Maintaining your mental health is never as simple as doing one thing and then you’re done, but it is about doing simple things. Small adjustments to your day-to-day life can make a huge difference for your mental health. Start with one small thing you can do, and then add in another. As your routines change, so will your mental health.
Remember, your mind is worth taking care of. Check out these seven things you can try at home and find ways you can improve.
1. Get Sleep
Adults need to sleep seven hours a night, no matter how busy they are. This is an easy factor to overlook when it comes to your mental health, but there is a strong link between your mental health and your sleep patterns. Harvard agrees. If you’re making the time but still can’t fall asleep, see your doctor.
2. Clean Your SpaceResearch has shown that a clean, uncluttered space is linked to lower anxiety and a stronger sense of happiness and self worth. Take the time to tidy up or hire a cleaning company to do it for you. You won't regret it – and it's as important for your well being for
3. Take a Social Media Break
If you find yourself scrolling through Instagram only to look up and not know where the past hour has gone, it might be time for a social media break. If a month sounds too long to you, give yourself a week with the apps deleted from your device and see if it makes a difference. It’s not just comparing your own life to what you find on the apps, or worrying about how many likes your newest post got. It’s also about spending some time off screen. Read a book, go to a yoga class, go for a walk, or do something else to improve your mental health instead.
There are two big excuses for not doing this. The first one is the question of whether it will even help. It seems like everyone has an opinion on meditation, and that confuses the matter of what it is and what it can actually do for you. It’s best to break through all those voices and look for facts. Professionals from Johns Hopkins University researched 19,000 meditation studies and published a study that supported the idea that mindful meditation helps with anxiety and depression.
The second common reason for not trying meditation is that it seems too difficult, or that it would take too much time. These days, it is easier to start a mindfulness practice than ever before. There are many apps out there that can guide you through a meditation, and they have options for ones that go from three minutes to a solid hour. The app Headspace focuses their practice on ancient history and modern science and has an easy to use three minute meditation for getting started.
5. Start a Gratefulness Journal
Keep a small journal on your nightstand where you write three things every day you are grateful for. The reminder can help change your perspective through the whole day.
6. Take Some Time For Yourself
Everyone needs time for themselves. Too often, this advice is written off as being self-indulgent. No one is more guilty of this thinking than mothers. Parenting Magazine talked to health psychologist Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Ph.D., who said that twenty minutes of time to yourself a day is essential.
7. Talk to a Professional
This may sound like something you’d have to leave the house to do, but not anywhere. There are plenty of mental health services where you can now text or email a professional. Getting some help when you have a few minutes can make a world of difference.
Taking care of your health is something we too often overlook, and yet when your health is off, everything else is, too. Choose one or two ideas from this list you can start today and work on making good mental health an everyday practice.