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Easy Habits That Support Your Mental Health

Taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body. Unfortunately, you may sometimes forget about your mental health.

After all, it’s obvious if you visit the gym instead of watching TV or eat salmon for dinner rather than fried chicken. How you treat your mind is usually less visible and more difficult to track.

To stay on top of things, it helps to develop easy habits that fit into your usual routines. That way smart choices become more automatic. Use these tips to help you get started.

Taking Care of Yourself:

Slow down.

Multitasking increases your stress levels. Whenever demands exceed abilities, stress is bound to follow. The brain responds to impossible demands by pumping out adrenaline and other stress hormones that put a person "on edge." When you find yourself rushing around, take a deep breath. Figure out your priorities and eliminate unnecessary commitments.

Shift your attention.

Do you dwell on disappointments and overlook the positive events that happen each day? Start a gratitude journal to remind you of the things that you’re thankful for.

Listen to music.

Your favourite songs can lift your spirits and give you more energy. Put together playlists for working out and doing household chores.

Spend time outdoors.

Bask in the sunshine. If you're working at home, bring your laptop out on the patio. Go camping or take a picnic to the beach on weekends.

Monitor media consumption.

Disturbing news can weigh you down, and comparing yourself to others on Face

book can make you feel like you’re missing out. Search for inspirational content and set limits on screen time.

Continue learning.

Stimulate your brain. Read books and take online courses. Talk with others about their careers and hobbies. Ask lots of questions.

Stay active.

Physical exercise benefits your mind as well as your body. Any routine you enjoy will help

Rest and relax.

Sleep deprivation and chronic stress can interfere with your mood and cognitive abilities. Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night and take refreshing breaks throughout the day. Take time to reflect in solitude or enjoy soothing hobbies.

Value yourself.

Love and accept yourself for who you are. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion. Build your confidence by setting goals and working towards them.

Connecting with Others:

Show appreciation.

Strengthen your relationships by letting others know that they’re important to you. Pay attention to what your friends and loved ones have to say. Remember their birthdays and send gifts and cards for no special occasion.

Gather together.

Online communications work well as a supplement rather than a substitute for face-to-face interactions. Socialize offline with family dinners and standing dates with friends.

Practice forgiveness.

Let go of grudges and resentments. Encourage reconciliation and healing.

Share a laugh.

Humour relieves anxiety and depression and can even serve as a natural painkiller. Tell funny stories about your personal life and pass along your favourite video clips starring pets and babies

Set boundaries.

Make a conscious decision about how you want others to treat you and what kind of behaviour you find acceptable. This might include your expectations about privacy, communication, physical boundaries, and so on. Then clearly let others know your wishes.

Give generously.

You’ll feel a warm glow when you help someone in need. Some research suggests that the mental health benefits are strongest when you know the recipient. Donate to charities and remember your loved ones too.

Develop your own mental health routines based on your personal needs and preferences. Nurturing your mind will help you to enjoy a happier and more meaningful life.

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