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7 Ways on How to Prioritise Your Mental Health This Year
No matter how full your cup usually runs, there’s no doubt that the past year has taken its toll on our mental health. Between the physical restrictions of lockdown, time away from loved ones, and juggling more work and/or school tasks at home. It’s Been A Lot to handle.
Here are 7 ways to make your mental health a priority this year:
1. Eat a colourful diet
One of the easiest ways to improve our mental health is to take care of our physical health. By increasing our daily intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, we not only nourish our physical body. We also nourish and balance the way we feel mentally.
In so many ways, We Are What We Eat.
That feeling of waking up excited, energized, and in love with your life doesn’t have to be the elusive unicorn that visited you for a short time in your early 20’s and then disappeared.
For specific tips on how to tweak your daily food and lifestyle habits, check out this Juice Plus+ article: How to Increase Your Energy Levels Naturally.
2. Move More
Movement is what gets us out of our heads and back into our bodies. Exercise is what helps us off the hamster wheel of our mind, enables us to physically let go of stress, and balance our well-being.
If you want to feel an instant shift in the way you feel, the quickest way by far is to get moving. Because movement in your body creates movement in your life. You can read more about an easy solution to feeling stuck when it comes to moving your body here: Movement in Your Body Creates Movement In Your Life.
Or perhaps you’re after a bit of inspo on what to do now that lockdown restrictions have been lifted. If so, we’ve got you covered here: Outdoor Activities For Before & After Lockdown Ends.
Or if it’s fitness motivation and mindset hacks you’re after, check out: Fitness Motivation – How to Get Running Again (no, that article isn’t just for runners ;-)) or Ready to Give Up? Try these 5 Mental Fitness Tips Instead.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Now more than ever is the time to realise the present moment is EVERYTHING. Dwelling on what’s happened in the past keeps us stuck there. And worrying about a future that may or may not arise is a waste of what we have right now.
When we can focus on and breathe into the here and now, we calm ourselves. We allow the exhausting chatter of the mind to fall away. Sometimes filling up our tank can be as easy as choosing to enjoy everyday tasks such as washing the dishes or hanging out laundry.
Looking for tips on how to cultivate a daily mindfulness practice? This one’s you for:
4. Get More Sleep
Don’t you find that when you get enough sleep, everything (and I genuinely mean everything) feels better? Sleep is one of life’s wondrous natural elixirs. And it’s one of the quickest ways to prioritise our mental health.
I know for myself one good night’s sleep can morph me from blubbering teary mess to bubbling supermom, high on life. (Ok, so I’m a little bit manic, but some days aren’t we all? ;-) )
5. Set Intentions and Boundaries Around Work
Due to the pandemic, many of us spent much of the last year working from home rather than our usual workplace. For those of us with kids, this also meant juggling their schedules and home-schooling them as well.
It’s little wonder that our mental health was the last thing to take priority when there was so much more than usual on our plate.
What’s important to learn from this experience is to realise our mental health needs to be given as much of a priority as our physical health.
For strategies to calm the mind and take care of your mental health and well-being around work, please look at this article: 5 Ways to Boost Your Mental Health in the Workplace.
6. Take A Break from Social Media
The pace at which the world opens up again is going to vary from country to country and person to person. And when it comes to prioritising our mental health this year, it could be more important than ever to stay off social media.
While we all want to cheer on our friends when they’re out and about having fun. If you’re not yet able to do the activities or travel you’re yearning for, it could be a great idea to shut down your social channels for a while.
That goes for watching mainstream “news” as well. Give yourself a break. It’s more than ok to simply stay in your own lane for a while and take care of YOU.
Here’s a great read that will help you do just. This book by Susie Moore is not really about social media (as the title suggests). But more about the number of ways we let the opinions of others impact us and what we can do about it so we can live the life we indeed came here for:
This is the perfect fun read for when you want to spend some ME time taking care of your mental health.
7. Keep a List of Happiness Hacks at the Ready
Just like our body, happiness is a muscle we can take for a workout whenever we choose and feel the good-feel effects right away. If we want to prioritise our mental health, let go of stress, anxiety, and depression, then we need to prioritise learning how to hack our own happiness.
Here are 7 happiness hacks to lift you out of feeling funky and build upon each day:
Reaching out to a Mental Health Professional
And sometimes we’re doing all the right things, and yet the way we feel doesn’t change. Even as someone who researches and writes about health and happiness hacks, I have days and weeks where no matter what I do, I just cannot lift myself out from under that dark cloud.
Sometimes patience is the answer, and sometimes it’s time to reach out to a Mental Health professional. Having someone to talk to about how you’re feeling can make a world of difference.
Here are some options to try:
Now we’d love to hear from you. What are your best tips for making your mental health a priority? Please share with us below – it could be just the thing that makes a tremendous difference to reading this.