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Stress in America is worryingly high, according to the American Psychological Association. A staggering 80% of people report unhealthy levels of prolonged stress. It’s unsurprising – after all, we’re still in the wake of a devastating pandemic that took countless lives and crippled the world economy. Dealing with the fallout is proving to be a major personal challenge for everyone, with 2 in 3 adults saying the issues the country is facing are overwhelming.
Looking after your mental health should be a priority right now if it isn’t already. The stress and turmoil will wear you down otherwise and impact your life. It’s only through self-care will you weather the storm unscathed. That means good thoughts, good company, and self-maintenance. Read on for some simple but powerful mental health care tips from Nutrition Facts you can implement right now:
Connect with other people
Having people who accept you around you makes a world of difference to your mental health. Humans are social creatures, as you know, and we were designed to live in groups. Spending time with your friends and family on everyday activities like taking a walk, playing games, or simply talking can be an excellent pick-me-up when you’re down or lonely. Sharing your thoughts and feelings can also help you feel calmer and more at peace with yourself.
Spend time in nature
When you’re not in the mood for human company, spend time alone in nature. A long walk in a forest is arguably as good as a therapy session and is an excellent cure for depression or stress. There’s something soothing and wholesome about being surrounded by green, living things. Humans feel connected when they’re amidst nature, says the research, which makes them happier. Taking off your shoes and walking on the bare grass or earth can feel wonderful and therapeutic.
Getting a pet can help encourage you to get outside, whether it’s play time with Fido or a walk at a park or around the block. Caring for a pet comes with a number of physical and emotional wellness benefits, including improved heart rate and an unending bond that is so helpful during times of stress and loneliness. If you’re adopting a pet, you’ll need to get some basic supplies like food, toys and a bed before bringing them home; preparing the house for your new furry family member prevents the hassles of last-minute runs to the pet store.
Care for your money
Mental health is also about feeling safe. In the physical world, that’s having a solid, secure material foundation. You need to take care of the basics and put money in the banks to maintain your mental health, in other words. Be savvy about where you spend your money. Learning financial tricks like refinancing – which can decrease the equity in your home but save you money through significantly reduced monthly payments – can reduce the burden on your shoulders.
The food you consume affects your mental health, according to Harvard Health Publishing. To simplify, eating ultra-processed foods high in sugars and starch can cause inflammation and disease in your body, adversely affecting your mood. Eating food naturally high in digestive enzymes, on the other hand, makes you feel better – it’s easier to digest and less detrimental to your gut.
When was the last time you had an amazing night’s sleep? If you can’t answer that question, it’s a big sign you need to sleep more. Not sleeping enough and getting poor-quality sleep is the fastest way to depression. If you have trouble sleeping, consider learning how, such as creating a restful environment, getting a better pillow, taking a warm shower before bedtime, and doing away with screen-glare. A good night’s sleep gives you the energy you need to face the day with a smile on your face.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Your mental health is greatly influenced by your lifestyle. When you’re constantly at work, for example, and don’t get enough downtime, you’re bound to be stressed, anxious, and unhappy. Learn how to say no, draw boundaries, and prioritize important tasks to get the most out of your day while still leaving some time for yourself. Getting into a sustainable routine is essential if you want good mental health long-term.
Finally, just try to be happy. Remember that your thoughts are powerful, and the way you think influences your behavior, forms your daily habits, and molds your life in general. That means the key to good mental health and happiness is having a positive, constructive attitude!
Read more informative articles on the Nutrition Facts blog today!