May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so there’s no better time to focus on our mental health and well-being. Good mental health is essential to our overall well-being and happiness, so it’s essential to do what we can to maintain it. To honor Mental Health Awareness Month, we have come up with a list of tips to help our patients and community members like you keep their mental health in optimal shape.
1. Set Attainable Mental Health Goals
Mental Health Awareness Month is a great time to develop goals to improve your mental health. But it’s important to make sure those goals are realistic and attainable. Trying to accomplish too much at once may be overwhelming and lead to setbacks. So start small and work your way up.
You may find that writing your goals down in a place where you can see them every day will help to keep you on track. If you find yourself struggling to stick to your goals, reach out to a friend or family member for support. Remember, it is okay to adjust your goals as needed, and there is no shame in seeking help to achieve them.
2. Find Time for Exercise
Mental health requires more than just our thoughts and emotions. It also needs physical care. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. It also helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Finding time to exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym for hours at a time. The key to a well-rounded exercise routine is to find what works best for you and make it a part of your daily routine.
Make sure you are getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day but remember this doesn’t have to be all at once. You may find it better to break it up into smaller increments throughout the day.
For example, starting your day with some stretching may be a great way to get your body moving and ease into your day. If you find yourself feeling stressed in the afternoon, take a break for a quick walk and try to clear your head. If you have trouble winding down at night, consider adding a relaxing yoga session to your bedtime routine.
3. Prioritize Your Sleep
When your body doesn’t get enough rest, it may lead to all sorts of problems. Sleep allows your body to heal and repair itself, so it’s essential to get enough rest every night. Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.
If you find yourself struggling to get enough sleep, there are a few things you can try, such as:
- Sticking to a regular sleep schedule
- Limiting screen time before bed
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed
- Meditating or doing some light stretching before bed
Creating a relaxing bedtime routine and sleeping environment is also essential. This may include reading a book or taking a bath before bed. For optimal sleeping conditions, make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.
4. Talk to Someone About Your Feelings
When maintaining a healthy mental state, it is important to talk about your feelings. Whether you’re feeling happy, sad, anxious, or angry, talking to someone may help you better understand and process your emotions. Sometimes opening up to someone may be difficult, but there are many people who are willing to listen. For example, you may find talking to a friend, family member, therapist, or doctor helpful.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, there are many hotlines and online forums available where you can anonymously share your feelings. Knowing someone is out there to listen may be a huge help. Bottling your emotions up may lead to a whole host of mental and physical health problems, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
5. Focus On Staying Positive
When it comes to mental health, positivity is key. One of the best ways to stay positive is by surrounding yourself with positive people. This may include friends, family members, or even co-workers. If you find yourself around people who are constantly negative, try to limit your time with them or find ways to distance yourself.
When the going gets tough, it’s important to remember things will eventually get better. Focusing on the positive aspects of your life may help you get through tough times. It’s also important to give yourself credit when you accomplish something, no matter how small. A little self-love and appreciation may go a long way in boosting your mood and overall mental state.
6. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Eating a nutritious diet is vital for physical and mental health. When you eat healthy foods, your body gets the nutrients it needs to function properly. This may help to improve your energy levels, mood, and overall mental state.
Some foods that are particularly good for mental health include:
- Leafy greens
- Pumpkin seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Dark chocolate
Including these foods in your diet may help to improve your mental health. However, it’s important to remember everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you’re unsure what diet is best for you, speak to a doctor or registered dietitian.
7. Participate in Mental Health Clinical Research
If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, you may want to consider participating in clinical research. This type of research helps scientists develop new and improved treatments for mental health conditions. It also allows you to access treatments that are not yet available to the general public.
Olympian Clinical Research is currently conducting several clinical research studies, including studies for depression. If you are interested in participating in clinical research, contact us today. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.