Everyday tips to take care of your mental health
By Sammy Davidoff
For those of you who don’t know, May is mental health awareness month. With everything that has been going on the last couple years, I know numerous people have been struggling with their mental health. Even before the pandemic, poor mental health was common but just not as talked about. One thing I can certainly appreciate about the last two years is that it has become much more socially accepted and encouraged to take care of yourself and your mental health. With all the pressure of society and social media now, the world has become an easy place to feel lost in. I am always eager to learn and take in any healthy ways to help alleviate some of the sadness or other symptoms of this.
I have struggled with anxiety for a good portion of my life and it has gotten more prominent as I get older and feel the pressure of not being where I thought I would be or not feeling accomplished enough. It comes into play in almost every aspect of my life, even those I may not even realize at the time. But, I have chosen to try natural approaches before deciding to take a prescription medication. CBD has been a supplement that I choose to use when I need to calm myself down and have my anxiety put at ease. Although there has not been a ton of research done, there are studies that show CBD can help with several mental health related issues such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and PTSD.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is defined as a state of well-being that allows you to realize your full abilities, cope with life stress, work productively, and contribute to your community. Mental Health America provides a bunch of daily actions you can take towards bettering your mental health. I try to incorporate as many of these into my life when I can and I’d encourage you to do the same especially when you’re feeling like you need some guidance.
Here are a few of my favorite
suggestions from them:
Track gratitude and achievement with a journal. Include 3 things you were grateful for and 3 things you were able to accomplish each day.
Start your day with a cup of coffee. Coffee consumption is linked to lower rates of depression. If you can’t drink coffee because of the caffeine, try green tea.
Set up a getaway. The act of planning a vacation and having something to look forward to can boost your overall happiness for up to 8 weeks!
Work your strengths. Do something you're good at to build self-confidence.
Take time to laugh. Hang out with a funny friend, watch a comedy or check out cute videos online. Laughter helps reduce anxiety.
Go off the grid. Leave your smart phone at home for a day and disconnect from constant emails, alerts, and other interruptions. Spend time doing something fun with someone face-to-face.
Dance around while you do your housework. Not only will you get chores done, but dancing reduces levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), and increases endorphins (the body's "feel-good" chemicals).
Relax in a warm bath once a week. Try adding Epsom salts to soothe aches and pains and help boost magnesium levels, which can be depleted by stress.
Do something with friends and family - People are 12 times more likely to feel happy on days that they spend 6-7 hours with friends and family.
Take 30 minutes to go for a walk in nature - it could be a stroll through a park, or a hike in the woods. Research shows that being in nature can increase energy levels, reduce depression and boost well-being.
Do your best to enjoy at least 15 minutes of sunshine- Sunlight synthesizes Vitamin D, which experts believe is a mood elevator.
Experiment. Try something outside of your comfort zone to make room for adventure and excitement in your life.