SureFire Ways To Boost Mental Health
Life is stressful, there is no doubt about that. With the ups and downs, the nuances, and the stress that comes from different life changes, that could take a toll on our well-being. Maybe you are a single mom or dad, trying to focus on working to take care of your kids while taking night classes, maybe you are a bride-to-be, trying to plan an entire wedding for over three hundred people while focusing on your day job as an accountant. Perhaps you are single and trying to file your taxes like everyone else, but because you have no patience for long, arduous processes, and don’t have the money to pay an accountant to process all of the paperwork, you are stuck with a bunch of papers and trying to make sense of it all. The point that I am trying to make is that life is stressful, and the situations that we often find ourselves in, can lead to bouts of anxiety, depression and general mood swings. If you struggle with depression, anxiety or OCD in addition to life’s other complexities, then you know exactly what I am talking about. I am here to let you know that there is a way to manage all of the stress. It is possible to slow down, take a deep breath and hit the refresh button. Allow me to show you how.
Write it all down, no matter how ugly or disorganized you think it is, just finds a private journal and express yourself. Pour down every single thought, or epiphany that you are experiencing in that particular moment or you have experienced. It is amazing how empowering writing something down can be. It can relieve you of even the most burdensome emotions or feelings. Journaling can be a powerful way to find out what exactly is making you stressed out so that you can live a calmer, happier life. It is in a way, therapeutic and don’t feel like you have to be Williams Shakespeare before you can journal or articulate your thoughts. All you have to be is authentic to yourself at that particular time and identify what exactly is triggering you to feel the way you are feeling. It could be something that your boss said to you, it could be a smell that reminded you of your ex, it could be anything. Write it down.
Plan For Your Day a Night Before
In order to find the right system that works for you, it is important to set the right rhythm and system in place. When you plan for your day a night before, it shows that you have done your part in alleviating some (or all) of the stress that the next day could potentially throw at you. Planning is a systematic way to ensure that you are not in any way biting more than you can chew, or take too much on your plate, but you are tailoring your experience based on what you know that you can handle. It is smart and efficient time management. In planning your day a night before, always make sure that you are planning around your major events, instead of the minor events. What I mean is, when you are planning, make the difficult, time-consuming tasks a priority over the smaller, simpler tasks.
Wake Up At the Same Time Every Day
This has everything to do with the last point I just made. In order to get your body in its natural rhythm, it is very important to wake up at the same time every day and for you to do that effectively, you must understand your body’s biological clock and how it works specifically for you. Find an appropriate time and stick to it. This will help you to keep a calm and level-headed outlook on life and your day in general when you wake up. The time that you wake up, and the activities that you do thereafter set the tone for how the rest of your day is going to go.
Stretch Your Body
The ideal time to do this is in the morning, right after you wake up. The aim of stretching your body is to provide a soothing, calming relief to your entire system, but also to fully wake your body up and prepare it for the long day ahead. It is up to you to set a specific time limit on how long you want to stretch for and how it fits into your overall plan for the day.
Take Breaks Throughout The Day
Okay, so you did your due diligence. You’ve journaled, woken up at the right time, stretched, and done everything necessary to make sure that your day runs smoothly. There is one more piece that complements all of the other points that I mentioned before, and that is taking breaks. Breaks are absolutely necessary throughout the day, because often times, some days are more stressful than others. No one person day runs exactly the same every single day. Our human interactions add spice and variety to the things that we do, and the way that we do things. Sometimes those interactions completely change the course of our day or how we initially envisioned it. It is during those times that it is important (absolutely) to step back and take a breather. Breath for ten seconds, take a walk, get fresh air, do something that calms you down to avoid any stress or anxiety creeping into your day. It is important and it gives your brain a boost as well!
Eat Nourishing Meals
An important piece of attaining mental equilibrium is diet. What you eat sets the tone directly or indirectly, for how you are going to feel for the rest of the day, both physically, mentally and emotionally. Imagine drinking two bottles of beer on a Monday morning right before work. Obviously, you would be sloppy and sluggish at work the whole day and you probably wouldn’t be able to fully focus on the work that you had in front of you. On the other hand, imagine having an entire tub of ice cream every morning before work; as nice as that sounds (Ben & Jerry’s is the best!), it is not sustainable. And although it would significantly spike your sugar and serotonin levels, your waistline would suffer; trust me, I’ve been there one too many times. So what works? Nourishing meals. Eat your vegetables! You will be amazed at the power that certain foods have. Plan your meals ahead of time, (the night before) and make sure you stick to them. No cheating. You will be glad that you did.
I have given you a break down of things that worked for me and hope that it works for you as well. These are essential, small changes that you can incorporate into your day in order to see the difference. Try it, and let me know how it works for you. It isn’t hard to implement and it’s not too late to start on a New Years resolution. Every day is an opportunity to make things better, and with these lifestyle changes, you will see a great improvement in the general outlook of your days as well as your mental health. Don’t forget to be patient and graceful with yourself. This is a journey that you are on, and it is important to take baby steps.