One of the major effects of the pandemic has been on our mental health. With many of us still struggling with how we feel and think, what are the 7 habits you can start today to improve your mental health right now?
I count myself one of the lucky ones who was not directly effected by the pain of loss, serious illness or financial struggles during the pandemic. However, the emotional and mental toll of living in fear and worry for over two years, did force me to create positive habits just to ‘keep it together!’
The 7 Habits to Improve Your Mental Health are the actions I took to keep my mental wellbeing in check as we all navigated the new way of living.
If you’re currently struggling with your mental health, try some of the actions below to help create more balance in your mindset and create a more loving relationship with yourself.
7 habits to improve your mental health RIGHT NOW
1 – Get More Sleep
The easiest habit of my top 10 list to improve your mental health is sleep.
The benefits of sleep for our mental and physical health have been well documented. Although individual sleep needs may differ, the experts suggest that most adults need 7 – 9 hours each night.
Start keeping track of how much hours you sleep each night on a regular basis and how you feel each morning. If your sleep patten is irregular, planning your evenings to create a consistent bed time is an important habit to start. A regular sleep routine will reduce your stress levels, improve your memory and lift your mood.
2 – Increase Daily Activity
Apart from helping to control or aid weight loss, increasing your daily activity will improve your quality of sleep. It will also give you more energy and build your confidence.
And better still, the activity that you do does not need to be time consuming, expensive or overwhelming. Start increasing your daily movement with small steps, on a consistent basis and build your activity at your own pace.
3 – Use a Journal
It’s not always easy to speak to other people about how we are feeling. But not expressing our struggles can lead to an increase in poor mental health.
A great habit to improve your mental health is to start journalling. This can take any form you like. All you need is a pen, paper and a short window of time during your day to write down your thoughts. Getting it out of your head and onto paper will free up space in your mind.
You don’t need to solely focus on what you’re currently feeling. Your journal can be a place for your dreams too. Capturing all the things you want to achieve and how you want to feel in the future.
4 – Plan Your Day
The feeling of being overwhelmed has had a huge impact in the quality of our mental health. One of the ways of reducing that feeling is to actively plan your day and how you use your time.
Whether you decide to plan on a weekly or daily basis, carve out some time for you to action your priorities. Doing this will ensure your day does not get hijacked by life and other people demands.
5 – Pay Attention
Many aspects of our mental health is a direct reaction to what is going on around us and how we process it. Practice becoming more aware of how your environment, people you spend time with, what you give your attention and the foods and drink you consume, affect the way you feel.
By paying more attention to your emotional and physical reaction to all aspects of your life, you start to see patterns of emotional triggers. Identifying people, places, food and drink that do not make you feel good is the first step to start eliminating the time you expose yourself to them.
6 – Learn to Say No
Honour you commitment to improve your mental health by learning to say no. This could be to family members, friends and co-workers.
I know this can be very hard to do, but it is an essential habit to form in order to create more balance in your life. If you regularly prioritise the needs of others, your own cup will be half full and you will constant feel depleted, stressed and even resentful.
Check out my blog post How To Say “No”: Time Management 101, for tips on just what to say in response to other peoples demands.
7 – Plan Your Joy
It’s so easy to get bogged down with our daily and weekly routines, that we totally forget we are here to enjoy life!
Make plans to do something you enjoy that will put a smile on your face and give you something to look forward to. Again, this does not have to be something extravagant. But, it does have to make you feel good about yourself and give you a break from the many demands of life.
You could try making a lunch or coffee date with a friend. Going to an exhibition or gallery. Plan a trip to the cinema. Or just go for a long walk in nature. Break the feeling of life ‘happening to you’, by actively seeking to ‘live life’ by planning it!
My 7 Habits to Improve Your Mental Health are simple things you can start to implement RIGHT NOW!
I have found integrating all the habits above into my lifestyle has enabled me to build a level of mental resistance. I hope you find them useful too.
However, if you’re really struggling with your mental health, you need to seek help. Thankfully, the one positive things the pandemic has provided is removing the stigma of mental health issues.
If you feel you have no one you can turn to, there are a number of professional services that you can access. (Services listed below are based in the the UK)
Let me know in the comments below which of the 7 habits to improve your life you will be starting today.
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A London born girl who got tired of her excuses & finally took action to change her life at the age of 41!
Join me as I share the habits, systems and mindset shifts that allowed me to lose 30lbs of weight, get out of £20k debt and accomplish new goals to create a fully brazen life.
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