Easy Ways to Care for Your Mental Health
By Stepy Kamei
When learning all about how to take care of our health, it's just as important to focus on our mental health as it is our physical health. Sometimes, it seems like it's much easier to find helpful information and resources on physical health than mental health. This is a valid feeling, for the unfortunate reason that there is still a stigma associated with talking about mental health. Furthermore, at times it can be more complicated for a person, let alone a medical professional, to even know when a mental illness is presenting itself, since the symptoms can be so varied and so easily confused with other common physical problems. The good news, though, is that there are absolutely steps you can take every day in order to boost your mood. These simple yet important actions can help decrease the likelihood of you developing such issues as depression and anxiety later on.
As if you really needed one more reason to understand the profound importance of exercise, here it is: Staying fit and exercising on a regular basis can boost your mood in the short run while cutting down your risk of developing mood disorders in the long run. It's ideal if you can exercise at least three days a week somehow, whether this means lifting weights at the gym, taking a Zumba class, or going for a run before work. Still, if all you can manage to start out is by taking a 15-minute walk on your lunch break, it's better than nothing! Build your way up to more regular exercise for improved mental health. After all, the more you move, the more your brain will release endorphins, causing you to feel happier. What's not to like about that?
It's important to know that if you don't sleep well, this doesn't just make you tired and groggy the next day -- it can actually lower your mood. Furthermore, regular poor sleeping habits can actually damage your mental health in the long run. It's crucial to have a regular nighttime routine to help your body understand when it's time to sleep. Going to bed around the same time every night, even on weekends, can help naturally signal the body's circadian rhythms. Furthermore, many people find it helps to do something relaxing right before bed, such as meditation or writing in a journal. Finally, avoid using electronics while getting ready to go to sleep because the blue light radiating from phones, computer screens, and televisions can actually wake the body up and make it harder to fall and stay asleep.
Eat the Right Foods
Eating a diet full of highly processed, packaged, junk foods can really decrease your mood, while increasing your anxiety. Do your best to limit your intake of sugar, salt, and fat, in favor of minimally processed, fresh foods for better mental health.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Oklahoma City, Okla.