The idea of taking care of your mental health has gained a fair bit of attention recently, and for good reason. For too long we have only paid attention to our physical health – mental health was not just ignored, it was actively buried, because of archaic and unhelpful notions about mental health.
But thankfully people have started realising that mental health is just as important as physical health, if not more.
So in that spirit, here are ten things you can do to take care of your mental health:
1. Look after your physical health
In the same way, your mental health impacts your physical health, the opposite is also true. This is why we don’t feel so good mentally when we are ill.
So take care of your physical health.
This doesn’t need to be complicated – the basics are really all you need:
- eat healthily
- sleep well
- drink plenty of water
Your physical health is just as important as your mental health
2. Manage your stress
Stress is one of the main reasons why we fall sick. So it won’t come as a surprise that managing your stress will help you take care, and improve, your mental health.
Meditation is one of the best ways to manage your stress levels.
There are other things you can do that can help you manage your stress, like:
- breathing exercises
- working out
- art therapy
- walking in nature
Stress is a silent killer
3. Help others
There are many reasons why helping others is a good thing – add one more: it helps your mental health.
Helping others makes us feel better, which in turn boosts our mood. It also helps us connect with others and helps improve our self-esteem and confidence.
Help others – it will not have a positive impact on their lives, it will improve your life too.
Helping others improves your life as well as others
4. Have good people around you
Ever heard how it is important to have good people around you? It is true – the people that you surround yourself with (advertently or inadvertently) has a huge impact on your life, including your mental health.
If the people around you are always negative and critical – guess how that will impact your mental health.
Conversely, having supportive, positive and caring friends and family can really improve and strengthen your mental health.
If the people you have in your life currently aren’t that great, make some new one friends. It’s never too late to find good people to have in your life.
Have good people in your life
5. Respect yourself
How you feel about yourself matters. If you don’t have respect yourself, your mental health will suffer.
Self-compassion is important, and makes a big difference in your mental health.
There’s more though – according to the latest research on self-compassion, being kind to yourself not only improves your mental health but also has tangible physical health benefits.
So give it a shot – trying being kinder to yourself.
Valuing yourself is important
6. Practice calmness
One of the main signs that our mental health isn’t great is an increased level of mental agitation. When that happens, worries get amplified, things seem much worse than they actually are.
So how do you manage this incessant internal chatter?
Try relaxation strategies, like:
They all help you get a handle on the relentless chatter and helps improve your state of mind.
Consistently practicing them helps you get better and better at being calm, and managing your internal chatter and stress levels.
The more you practice staying calm, the better you will get at it
7. Don’t overwhelm yourself
It is a common tendency to take on too much and try to do lots.
It’s good, having high aspirations and being ambitious. What is not good, however, is consistently stressing and overwhelming yourself.
There’s no reason why you can’t achieve lots without overwhelming yourself – it starts with realistically reviewing what you can do. For instance, if you consistently miss doing all the things on your task list, it’s time to review how many things you put on your list and reduce them.
You can be effective without overwhelming yourself
8. Avoid intoxication
Intoxicating substances like alcohol may seem fun and entertaining, but they don’t help promote good mental health.
Intoxication causes chemical imbalances in our brain, which usually does more harm than good to our mental health level.
So be careful of what you put into your body.
Be careful of what you put into your body
9. Try new things
Routines and habits are great – they simplify our lives and makes it easy for us to carry on doing the things we absolutely need to do without having to constantly think (or worry) about them.
As great as they are though, we also crave stimulation. There’s a reason why we look for adventures and changes.
Trying new things is actually a good thing – it stimulates our brain, keeps things fresh, keeps us engaged. This is a great way to take care of and improve your mental health.
Try out new things from time to time
10. Ask for help when you need it
One of the main reasons why mental health has taken so long to gain attention is because of the stigma surrounding it (especially for men).
For too long we were led to believe that mental health problems were something to be ashamed of and not something to be discussed openly.
Thankfully that’s not the case anymore, and there is a lot of awareness around the topic.
But there’s still a lot of stigma around asking for and getting help, with mental health issues.
Here’s the thing to understand – contrary to popular belief, asking for help does NOT make you weak. If anything, not asking for help does.
The longer you go without getting the help you need, the more complicated the problem will become and the more suffering it will cause.
So if you experience mental health challenges, don’t stay quiet.
Ask for help.
Asking for help does not make you weak
To recap, here are the 10 tips for better mental health:
- Look after your physical health
- Manage your stress
- Help others
- Have good people around you
- Respect yourself
- Practice calmness
- Don’t overwhelm yourself
- Avoid intoxication
- Try new things
- Ask for help when you need it
You now have at your disposal ten ways to take care of and look after your mental health.
These are all useful ideas, but they will only help if you actually implement them in your life.
Look after your mental health, as without sound mental health, your overall health will suffer.
Which of these tips did you find most useful?
Let us know in the comments what you think of these tips on how to take care of your mental health. Also, let us know if you have any additional tips.
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