Mental health affects every aspect of our lives, including how we think, feel, and act. It includes our psychological, emotional, and social well-being. If you are struggling with your mental health, you can see the effects in how you handle stress, how you make choices, and how you relate to others. The good news is that there are a number of ways you can take control of your mental health to start improving it. If you are wondering how to improve mental health, start with these seven daily habits.
1. Stay Active
Staying active is beneficial not only for your physical health but also for your mental health. Regular physical activity is a great place to start when learning how to improve mental health. Exercise can provide many mental health benefits, including improved mood, stress relief, management of anxiety and depression symptoms, better sleep, and more. Any type of regular physical activity can help improve your mental health, whether that’s lifting weights at the gym, going for a walk, dancing, or taking a yoga class. Choose something you enjoy so you’ll be more likely to stick with it as a daily habit.
2. Connect with Others
Social connection is an important step when figuring out how to improve mental health. If you’re struggling with your mental health, you may shut people out or avoid social situations. However, few things are more beneficial to your mental health than connecting with others. While phone calls and texts can help some, nothing beats face-to-face interactions to boost your mood, relieve stress, and give you energy. It’s also important to find someone you trust who you can talk to about your worries. Talking is a great way to calm your mind and help you feel better about the things that are bothering you.
3. Get Plenty of Sleep
You probably know that sleep is important for your physical health. You may not know, however, that quality sleep is crucial for mental health. Sleep is your body’s way of recharging and rejuvenating itself. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body and mind won’t have the opportunity to recharge. Studies have shown that adults who get fewer than six hours of sleep a night are more likely to experience mental distress than adults who got more than six hours of sleep each night. In order to get more and better quality sleep, try turning off your screens before bedtime and avoid caffeine after 3pm. Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day can also help you get better sleep and improve mental health.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet
The foods you eat can affect your mental health. If you want to know how to improve mental health, take a look at the foods you eat. Foods that contain a lot of caffeine, alcohol, or refined sugars can worsen anxiety and mental health symptoms, so try to reduce your intake of these foods. Your brain needs nutrient-rich foods to function at its best. Some great foods for your mental health include beans, berries, bananas, fatty fish, and whole grains. You should also make sure you are drinking plenty of water, as dehydration denies your brain and body the nutrients they need to function well. It’s also important to make sure you’re eating enough food each day so your body has plenty of fuel to operate.
5. Be Creative
Finding ways to be creative can be a great way to improve mental health. Drawing, baking, taking photos, writing, knitting, and other creative tasks can help distract you from unhealthy thoughts and feelings as well as provide a way to express how you feel. Getting creative can also help you better understand yourself and why you feel the way you do. Not only that, but creativity itself is very calming and rewarding. You can try taking a class or watching online videos to learn how to do something new, or just pick up some supplies and let your creativity flow!
6. Spend Time in the Sun
People often underestimate the power of sunshine. The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, which can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Simply spending a little time in the sun has proven to help improve both attitude and mood. You don’t need to lay out in the sun for hours to reap these benefits. Simply spending five minutes in the sun each day is a great start to improve mental health. If you tend to spend most of your time indoors, try opening the blinds around your home, taking a short walk outside, opening the window next to your desk at work, or doing your workout routine outdoors.
7. Reduce Social Media Use
If you want to know how to improve mental health, one of the best ways is to reduce the amount of time you spend on social media. Social media is a great way to keep up with people you don’t see often, but too much time spent on these platforms can lead to feelings of comparison, isolation, and low self worth. Seeing the things other people post about their lives can make you feel less satisfied with your own. If you want to improve your mental health, a great place to start is by turning off social media notifications, keeping your phone outside your bedroom at night, and finding other activities to replace scrolling through social media.
Improve Mental Health with Supplements
If you’ve been wondering how to improve mental health, these are some of the best habits you can incorporate into your daily life to get started. Sometimes mental health issues can be further helped with the use of supplements. Here at The Drug Store, we have a variety of vitamin packs and daily supplements that can help provide your body and brain with the nutrients they need to function properly. Shop our supplements online or reach out to one of our The Drug Store locations to talk to an expert pharmacist about which supplements may be best for you!