At LivingNotes, we are not mental health professionals. This article is based on research, experiences, and subject views that may help readers with the topics discussed
Find Independent Activities You Enjoy
Spending time alone is essential when it comes to stress, depression, anxiety, and any other issues that can be detrimental to your mental health.
While it’s easy to engage in unhealthy habits or distractions, it’s important to prioritize activities that will encourage stress relief and mental clarity. Other than speaking with a therapist or other people of support, you should seek independent activities that you enjoy.
Consider things that you can integrate into your weekly routine, such as going for a hike, journaling, painting, or attending a workout class. Of course, coping skills are different for each and every person, as we all have unique personalities and interests. However, the activities you choose should allow you time to reflect on current or past issues that may be causing you unnecessary stress. This way, you can target any conflicts and take small steps to overcome them.
If you’re unsure of independent activities to try, consider these:
- Trying a new class (pottery class, pilates, painting, etc.)
- Going for a daily walk
- Driving some scenic routes
- Journaling or practicing writing prompts
Improve Your Mental Health By Cutting Down Alcohol Consumption
There’s nothing wrong with having some drinks with friends on the weekend, but when it becomes too much of a habit, you’ll want to take a step back. Alcohol can make our minds feel foggy and distort the truth of reality. Alcohol is also a depressant, which means it can end up triggering issues even though it may feel like a temporary relief.
Practice supplementing alcohol for comforting beverages such as tea and hot cocoa, and engage in your personal hobbies instead of going out to drink.
Set Realistic Goals
Decide what you want to achieve professionally, personally, academically, and in your relationships. Then, write down the steps you need to achieve goals. Set high but realistic expectations so you don’t overwhelm yourself with tasks. Even just making small daily achievements will help elevate your mood and self confidence. In addition, you’ll learn valuable skills for future goals.
Go Out In Nature
Nature is good for the soul. Get outside, soak up the sun, treat your dog to a nice long walk, etc. Try to find creative ways to get outside, because even if you’re more of an indoors person, a breath of fresh air has been shown to potentially act as a temporary mood booster. For some people spending time in nature can feel like a sense of accomplishment and productivity. You can enhance your time outside by ditching the screens and taking time to observe what’s around you.
Change Things Up a Little Bit
Are you stuck in the same everyday cycle? While a certain level of structure is healthy, sometimes a repetitive routine can leave us feeling stuck. Similar to how traveling promotes mental health and a change in perspective, making some adjustments to your daily routine can do the same.
Try eating somewhere new, watching a new show, going for a walk at some different trails, or try a new hobby.
Seek Help When You Need It
Everyone needs help now and again, and knowing when it’s time to talk to someone is a sign of strength. Therapists and psychologists are trained to handle a multitude of challenges, and it can be comforting to talk to someone you have no emotional ties to.
Nurture Your Body
Prioritizing your physical health can promote your mental health in the process. Try to get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, and fuel up on nutritious, wholesome foods.
Consider an Anti-Inflammatory or Mediterranean Diet
According to studies, regular consumption of anti-inflammatory foods such as leafy greens, berries, and whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of depression. In addition to your physical health, dietary choices can significantly have an impact on your mental health. Try to limit your consumption of processed foods and white sugar, and instead replace with proper nutrition. In turn, you may also feel more energized, confident, and ready to take over the day!