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5 x Ways to help keep yourself Mentally Healthy & Strong
With so much going on in the world right now it can be sometimes tough to keep our heads up, so if you've been feeling down lately, don't worry you're not alone. When we cannot control external elements such as lock downs, it may be difficult to see family and friends, leaving us lonely and disconnected. There are plenty of things you can do however to help keep yourself mentally healthy! In this blog post, we will discuss 5 ways that will help you maintain your mental wellness even when life seems tough.
Call a family member or friend
Sometimes all you need is a friendly voice to lift your spirits. If you feel like this, why not give someone in your life a call? It could be anyone, family member or friend. Someone who's willing to listen and help get you through it. If possible, get out of the house and go for a coffee or meet at the local park. Studies have shown that talking with friends can help relieve stress, increase emotional well-being, and improve mental health. Also talking about our problems helps us to understand them, and work out how to process and handle them better, simply by verbalising them. So next time you are feeling down or stressed out, find someone to talk to!
Stay fit and active
Physical activity is a great way to release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that your brain creates. So we need to take care of ourselves physically in order to stay well mentally, and vise versa. If you don't like going out for long walks or jogging on your own, try exercising with friends at a local gym - it's so much more fun than doing it alone! You could invite them for a bike ride and tour the local bike track, or go kayaking where you can both chat and get the body moving at the same time. Physical health is just as important as mental health, and in fact they compliment each other.
Get plenty of sleep every night
Have you ever had those sleepless nights where you're actually super tired, but you just can't sleep? It sounds like an oxymoron but the the lack of sleep starts to make you feel stressed which in turn makes it even harder to sleep. It's because as humans, we need sleep. When we dream it de frags our mind and lets us relax letting go of our physical and mental pains. It's very important to make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep each night if not more, depending on your body type and how efficient it is with sleeping. If you're having troubles sleeping, try listening to some soft talking radio station or on YouTube you can find relaxation music and sounds such as rain falling. You should also make sure the room you sleep in is completely dark as sleep requires darkness. The lack of light instructs the body that it is time to relax. Light exposure at inappropriate times disrupts the biological "sleep clock" in such a way as to upset both the quantity and quality of sleep.
Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking to keep mentally healthy
Why do people drink alcohol and smoke? It's not always because they're looking for a good time. Well they might think that's why they're doing it but alcohol is often used to escape the stresses of life, while smoking cigarettes can be used to relieve anxiety or other unpleasant feelings. At first glance, these coping mechanisms might seem harmless enough, but what are the long-term effects of drinking too much and smoking cigarettes?
Long term effects include increased risk for heart disease and cancer. Smoking may also increase your risk for lung diseases like chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol has been linked with an increased risk for liver disease, brain shrinkage, depression, weight gain and more serious health problems like stroke. The fact of the matter is that these two things are super common and have an instant impact on your health. The sooner you kick the bad habits, the sooner you can get your life back on track and focus on what really makes you happy.
Maintain a balanced diet that helps with your moods (and mental health!)
A balanced diet is the key to living a healthy life. This includes eating foods that make you feel great, both mentally and physically. What are some of these foods? Foods high in Omega-3s have been found to reduce depression levels, while fruits and vegetables may help with anxiety. Eating things like dark chocolate can also be an easy way to improve your mood because it releases endorphins into the brain which makes us feel good! The more you eat right for your body, the better you'll feel overall.
When we eat foods high in saturated fat and sugar (which unfortunately makes up most fast food meals), our bodies release chemicals like serotonin which gives us feelings of happiness and bliss – think: comfort food! However, if we continue eating these types of foods over time, our "happy hormone" levels will decrease as they become used to being fed more often than not. Foods that are high in sugar also stimulate the release of insulin into the body, which is known as a fat-storage hormone. They will cause you to become overweight and dissatisfied with your appearance and this has an effect on your mental health. To keep your body healthy inside and out it is important to eat well balanced meals at regular intervals throughout the day.
So there you have it, 5 steps to keeping yourself mentally fit. Try to follow these tips and you will start noticing the difference in your own mental health. It is also important to remember that if after trying the above things you are still feeling low, experiencing persistent feelings of anxiety or depression then it is advisable to speak with your doctor. We hope this information has been helpful and was able to lift your spirits up.