Have you been noticing a dip in your mental health lately? Mental health is a struggle people battle with frequently. If you have been feeling stressed, anxious, tired, and agitated more than usual, you’d be surprised just how much impact a few lifestyle changes and practicing mindfulness can affect your mood. Consider trying these helpful tips below to help improve your mental stability.
Create a Daily Routine
To help control your anxiety and stress, follow a daily routine. You'd be surprised how simple acts of consistency, such as waking up and going to sleep at the same time, can start improving your mental state. Having a daily routine helps to make planning things more simple, which lowers stress. Another option is to add a weekly chores and errands list to your routine. A weekly chores and errands list helps you visualize what your week will look like, so you can plan your schedule accordingly.
The saying, “New year, new me,” might be cliché, but setting a routine for yourself is a great way to get out of a funk. You would be surprised by how much your mood can shift just by showering and getting ready every day. Another great tip to incorporate into your routine is to dive into a new hobby. A few ideas could be painting or drawing, starting a garden, learning new cooking recipes, or learning how to meditate. Just by sticking to a routine or starting a new hobby, you will be surprised just how much it can help with your mental health and mindfulness.
Exercise and Eat Well
Although it may be obvious, making an effort to exercise a few times a week can improve stress and anxiety tremendously. The mental health benefits of exercising allow your body to release endorphins from the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. Endorphins help alleviate stress and create a feeling of well-being.
Along with exercising, incorporating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables into your meals is a no-brainer because the food you eat is your body’s primary fuel supply. A few things you should avoid putting in your body are any processed foods because they are high in sugar and lack nutrients. Eating well benefits your mental health because limiting your processed food intake can avoid the risk of inflammation in your brain. Inflammation in your brain can contribute to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, so you must be putting nutrient-rich foods into your body. [SG1]
Unplug and Practice Self-Care
Along with exercising and eating healthy, pampering yourself as much as possible is a great step to feel more confident and at ease. A few ways you can practice self-care are by taking more bubble baths, journaling your goals and thoughts, and spending some quality alone time.
A journal is a great way to work through your feelings and empty your thoughts. Like the saying, “Change your thoughts, change your life.” This is a powerful way to understand that your emotions do not control you. Start by writing down what you are currently worrying about, things you fear, and the goals you wish to achieve. Journaling is also a helpful substitute to checking social media. Studies show that social media affects your mental health significantly because of how addicting it can be.
Another way to avoid scrolling through your phone is to start reading more. There are many benefits of reading that can help with mental health. Spending time indulging in a book is a great way to relax and unwind, but it also helps stimulate your brain. By getting lost in an exciting story, it helps dim whatever is triggering your stress and anxiety at the moment.
Organize Your Finances
The burden of financial hardship can have a heavy impact on your mental health. To relieve financial stress and anxiety, take inventory of your current financial situation. First, be proactive in creating an expense budget if you don’t have one already. This is great for beginners such as post-grad students to get into the routine of budgeting. If you are married and have not discussed putting your money together, it might be a great time to share with your partner how your finances are stressing you out.
Another way to organize your finances is to create a list of future goals you want to work towards, such as buying a house, purchasing a new car, or planning new trips and adventures. Having a list of big goals is a great way to look forward to exciting life changes and give you hope.
If buying a new home is on your future-to-do list, we all know how expensive that can be, which can impact your stress. The good news is — it’s not that far out of reach. Even if you have a poor financial history, such as debt, there are still ways to buy a home. Try looking into a loan that is government-backed because they usually offer looser financial requirements. An example that is noteworthy to consider is an FHA loan. FHA loans not only have lower credit score requirements, but closing costs can often be rolled into your loan, which is beneficial if you have less out-of-pocket funds and cash on hand. Lower credit score loan options are ideal to look into, especially for students graduating from a university. By organizing and keeping track of your money now, you’ll make way more progress in achieving your future goals, and alleviate some of the stress that can come with making such a huge purchase.
Declutter Your Surroundings
It’s blinding how much your environment can impact your mental state. If your living space is cluttered, no wonder your mind is too. If you are unsure of what to clean out first, try exploring Pinterest to find a decluttering checklist. A checklist will help you determine which project to tackle at a time, such as cleaning out a closet, organizing the garage, and possibly donating any old clothes that don’t fit anymore. Your bedroom is a great place to focus on because it’s important you feel relaxed in the space where you rest. By decluttering your environment, you are taking away any unnecessary stress that may be altering your mental health.
Along with decluttering your environment, you can also declutter your mind as well. Mindfulness is very influential when you have a lot going on in your head because it allows you to take back control of the thoughts and stress you might be feeling. Although it may seem obvious, you can’t always avoid having negative thoughts. By practicing mindfulness meditation, it will help tame your anxious mind and reduce stress and depression.
It can feel debilitating sometimes when you’re struggling with your mental health, but just know there is an endless list of ways to help improve stress and anxiety. If you find yourself at a low point this year and need someone to talk to, try finding an online therapist that you can trust to help work through your feelings and concerns. Always know that you are not alone and things will get better!