YOMM

CARE10 Ways To Improve Your Mental Health

Alyssia

Your mental health is really important for us. At YOMM we want our readers to feel supported, so this article may offer some ways to improve your mental health.

Remember that not all of these will work for you, so if you have a way that is unique to you, let us know in the comments; because you never know how much it might help someone else.

1. Take Care Of Your Body

Food and Drink

Eating nutritious foods and drinking lots of water actually has a major impact on your mental health. Research shows that what you eat can make or break how you think.

You will be amazed at the difference that a healthy meal can have on how you think. Not only will you feel healthy, but you will feel better about your body and have more energy.

Exercise

Exercise also has a huge impact on your mental health. Not only can it improve your body image and how you see yourself, but it can also provide an outlet for reducing stress and worry. I encourage you to try and exercise at least twice a week, go for a run at the beach or do some yoga on the lawn!

Sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of the most important aspects of improving your mental health. If you constantly don’t get enough sleep, your mental health can decrease due to tiredness and irritability. Getting enough sleep can be a difficult thing to improve on. I remember that as a student, I really struggled to balance my study and sleep. However, as soon as I made an effort to get more sleep, I was able to manage my study better and I felt capable of getting even more done.

2. Surround Yourself With Positive People

Positive Friendships

Having positive connections with your friends is a really important element of maintaining a positive mindset. Relationships that are negative and toxic can have devastating effects on the way you think and see yourself.

If you are friends with someone who doesn’t make you feel good about yourself or who manipulates you, then maybe consider distancing yourself from that relationship.

At the end of the day, if a relationship isn’t providing you with the love and support that you deserve, is it worth it?

Family Support

As you grow up, especially during your teenage years, the relationship you have with your parents or guardians can become strained. Often, this can have a negative impact on your mental health.

If you try to curate positive relationships with your family members, the rewards will be extra support for your struggles and a safe place to receive love and care. Sometimes this can be easier said than done, but I really encourage you to try.

3. Give Yourself

Being generous and offering your time and kindness to others can help improve your mental state.

Giving can be anything from offering to buy a friend lunch or spending a week volunteering for a charity. Helping others has proven to curate positive thoughts and self-worth.

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
― Steve Maraboli

4. Learn How To Deal With Stress

Coping Skills

Coping skills can be anything from seeing a therapist on a regular basis or going for a daily walk. How you deal with stress is different depending on who you are and what you are dealing with. I go by the saying, ‘go blue or go green’; take a dive into the ocean or go for a bush walk. Connecting with nature can be an amazing way to deal with stress. However, for some people,  yoga or reading might be the ideal ways to cope. Therapists often encourage keeping a journal, because writing can be an amazing way to get things off your chest. Some people even do mandala drawings to relieve their stress, you can download them at this link and print them out!

There are so many ways to reduce and cope with stress, so keep trying to find what works best for you.

5. Quiet Your Mind

Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation is an ancient practice that allows you to connect with your inner self, and for a moment to escape the worry and stress of the world around you. Meditating once a day can improve your mental health by providing a moment of peace.

Apps such as Calm and Stop, Breathe & Think are really helpful in guiding you through meditation and reminding you when to take a moment to quiet your mind.

Relaxation Exercises

Relaxation exercises such as yoga or Tai Chi similarly aid in calming your mind. If you are new to the practices, don’t be afraid to enrol yourself into a beginners class to learn about the exercises. Similarly, with meditation, relaxation exercises before and after therapy can actually enhance your ability to be open and work through your issues.

6. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

If you are struggling with your mental health, drugs and alcohol consumption will do the opposite of help. Sometimes if your mental health is deteriorating, alcohol and drugs may be seen as an escape. In reality, they do the opposite of helping you.

‘Self-medicating’ aggravates the issue, rather than help. If you are of age, (18 and over) minimise alcohol usage and learn your limits.

7. Chill Out…But Don’t Be Lazy!

Balance

It can be hard to find a balance between chilling out and being lazy. On one hand, relaxation can be very good for your mental health, but it is easy for relaxation to turn into laziness. Laziness is negative for your mental health, but relaxation is positive. So, how do we find a balance? Personally, I find that giving myself one hour every day to relax keeps me away from becoming a super-sloth. You can spend that hour napping, watching your favourite TV show, cooking a meal or going to the beach.

8. Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals can aid in self-accomplishment and achievement. No matter if your goals are academic, personal or professional, setting goals that are tangible and realistic can really help in the way you see what your abilities are. The realisation of goals can help improve your stress and mental health.

Especially if you are studying for your HSC or if you have a big assignment, setting goals can be an awesome way to manage your work, and therefore manage your stress.

9. Plan for the Future

Planning a holiday trip with the family or asking to take a friend out for dinner can be simple things that give you something to look forward to.

Being proactive and motivated for the future is a really important step in improving your mental health.

Looking towards the future not only is exciting, but it is also a way to appreciate life a little more.

10. Get Help When You Need It

Seeing a professional can help for the big things, and for the small things. While most of us have ‘that’ friend that we know we can call at 2 am, or we have that special family member who is always around to support us, sometimes issues can be too big for them to help us with. It is at the moments when we feel so overwhelmed and helpess, that you need to seek professional help. There seems to be a stigma around seeing a therapist or psychologist, but in reality, taking this step isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. There is no issue that a therspist can’t help you through; trust them, and yourself.

The links below will refer you to sites where you can seek help if you are struggling.


YOMM wants to know that your opinion matters most …Have you got any other sources of great information to pass on regarding ways to improve your mental health? We’d love you to share any links or strategies in the links below.

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