Everyone has mental health, whether it’s a good mental health or bad, or even somewhere in between there. But whatever mental health we have our mental health needs looking after, just like our physical health. Sometimes taking care of our mental health is hard, and I get it, but you need to try. In the same way it is easy to slip in to bad mental health habits, that neglect our health and make us feel down, but these are avoidable.
You don’t have to make big changes if you don’t have a mental illness, and remember mental health is not the same as mental illness. You’re not going to have to work as hard to keep up good mental health, but you still need to try to maintain your best self. Here are my top 10 habits to practice for good mental health. I try my very hardest to slip into these habits, but they do take time and that’s ok.
1. SLEEP 🛏️
Ok, I get it. You are probably sick of people telling you to “get a good nights sleep,” especially if you struggle to fall asleep at night, but it is a huge factor in having good mental health. If you struggle to fall asleep at night, maybe because of constant interruptions, then you should find a time of the day without interruptions that you can just lay down and rest your eyes. I find it great if I just lay down on the floor, and let my legs and arms loose, and just breathe, it makes me feel calm and ready for anything. If you still struggle to sleep then listening to slow, soft rain sounds or other natural sounds can help.
2. EXERCISE & DIET 🏃🍲
This one is super obvious, just like your physical health is much better with exercise and a well balanced diet, so is your brain! Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes, such as beans and lentils, make you feel great, and happy. Of course this cannot be forceful, sometimes people find it hard to eat healthy, and that’s ok, but try adding a side of fruit to your toast or cereal in the morning, small starts like this can help you to get into the habit.
For exercise, you don’t have to go extreme and start training for a marathon or anything like that but going for a nice gentle walk for 30 minutes everyday will certainly help you, or even a morning jog in park near you, with lots of plants and trees. Some people find it hard to do this everyday, for those people, maybe try some swimming or even beginners yoga at home, where you can go at your own pace. I personally recommend Yoga With Adriene, she’s posts every week and allows you to go at your own pace, while making you feel calm at the same time.
3. LAUGH 😂
We all know that having a good laugh reduces stress levels, so why not make it a daily habit? Make sure you factor in having fun at least once a day, whether it’s seeing a funny friend or watching those clips that make you crack up completely.
4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE 🙏
When things aren’t going very well, it’s useful to our mental health to find things that we’re grateful for, like our pets, a roof on top of our head, fresh water and food or even each other.
After all, good mental health isn’t about having a perfect life, it’s about achieving our dreams, and getting back up despite how much we fail and fall, because we can achieve anything we put our minds to.
5. BE KIND TO YOU, BE KIND TO OTHERS 🤗
Doing things for others is amazing for your self-esteem, and your overall mental health. You could try, doing some essential shopping for your elderly neighbours or friends, volunteering for charities, giving compliments to others etc. But, you also need to make room for yourself. You could try, taking time of your laptop or phone and sitting down to read, listening to music on your bed, going to the shops, giving yourself compliments etc. You don’t need to do all of these, or any of these, but try to make yourself happy by making others happy too.
6. BE HAPPY FOR OTHERS AND THEIR SUCCESS 😀
Comparing ourselves to others and feeling jealous and bitter over other peoples successes can be a really draining way to live and is awful on our mental health and positive self image.
Learn to be happy for others by reminding yourself that we all have our personal strengths and that no one is perfect. Being grateful and practising gratitude can help with this too!
7. STRIVE FOR CONTENTMENT 😊
A lot of people say they just want to be happy but to me, happiness isn’t a goal, it’s not a place, or something that you can have gift wrapped and delievered-to-your-door. It’s not a linear thing that we can achieve and then feel forever more. It’s a feeling, that we receive when we see others happy, it’s not forever, and never can be, but it’s in all of us, we just need to let it out.
8. TALK TO PEOPLE 👄
Talk to others. Just let the words flow out of your mouth, sometimes it’s hard to talk to someone but building courage to do it is a great idea. Try instead, talking to a pet or stuffed animal, then slowly start conversations with others, that way you don’t feel embarrassed or afraid.
9. SPEND TIME IN DAYLIGHT ☀️
Getting outdoors is vital to our mental health. Vitamin D from the sun helps boost our mood and release all negativity. If you can incorporate your exercise with going outside, that’s helping you two times as much!
10. LET GO OF NEGATIVITY 😤
Let go of that anti-positive flow! You can try, sitting down and breathing in and out, writing it down, stepping outside etc. Doing these simple things can let your negativity go, but you need to find what helps you best.
Your mental health is important, it helps you function and deal with hard situations, but you need to take care of it, sleep, eat well, laugh a little, be grateful, be kind, be happy, talk to others, listen, get some Vitamin D, and let go of all that negativity. Most importantly, be you!
Stay Bright and Happy!!!
XOXO The Sunshine Blogger