May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, so there is no better time to focus on your mental health. Mental health plays a significant role in your overall well-being; when you are mentally healthy, you are able to enjoy your life to the fullest. Below are some tips from Mental Health America to keep your mental health at its best.
- Eat nutritious foods. The quality of food you eat can impact your overall physical and mental health. By eating better foods with lots of proteins and healthy fats, you can positively affect your mental health.
- Exercise. An active lifestyle benefits many different aspects of health, including improved self-esteem, brain function and sleep. Try adding more exercise into your life by choosing activities that are enjoyable and easy for you to work into your daily life, like going on a sunset walk.
- Get enough sleep. Your health heavily depends on how rested you are; not only does sleep affect your mood but it also affects your immune system, organ health and many other things. Remember, quality of sleep matters, not just how many hours you get. Quality sleep consists of: falling asleep in under 30 minutes, being asleep for 85% of the time you are in bed (or more) and waking up no more than once per night for no longer than 20 minutes.
- Identify your coping skills. Coping skills are different strategies you can use to help reduce or tolerate those not-so-good feelings. You will have to figure out what works best for you, but a few ideas to start with include going on a walk, talking with a friend, writing down your thoughts in a journal or coloring a picture.
- Build a support system. Having people in your life that you can rely on and relate to protects your long-term mental health. Find your people by connecting with others over shared hobbies or interests, attending community events or even giving back to the community.
It is normal for your mental health to shift over time, but creating positive habits is a great way to support the foundation of your mental health.