Over the latest decade or so, there’s been something of a cultural shift when it comes to mental health. Put simply, we’re more aware of the feeling of being worn out and stressed constantly – and we’re recognising that it isn’t good for our productivity, or for our quality of life. We’re recognising the important role that self-care plays in safeguarding our mental well-being.
Unfortunately, many of us are living lifestyles that aren’t exactly conducive to mental well-being. If we’re aware of the dangers, then this is might be a tolerable risk. But if you’re wondering why your performance at work is dropping, you’re having trouble concentrating, or your emotions are running away from you, then it might be that a few lifestyle changes are in order.
There’s a proven link between sunlight exposure and mood. Plus, the novelty of exploring new environments provides just the right kind of stimulation. For these reasons, the occasional walk through the park can be tremendously valuable – as can taking the train down to the seaside once in a while.
Physical training helps us to keep our bodies in good condition. Fortunately, there’s an equivalent for mental health, in the form of mindfulness. This is a practice through which you’ll learn to pay attention to the present moment and learn to recognise and deal with everything that appears in consciousness – including unhelpful emotions and thoughts. You might also keep a diary, which helps you to notice what you’re thinking in much the same way.
The internet isn’t always great for your mental health. Social media platforms are based on algorithms with a single objective – and that’s keeping you engaged. They’ll seek out the most outrageous content and the most divisive voices, and present them to you.
Physical exercise can help to preserve function and to release endorphins that make you feel good. After a tight day at the office, it can be tempting to simply vegetate in front of Netflix – but a better idea might be to head down to the gym, instead. Ideally, you’ll require to exercise in the morning, as doing so late in the evening might interfere with your sleep. We’ll have more on that in a moment.
Without the right nutrition, the function of your brain will deteriorate. Most of us don’t get enough essential omega-3 fatty acids, which help to deal with memory loss and depression. You can get those from fatty fish or from a supplement. There are alternatives available for vegans, so seek them out!
Get enough Sleep
Many of us are chronically sleep-deprived. If you’re just getting six hours or so, you might feel fine – but the effects will be there, subtly. Establish a consistent bedtime routine: ban smartphones from your bedroom, and try to limit bright lights just before bed.