When most people think about health they tend to focus on their physical health - working out, eating right and generally taking care of your body. But taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Here are 6 tips on how you can maintain your mental health.
1. Change your diet and cut out sugar
Wait, didn’t we just say this was an article on how to maintain mental health, not physical health? Well, in many ways the two are intertwined. In fact, improving your diet has been shown to help your mental health. The way it works is that your gastrointestinal tract is filled with billions of bacteria that help create the production of neurotransmitters, which are chemical substances that bring messages from your gut to your brain. When you eat healthy food and cut out the negative substances such as sugar, you are promoting the creation of “good” bacteria which ultimately promotes positive neurotransmitter production.
Sugar, in particular, is also known to produce a “sugar rush” that is always followed by a “sugar crash,” which can have a big negative impact on your mood. Eating fruits, vegetables, and other foods such as whole grains and beans, on the other hand, are great for helping you stay healthy both physically and mentally.
2. Get proper rest at night/take breaks during the day
Getting proper sleep and rest is extremely important to your overall physical and mental well-being. Who hasn’t felt lousy the day after getting a poor night’s rest? In fact, studies have shown that this is not just in our heads. Subjects who had their sleep partially restricted for a week experienced greater levels of stress, anger and mental exhaustion than those who were able to extend their sleep.
If you are struggling to get good sleep at night, try sleeping in a dark, quiet room with a cool temperature. If you need to, sleep with an eye mask and ear plugs.
Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t the only important way to rest, though. Throughout the day, it’s important to take breaks. Taking a break can help keep you focused and more productive when you get back to work. It can also help your overall mental health and job satisfaction by helping to curb any signs of mental fatigue.
3. Get sunlight exposure
Sun exposure isn’t always bad for you. In fact, exposure to the sun has been shown to increase the brain’s release of serotonin. Serotonin is known to help boost your mood and energy levels. And the opposite is true as well - not enough sun exposure can lead to decreased mood and energy, also known as seasonal depression.
4. Keep active
Regular exercise and activity have proven to have a positive effect on mental health. Even just getting outside and taking a walk can help release endorphins that can improve your mood. In addition, regular exercise and activity can help depression and anxiety, decrease stress levels and improve sleep.
Regular exercise and activity doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend 90 minutes a day at the gym, either. Try taking a walk on your lunch break during work, or using the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator.
To help successfully staying regularly active, it’s best to set certain goals rather than jumping in all at once. To begin with, aim for maybe 2-3 days a week of an activity of around 20-30 minutes, and then you can build up from there. This will help ensure that you are building sustainable habits that you can successfully maintain.
5. Keep a journal
Keeping a journal has long been believed to improve your mental well-being. It is a great way to clearly lay out your plans, priorities, thoughts and feelings in a healthy way. It can be used to manage anxiety, reduce stress and cope with depression.
Some ways to journal include trying to write every day. Write whatever you are thinking - don’t hold back your thoughts, fears or feelings. And use your journal how you think it will best help you. If you think writing your thoughts stream of consciousness is best, go for it. Or would you rather draw than write? Give it a shot.
But be sure to remember that journaling should be viewed as one aspect of a healthy lifestyle. In conjunction with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleep, journaling can be a great tool toward maintaining your mental health.
6. Try Restore services!
As we mentioned above, Restore Hyper Wellness offers a number of services that may help your overall mental health. Cryotherapy and Red Light Therapy may help boost your mood and energy, as well as optimize sleep - something we’ve already talked about being important for overall mental health. Our Infrared Saunas may help your body promote energy and healing, improve your circulation and heart health, and relieve inflammation. And Compression may help your body reduce muscle aches and pains. If you’re looking for an added boost to your overall wellness, try booking your next service today!