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4 Self-Care Habits to Improve and Support Your Mental Health

4 Self-Care Habits to Improve and Support Your Mental Health

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 to Meditate for Beginners

How to Meditate for Beginners

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.

Why It’s Important to Look After your Mental Health

Why It’s Important to Look After your Mental Health

While everyone has been taking steps to protect and sure up their physical health during this time, the issue of mental health is still often ignored. Mental health is just as important, and can certainly affect your physical health. The body follows the mind. High levels of stress can take a toll on your mental and your body. It’s important to always be aiming for a calm, peaceful state of mind. Here are a few of the many reasons why it’s important to look after your mental health:

Improved mental health can lead to greater, sustained success.

Becoming mentally healthy can make you more likely to achieve business success. You’ll be better equipped to eliminate distractions that may make you less productive. This can improve your work performance in your business and at any job. Positive thinking and focused optimism is crucial for your success, especially if you’re an entrepreneur.

Meditation and other relaxation practices improve your overall health.

Not only can meditation and other practices that improve your mental health benefit your state of mind, but these practices can also reduce your overall level of stress. Stress weakens the immune system and leave us more susceptible to physical ailments. Protecting your physical health will reduce your level of physical stress as well, which can have tremendous benefits for your overall quality of life.

When you know better, you do better.

It takes only an average of three weeks to create a new habit.  Paying closer attention to your thoughts and your words is critical to protecting your mental health.  We live in a world that is constantly feeding us garbage, negativity and messages that can be troubling to us. Being mindful to feed ourselves more positive and inspirational messaging with lift our mood and help to keep our minds and bodies healthy.

Mental health problems can be serious, and they often develop gradually over time.

Even if you are generally a healthy and “reasonable” person, that does not mean you couldn’t develop a serious mental health issue. It is important to practice self-care and do everything you can to maintain your strength. Mental health issues often develop gradually, over time making it difficult to recognize when there may be a problem.

Cultivate and maintain healthy sleeping habits.

Improper rest and poor sleeping habits are link to poor mental health and a breakdown in the body’s immune defenses. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you establish good sleeping habits and relaxation routines that protect your mental health, maintaining the mind-body connection.

5 Simple Habits to Help Improve Mental Health

5 Simple Habits to Help Improve Mental Health

As the outer world seems to become more hectic each day, and for some even feels as though it’s closing in. The saying, “go within so you won’t have to go without” seems to resonate with so many during these very unusual times. It’s never been more vital to look inward.  Start making it a habit to listen to your heart, and learn how to nurture your mind. Improving your mental health is an investment for life, so why not read on for some tips to get you started?

1. Know, and love thyself.
Understand that you are a child of the God who needs to be cherished, and treat yourself accordingly. Ask yourself: what do I need today in order to thrive? For some this feels selfish but trust that if you don’t take care to put yourself first, you will not be available to help others. Try finding out what your love language is, and love yourself in that way. In other words, DO YOU! If you value time alone, take it. If laughter lifts your spirit, take the time to listen to comedy. If your heart feels warmed by words of affirmation, write little positive messages for yourself each day. Making these things part of your daily habit routine should greatly improve your quality of life.

Write little positive messages to yourself: love notes for you, by you.


2. Take time to unwind.
We humans are simple creatures, and modern lifestyles can feel overwhelming and ask too much of us at times. So it’s absolutely valid to give yourself time to just breathe now and then. Set a period of time aside each day that’s just for you and whatever you’d like to do to relax: meditation & prayer, journaling, a hot bath, listening to music, reading a good book or any other wellness activity.

3. Make a safe space and time for yourself.

Preserve your peace of mind by saying no to distractions and stressors and even people.  Limit your news and social media intake, set healthy boundaries in your relationships, and learn to say “no” when your plate’s gotten too full. Save some room for yourself to live happily and authentically. No one can or should be mad at you for choosing you.

4. Keep in touch.

Staying connected to healthy habit sources and getting lots of support is absolutely crucial to keeping mentally fit. It’s important to cultivate a strong support system, a small crew of trusted allies to see you through the ups and downs of life or just to make you laugh. Socializing, distanced or otherwise can insulate you from stress, loneliness, and all kinds of mental and physical ailments.

5. Seek help.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional! Shop around and find the right therapist for you, or get involved in group therapy. You may even have a wise mentor or close friend that you can talk to. You could also contact a mental health warmline, a telephone service for anyone who just wants to talk about their daily struggles. No matter what kind of problem you’re dealing with, there are solutions out there. Take advantage of them and be well.