Self-care for mental health is different for each person. The things that renew your energy and soothe your spirit and mind aren’t the same as someone else facing similar challenges. At the same time, there are basic steps that help everyone maintain the best possible mental health.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, MindSet offers six practical tips that work for anyone who wants to actively support their own mental health. But we’re always here to answer your questions and provide mental health care any time the need arises.
Everyone needs time alone to relax and re-energize. But staying isolated from people leads to loneliness, depression, and anxiety. The longer you stay socially isolated, the higher your risk of becoming emotionally numb and wanting to avoid social interactions.
Even introverts need one or two friends they trust. It’s important for your mental health to have people with whom you can talk, laugh, and cry.
Healthy changes occur when you exercise, and not just in your muscles. Your brain releases biochemicals and neural connections strengthen when you’re active. Regular exercise promotes your wellbeing, boosts your energy, and reduces stress and tension.
Staying active improves symptoms of depression and exercise. In some cases, exercise may help depression as well as psychotherapy and medications.
You don’t need to go to the gym or stress out over how to stay active. You only need to get up and walk or go outside and run.
You can enhance the benefits by practicing mindfulness meditation as you exercise. Focusing on your body and staying mindful of the rhythm of your breathing interrupts the cycle of worry and negative thoughts that keeps running through your head.
Set the stage for sleep
Getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night is essential for your mental and physical health. If you have a hard time sleeping, set the stage by relaxing before bedtime with a warm bath or listening to music.
It also helps if you stick with a regular sleep schedule and keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet. Turning on a fan or white noise machine calms your brain. You also need to turn off all electronics because the blue light they send out alters your body’s natural sleep cycles.
Feed your brain
The foods you eat have a direct impact on your brain. Foods that make your brain sluggish, depress your mood, and sap your energy include sugary foods, fried or high-fat foods, and refined carbohydrates (white rice and white flour).
The best way to improve your mental health is by following a Mediterranean-style diet. For example, omega-3 fatty acids, dark green leafy vegetables, low-fat proteins, like fish and chicken, and nuts, seeds, and beans are all great brain foods.
Face changes head on
Whether you choose to make the change or you can’t control the circumstances, changes have a big impact on your mental health.
The best thing you can do for your mental wellbeing is to talk about what’s happening and how you feel (another reason why it’s important to stay connected). And instead of being frustrated over circumstances you can’t change, focus on the things you can change that will make you happier. Then develop a plan to make it happen.
Seek help when needed
Whenever anger, frustration, loneliness, or a mental health disorder feel overwhelming, or they affect your ability to live and enjoy life, it’s time to consider professional mental health care. At MindSet, we offer complete psychiatric care for emotional issues and conditions, such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
We also offer an innovative therapy called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). When you have a psychological disorder like those mentioned above, the electrical activity in a specific area of your brain is out of balance.
We accurately identify that area and treat it with safe, painless magnetic pulses that stimulate the neurons and restore normal brainwave activity. As a result, your symptoms improve.
Whether you have questions about the things you can do for your own mental health or you need the support of the team at MindSet, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call or book an appointment online today.