Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid negative self-talk. Make time for your passions and hobbies, or learn something new. Do a daily word search, plant some flowers, take dance lessons, learn to play an instrument or become fluent in another language.
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Eat nutritious meals, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep.
People with strong family, faith, and social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, church group or support group.
Volunteer your time and energy to help others. You’ll feel good about doing something to help someone in need — and it’s a great way to meet new people. Visit your local nursing home, church, shelter, or food pantry to learn about opportunities to serve.
Like it or not, stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills and learn stress strategies such as: Tai Chi, breathing or other exercises, take a walk through nature, play with your pet, or try journal writing. Also, remember to smile and see the humor in life. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.
Try prayer or meditating. Relaxation exercises and prayer can improve your state of mind and outlook on life.
Decide what you want to achieve professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to realize your goals. Aim high, but be realistic and don’t over-schedule. You’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth as you progress toward your goals.
Although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road-trip, take a walk in a different park, hang some new pictures or try a new restaurant.
Sometimes people use alcohol and other drugs to “self-medicate” but in reality, alcohol and other drugs only aggravate problems.
Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness and addiction and lead full, rewarding lives. Reach out to your pastor, doctor, and trained mental health professionals today.
*Adapted from the National Mental Health Association/National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare