This post is all about tips for mental health and wellbeing.
You’ve got a lot going on, which makes it easy to avoid thinking about your mental health and wellbeing. But, that’s not fair to you. You deserve to prioritize yourself, so you can give your life 100% of you and 100% of you happy.
You may not be there right now, and that’s totally fine. Part of working on your mental health and wellbeing is accepting where you are.
Check out this list of seventeen tips to get you back on track with your mental health because you are worth putting in the work to completely enjoying life.
This post is all about tips for mental health and wellbeing.
1. Prioritize self-care
Self care can be as simple as watching a show while you unwind from a stressful work day. It can also be more involved like going through your finances and creating a good budget for yourself.
Or you can go the spa for a day and enjoy some pampering, taking care of your body, and relaxing the mind for a day. Self care looks like whatever you want it to look like, but it’s way more than a bubble bath.
Make sure you take this as a sign to really take care of future you, whether that means getting the ingredients for a nourishing meal this week, whipping up a budget for yourself, or thinking through your goals.
2. Practice a good sleep routine
So much of the quality of our waking hours is determined by the quality of our sleep. The first two hours of our sleep promote bodily growth, whether that’s our brain building more connections or our muscles repairing from a difficult workout.
Not to mention, if you’re learning something new, one of the best tips for mental health and wellbeing and the best way to process that information is to sleep on it, as they say. Sleep gives our body the chance to care for itself and better prepare us for the next day when we’re awake.
Establish a solid sleep routine that you more or less stick to so that your body knows when to promote growth through the secretion of hormones and when to process new information for long term memory.
3. Maintain a balanced diet
There’s no one way to do this and everyone tells you to do it a different way. The amount of videos of social media that tell us we’re fueling our bodies incorrectly don’t take into consideration that most food is fuel.
So, get creative with your food. Find recipes that inspire you while also getting in touch with different flavors and food groups. We’d probably all be surprised (and underfed) if we looked at how much of each food group we were actually supposed to be eating in a day.
The best place to start is by finding foods you’ve never tried and using them to give you that long lasting energy and nourishing flavor.
4. Stay hydrated
Bring that water bottle EVERYWHERE. Find a reusable one with a filter (this is our favorite) and fill that thing up all day. A good rule of them is eight glasses of water, so aim for 64 ounces, but, more importantly, aim for improvement.
The goal is to drink more water, not make yourself feel guilty for the amount of water you forget or get too distracted to drink.
The key to making that goal of drinking more water come true: getting yourself a water bottle to take everywhere and listening to your body when it wants hydration.
5. Engage in regular physical activity
Move your body and get those endorphins flowing. Work off the anxiety for that upcoming test or presentation. Find ways that feel good to you, whether that’s playing dance game on the Wii or walking around and listening to the birds.
You can also go to the gym, run around your neighborhood, and do any other version of exercise that feels good to you. Keep in mind: it has to feel good for you to want to keep doing it. So, treat your body well by giving it what it needs in a feel-good way.
6. Set realistic goals
When you’re struggling to get things done around the house, for your job, or for your school, it’s easy to think that planning to get it all done in one foul swoop over the course of a few hours is the best solution.
That could be true if we operated like robots with no changes in motivation or energy levels or even mood swings. But, we’re human and we need to have compassion for ourselves. So, let’s set small goals for ourselves that build to the ultimate goal.
Create chunks of time in your schedule where you’ll get small things done. Maybe tidy up your bed or put away everything on your desk. Then, in a week or two, you’ll have a clean home and you’ll realize how important it is to set realistic goals for yourself.
7. Manage stress
Stress is not bad. Just like anxiety, stress is a natural human response that was really useful when we were trying to stay alive a few centuries ago. Now, we’re taught to think of stress as negative. When we feel it, we should fight it because it causes a physiological response.
Too much stress can cause real damage to our bodies. But, that’s not because of stress itself but how we react to it. Instead of thinking about stress and stress responses like the enemy, we should be working with them and realizing our body is doing what it’s designed to do.
Stress responses are designed to help us handle the source of our stress, so let’s work with our bodies and accept that a fast heartrate, shaking hands, and thinking a million thoughts are all our bodies’ way of trying to help.
8. Practice mindfulness and meditation
Mindfulness is the act of pulling our attention into our bodies and feeling the physiology activities that are going on. That might be tingling in our toes, pinching in our back, or breathing slowly.
