How to Prioritize Your Mental Health
Mental health doesn’t get the same attention as physical health, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. If you push yourself too hard in your job or life and don’t take the time to rest and relax, your mind can end up feeling just as run-down as your body would if you didn’t give it the attention it needs. To make sure your mental health stays in good shape, implement these five strategies into your daily routine.
1) Take your mental health seriously
Like your physical health, you must prioritize your mental health. But what does that mean? Here are tips for making mental health a priority: Don’t forget about yourself: It can be easy to get wrapped up in work and forget about taking care of yourself. You deserve it! Don’t compare yourself to others: Comparing yourself to others is natural but can also lead us down a dangerous path toward negativity if we aren’t careful. Instead of focusing on what other people have or do, focus on how you can improve and grow as an individual—and celebrate those differences instead of trying to conform or fit in with everyone else around you.
2) Have more self-care days
Self-care days are a great way to recharge your batteries when you start feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. One of my favorite self-care rituals is a massage. It’s not something that I can afford all that often, but it feels luxurious and allows me to get out of my routine for a bit. Plus, it helps with back pain!
3) Develop positive coping mechanisms
Developing positive coping mechanisms is one of those long-term processes, but it can be a useful tool for keeping stress levels low. The first step is figuring out what works for you: if you have a bad habit (like smoking) that you’re looking to cut out, try replacing it with something more positive, like walking your dog. That alone might make your life feel less stressful in ways that will carry over into all other areas of your life.
4) Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep has long been linked with weight gain, so it’s no surprise that people who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity. A lack of sleep can interfere with hormones that regulate appetite and fat storage. Plus, if you’re not getting enough shut-eye, you might be more likely to grab foods high in sugar and saturated fats for an energy boost when your body is actually in need of rest.
5) Be thoughtful about social interactions
Be thoughtful about social interactions. It’s a simple truth that happy people have friends and family that support them. When we’re sad, lonely, or stressed, it can be tempting to hide our feelings to avoid an awkward situation (or just not want others to worry about us).
But bottling up emotions isn’t healthy—and it doesn’t work anyway: Over time, stress and anger can bubble over into your daily life in unhealthy ways.