot about yourself and your mental health awareness by identifying your stress response. This connection can more easily allow you to figure out healthy coping mechanisms for stress. You may find that journaling or doing artwork helps. You may discover that meditation or exercise reduces your stress levels and boosts your mood. It could take some trial and error to figure out the details, but you'll find that you're much more content when you know how to better control your negative feelings and have an outlet for them.
Prioritizing your wellbeing is critical for maintaining your mental and physical health. Begin today developing a daily self-care regimen, and you'll discover that you're feeling better in no time.