Three Easy Things Anyone Can Do to Improve their Mental Health
By: Alia Savage
It is universally known that maintaining a healthy body is the key to a full, healthy life. We know that we should be mindful of what we put into our bodies and that we should work out regularly. Unfortunately, not nearly enough of us prioritize getting our mental health, which is also a contributing factor to a full life, in order.
Our bodies may be the vehicle that carries us from point A to point B, but our minds are our engines. It doesn’t matter how shiny and expensive a car looks on the outside, it will not run if the engine is broken, and that goes for our minds, too. In order for us to truly thrive, our minds, along with our body, have to operate in harmony.
While there is no foolproof path to achieving optimal mental health — it’s a complex system, which is affected by internal factors (like chemical imbalances and hormones) as well as external factors (like our jobs, financial situations, and relationships) — the good news is that there are small things, if done in conjunction, that anyone can do to improve their mental health.
Visit a Therapist
Therapy is not for "crazy" people, as popular media very harmfully suggests. People with varying levels of diagnosable mental health disorders can and do benefit from it, but the point of therapy is to have a safe place where you can talk through your problems and get to the root of whatever is holding you back. Anyone, no matter their stress level, tax bracket, or history, can benefit from talking things out with a qualified professional. While this is a privilege for some, it is an important part of mental health that can be accessed through a variety of networks. To start, call your insurance company and ask what therapists are in your network; it can't hurt to look.
Unplug From Social Media
Social Media is a wonderful tool that has made the world a smaller, more accessible place. Its existence allows us to connect to people with common interests, allows us to make new friends, and even keep up with celebrities and public figures. Unfortunately, some people abuse these platforms, which means that hatred and negativity can bleed into our experience. Since it’s impossible to control the actions of others, and blocking doesn’t always suffice, sometimes it’s best to just unplug completely. Depending on your profession this may be next to impossible, but if you can afford to take a break, you definitely should!
After a long day at work or school, it’s important to take time to process our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Journaling is a fun way that you can achieve that. The best part is that there is no right or wrong way to journal. You might choose to write out a brief overview of notable events that happened that day, while someone else might pour out their feelings, in great detail, for pages and pages. If you’re more of an artistic type, then you might consider taking up bullet journaling. It’s more art-based than text, and revolves around turning out our mundane daily tasks into simple or intricate designs.