Meditation allows us to focus on clearing our mind and improving our ability to let thoughts and emotions flow freely without getting stuck in our heads.
Both of these practices are useful for calming our anxiety and stress responses without fighting them. Instead, we will find calm within our body and align our minds with the calm we feel in our bodies.
9. Learn to say no
Boundaries tell the people in our lives how to be better friends and family members to us. They tell them what triggers us, what time we need to ourselves, and what our needs are in general.
They’re tough because we don’t want to tell best friend we can’t hang out. But, if hanging out gets in the way of you sleeping a full eight hours or saving enough money for your future car, you need to be honest with your friend.
Use the word “no” to help you shape your friendships into the support you need to build the life you want to live.
10. Limit exposure to negative influences
Identify the sources of discomfort in your life. What occupies your mind? What are you obsessing over for the all the wrong reasons? Think about whether this has anything to do with who you spend you time around or what you spend your time doing.
The trick is to figure out what leaves you feeling negative and minimize the time you spend in those spaces, doing this activities, or with those people. Then, you’ll be the master of tips for mental health and wellbeing.
11. Practice gratitude
Find reasons in your life to be grateful. This starts small with a checklist of three things you found to be grateful for today. From there, you can start trying to find something positive about every negative thing you experience.
These sources of gratitude can be small and they should be unique to the day. Get specific with them and really enjoy sharing them with yourself. You can even turn this into a journaling practice where you write down why you’re grateful.
Share them with someone else, especially if they made you grateful. You’ll see how good it will make them feel and it’ll make your day even better.
12. Volunteer or help others
Make time in your day to help out. Help friends, family, people in your community. You can cook for an elderly neighbor or go to the local animal shelter and help out.
Find a soup kitchen near you to serve or do a beach cleanup. No matter how little time you have, you’ll be surprised how much joy you’ll get from opening up even an hour a month to someone in need. And, remember, you get to define need however you’d like.
13. Establish a routine
Use some type of planner (digital, paper, etc.) to create the perfect routine. The perfect routine might have some leeway depending on the day and how much energy you have, but it should also give you an idea how to spend your time.
The purpose of a routine is comfort and control, which are crucial when thinking about tips for mental health and wellbeing.
When you have a to-do list than never becomes and to-done list, you might use a routine to get that stuff done by scheduling it in. A routine can help you eat at regular times, work ahead of deadlines, and sleep a good amount.
Try time-blocking your schedule into sections that focus on different tasks or provide yourself an organized list that tells you the order to do things in your day from waking up to going to sleep.
14. Engage in positive self-talk
Notice the negative talk first. Notice when you’re hard on yourself or beating yourself up and start here. Once you get pretty good at noticing it, start making it clear that these are not your thoughts. These are the thoughts of your insecurity or anxiety.
You would never talk that way about a friend, so find ways to disagree with it. Challenge those negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Affirm yourself and remind yourself you’re doing okay.
Be kind and encouraging, like you would with someone you care about outside of yourself.
15. Practice forgiveness
Grudges can feel really satisfying, especially when you can continually prod them. You can bring up a snide comment to make someone instantly feel bad about something they did.
But, if we’re being honest, it doesn’t make you feel good. If anything, it makes the bad thing they did feel a little less bad for the moment.
Your friend and family member might not deserve forgiveness, but you deserve not to be dealing with that grudge on top of the pain they caused. You may never talk to them again or let them into your life, and yet you can still forgive them because you deserve that for yourself.
This goes for you too. Forgive yourself because you can trust and believe in yourself to do better. Beating yourself up is easy to do to make the situation feel less bad, but it really doesn’t solve anything and it hurts.
16. Take breaks and rest
Give yourself time off. Travel, go to the park and get in some nature, or stay in bed when you normally wouldn’t. Rest is the only way you can be at your best the rest of the time.
So, recharge when you’re feeling like you need the time. You deserve time to come back and be your best self. When you’re functioning at half of what you normally can do, you’re doing a disservice to yourself. Take that break.
17. Engage in intellectual stimulation
Do something a little different. Try out an escape room or download a puzzle app. Try Sudoku or do a crossword. Find puzzle activities that get you out of your comfort zone and addicted to trying something new.
Try a new activity that challenges you and engages your mind. Think of writing a story or redesigning a space in your home completely DIY.