Tips for Maintaining Your Mental Health
Maintaining your mental health can seem like a mountain of a task. These simple everyday tips can help you on your journey to mental and emotional wellness.
1. Be Patient With Yourself
For many people struggling with maintaining mental health, self-evaluations are predominantly negative. Rather than being overly critical when you make a mistake or fall short of the expectations you have for yourself, take the time to acknowledge how far you’ve come and how you can improve in the future.
Comparing yourself to others’ situations can be damaging to your journey toward mental health. It’s important to acknowledge that what you see isn’t the entire truth, it’s your perception of another person. Rather than comparing yourself, make a list of goals and milestones you’d like to achieve. Once you complete a task, check it off to give yourself a visual on how far you’ve come and what else you can strive for.
2. Spend Time with Loved Ones
Often times when people find themselves struggling with their mental health, they isolate themselves. Being alone with negative thoughts and emotions can exacerbate symptoms of mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Spending times with supportive friends and family members can help to alleviate some of these negative emotions while also making you feel less alone. Sharing a laugh with people you love can also have a positive impact on your mental health. Laughter has been proven to reduce stress levels and boost serotonin and dopamine levels.
3. Take a Break from Social Media
While social media can be an excellent platform for staying connected with loved ones and bringing together various communities, it can also have a negative impact on your mental and emotional health.
If you feel yourself spending too much time scrolling through your timeline, limit your social media usage by setting time restraints on your phone for how long you can use social media apps. If you find yourself struggling, you can try some of the following tips to help keep you off of social media:
- Set “phone-free zones” like the dinner table or your bedroom.
- Turn off notifications for social media apps.
- Delete social media apps from your phone.
- Temporarily disable your accounts.
4. Get Up and Get Moving
Most of us know that getting regular exercise has many physical health benefits, but it can also have a positive impact on your mental health. Staying active can have the following mental health benefits:
Reduced stress levels
An increase in your heart rate can decrease the production of stress hormones like cortisol and releasing others like norepinephrine. This exchange of hormone production helps your body to better respond to stress.
Getting routine exercise not only improves your physical health but gives you a boost in self-confidence. While your muscles become more toned and you begin to see progress, you not only look and feel healthier but accomplished.
Decreases anxiety and depression symptoms
Getting exercise has been scientifically proven to decrease the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Even introducing moderate exercises into your weekly routine can increase endorphin levels and help you to feel better.
5. Get Enough Rest
For those already struggling with their mental health, studies have shown that their symptoms may contribute to the development of sleep disorders. In some cases, irregular sleeping patterns may appear first and contribute to the development of depressive disorders. Many young people living with anxiety and depression also have insomnia, hypersomnia, or both. People suffering from these sleep issues are also more likely to experience:
- Fluctuations in weight.
- An inability to feel pleasure (Anhedonia).
- Memory problems.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Mood changes.
Studies have shown that anywhere from 50-90% of adults living with mental illnesses also suffer from some form of sleep disorder or issue. Studies have also shown that treating these sleep disorders may help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with mental health issues.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults should get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. The following tips can help you to get a better night’s rest:
- Avoid taking daytime naps longer than 30 minutes.
- Develop a sleep schedule.
- Get regular physical activity.
- Avoid using electronics in your bedroom.
- Practice meditation and breathing exercises to help you relax.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine products.
- Avoid alcohol consumption.
6. Listen to Your Body
Our bodies have a way of communicating with us when there’s something it needs that it is not receiving, but we don’t always pay attention to these cues. Whether you’re hungry, thirsty, tired, or anxious—by engaging your senses and recognizing the signals your body is sending you, you’ll be better able to take care of yourself.
7. Remind Yourself that You are Strong
When you find yourself feeling negative thoughts about yourself, take a moment to step back and reflect. Take a deep breath, and remind yourself where you’ve come from and how far you’ve come. Be thoughtful and kind to yourself throughout your mental health journey, and continue to acknowledge your efforts and progress.
8. Ask for Help
The first step toward mental health, wellness, and recovery is to seek help when you need it. If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, you don’t have to continue to suffer in silence and try to navigate this journey alone. Reach out to a loved one or a mental health specialist you can trust.
At Tapestry, our treatment programs are dedicated to understanding our clients as whole people with varied life experiences. Whether you have questions about mental health or how to support a loved one struggling with their mental health, we are here for you. Contact us today by filling out a confidential form or give us a call at (828) 490-4032.