The state of your mental health affects your overall quality of life and how you think, feel, perform, and respond to daily challenges. So it’s important to nurture yourself to prevent developing mental conditions such as depression or anxiety. You can do so with four self-care habits proven to enhance your overall sense of wellness.
1. Get Plenty of Sleep
Adequate sleep means sleeping for 6 to 9 hours daily. Sleep is a much needed self-care habit that is vital for proper body and brain function, immunity, and mental wellness. When you’re well-rested, you’re better able to think clearly, and cope with negative events or feelings. Adequate sleep also protects your mental health against anxiety and depression. You can improve sleep with daily habits such as having a regular set bedtime, avoiding caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime, sleeping in a dark or dim-lit room, and sleeping on a good mattress with proper comfortable pillows and bedding. You can also practice relaxing one to two hours before bedtime by reading, listening to calming tunes and turning off phones, computers and social media.
2. Increase Physical Activity
Believe it or not, people with increased physically-active lifestyles tend to feel happier and have a more enthusiastic and positive outlook on life. Physical activities that promote good mental health include walking outdoors, jogging, hiking, exercising, and yoga. Regular exercise, increases blood circulation, boosts energy, mental alertness, and lightens mood. It also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, releasing hormones in the body that leave you feeling relaxed or on a natural “high.” You may also sleep better and even notice an increased sense of self-worth. Some days you may feel too exhausted or overwhelmed to move, take the time you need but don’t give up completely. Once you get past the first 5 to 10 minutes of your workout, you’ll start to feel energetic and able to resume the habit of marching daily toward your goal.
3. Get in Touch with Nature
Frequent or daily outdoor activities are an effortless way to connect with nature. You can start by spending time around your home relaxing outdoors or working in your garden. Planting and caring for plants (both in and outdoor) can be quite therapeutic for the mind, body and soul. Other ways to connect with nature include soaking up the sunshine, taking an easy walk, listening to the birds in the trees, or watching animals and insects. Finding ways to connect with mother nature and your environment, will help you feel less stressed.
4. Eat Healthy Foods Daily
Eating healthy foods every day is a natural therapy for your brain, and highly beneficial to the rest of your body’s vital organs. Certain foods, such as whole foods (not processed) and organic fresh fruits and vegetables, contain nutrients that also support mental wellness. Processed foods, including those with excess sugars and caffeine, can adversely affect brain health. Processed foods also contain chemicals that destroy natural gut bacteria and produce inflammation leaving your body feeling bloated and tired. Increased inflammation in the body and brain is linked to anxiety, mood disorders depression and chronic disease. Opt for foods packed with antioxidants, folate, B vitamins, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and other valuable nutrients that help reduce inflammation, balance brain chemicals, and stabilize mood or even elevate mood.
It may take some time to cultivate habits that enhance mental and physical health. Start by picking one activity and one healthy habit at a time. Do it daily for at least 30 days. It will eventually become second nature, leading to an overall healthy lifestyle.
How do you master the practice of meditation? The primary purpose of meditation is to improve your mental health through mindfulness. You are learning to be aware of your mind and your breathing.
While learning how to meditate is straightforward, many find it strange or even awkward to sit in silence and do nothing. Despite it seeming like a passive activity, meditating really is an active practice and a great way to train and tune the mind. It can even transform your perspective on life, helping you to cultivate new habits. Finding a place that’s quiet and feels calm is vital when meditating. Avoid any distractions that can make your mind wander or prevent your body from relaxing. While a little soft background music isn’t discouraged, we suggest avoiding it if you’re a beginner.
To build a habitual meditation practice, you’ll need to practice a few times a week if possible. Additionally, set a time limit for every meditation session. For example, if you’re a beginner, start with short periods of 2 to 5 minutes and work your way up with time. Relaxation is a vital aspect of meditation, so always wear comfortable clothes. Inhale deeply and expand your stomach. Then breathe out, slowly drawing your stomach in. If you notice your mind starting to wander, bring it back by focusing on your breathing. Thoughts can arise that distract you. Don’t be too hard on yourself when your mind wanders. It’s a common occurrence. Just come back to centered, bringing your mind’s attention to the stillness and silence around you, the sense of your own heart beating and again, your breaths.
Pay attention to your body! If you are uncomfortable you may want to sit in a different position. Meditation is not just about the moment; it’s about practicing mindfulness every day and being able to calm and center yourself in any environment. The more you meditate, the less likely you are to feel stressed and agitated. Once you become comfortable and confident with your meditation practice, you will see and experience more benefits in your life.
Are you thinking of starting a black owned business? If so, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns, including – first and foremost, where do I start? Here’s a quick-start guide that’ll help you get started and ensures you’re on the right path.
In a world where consumer demand is high, entrepreneurship has become very trendy. However, becoming an entrepreneur isn’t easy and doesn’t solely involve writing down your business idea. There are many aspects involved.
How does someone become an entrepreneur?
1. Find the right business for you.
A common mistake many of us make when becoming entrepreneurs is starting a business simply because everyone else is doing it, and making it look easy. Remember, for your business to be successful, you need to be passionate about it. Therefore, focus your attention on something you care about. Something that you are good at and something that you enjoy. This will help keep you motivated to push through when the going gets tough. And it will.
2. Determine what type of education or formal training, if any is needed.
Although entrepreneurship doesn’t require any specific type of formal education, you shouldn’t ignore education and training entirely. Knowledge is power so get your training, do your research and learn all you can about the necessary skills and information for success in your business.
3. Plan your business.
Before opening your black owned business, you need a business plan that lays out your strategies, objectives, and goals. A business plan not only ensures you can get investors on board, but it also gives you a guide for measuring your progress, growth and how successful your business is.
4. Find your target audience or customer.
Loyal customers and consumers are the backbone of any successful business. You’ll need to research which group best fits your proposed business. Age, race, gender, income, culture are just a few broad ways of defining how to determine and target your market. Knowing your consumers ensures you can channel your marketing efforts towards the right audience, allowing you to generate leads and convert those leads into customers.
Networking is a vital aspect of entrepreneurship. It allows you to meet individuals that have skills you can use in your startup and exchange information. Networking is also a great way to build relationships. Relationship building is critical to success in business. A good network will send new customers your way once you’re open, ensuring your doors stay open.
6. Sell your idea.
Most customers need at least some convincing when purchasing products. They may not purchase your product or service at first blush but by making it unique and selling the value of a useful and desirable product, you can turn a browser into a buyer. Don’t be afraid sell people on your idea or product. It’s the whole reason you put in all that hard work.
When running your own business, marketing is a must and a never-ending process if you want to attract customers and generate profit. It’s wise to use powerful, modern marketing techniques such as social media marketing and email list building strategies to promote and grow your business.
Entrepreneurship is not easy and is not a one size fits all prospect. You can a will achieve success with much support, hard-work and as much belief in yourself as you can muster and sustain.
The Good Habits Team!