It’s extremely imperative to take adequate care of yourself and get the most from life. Here are some practical ways I recommend to take respite from situations affecting your mental health.
Talk about your feelings
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. It is in no way a sign of weakness. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. And it works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same.
Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep and feel better. Exercise also keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy. Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. Walks in the park, gardening or housework can also keep you active.
Simple tip: Walk 10K steps throughout the day. Start at 5K and build up. Every step you take counts, like going to the bathroom or walking in the aisle of your office. It all counts.
There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel, for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect. But food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body.
SIMple tip: Eat at least 2 cups of vegetables and 2 seasonal fruits a day to get the best nutrition for yourself.
Water has been shown to have natural calming properties, likely as a result of addressing dehydration’s effects on the body and brain. Drinking enough water is an important step in managing your anxiety. Even if you’re not experiencing anxiety, drinking sufficient water can create feelings of relaxation. We often drink alcohol to change our mood, but the effect is only temporary. Drinking alcohol is not a good way to manage difficult feelings. So hydrate your body sensibly.
SIMple tip: Drink 3 litres of water every day. This depends on a lot of aspects, check with you nutritionist for their recommendations too.
Keep in Touch
Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life. Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face-to-face. But that’s not always possible. Give them a call, drop them a note or chat with them online instead. Talking about your feelings with someone will help calm you down too.
SIMple tip: Keep the lines of communication open. It’s good for you! Take the initiative to communicate if you wish to talk to someone.
Switch on Recovery Mode
A change of pace is good for your mental health. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Take a deep breath… and relax. Try yoga or meditation, or just putting your feet up. Listen to your body. If you’re really tired, give yourself time to sleep. Without good sleep, our mental health suffers and our concentration goes downhill. Sometimes the world can wait.
SIMple tip: Get at least 6-7 hours of sleep per night. This is very important for your health as a whole.
Indulge in Self Care
When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.
SIMple tip: Journal your gratitude and accomplishments. Write down 3 things you are grateful for each day, and 3 things you have accomplished. This can be as small as “added veggies to lunch”. Every small accomplishment matters. After doing this consistently, experience your life change for the better!
Spend Time with Yourself
Most people believe that because socializing helps relieve stress, it should be done from time to time. While there is no harm in that, it is also a good idea to know how to spend time with yourself and enjoy your own company. Giving yourself alone time means you can explore these things without the pressures and judgments that others may impose. Having time to yourself is critical for growth and personal development. Instead of worrying about the needs, interests, and opinions that others may have, alone time lets you focus on yourself.
SIMple tip: Read / Meditate for 5 – 10 minutes a day. Or choose an activity you would love to do, draw, paint, read, dance! Do what you like doing at least for a little time in the day to help you!
By Simrun Chopra, Deep Health Coach, Nutritionist and Founder of Nourish with Sim