Living in a modern world undoubtedly takes a toll on our mental health. No matter how hard we try to have a positive approach and not fall into the negative mindset, it happens. Whether it is money, job, family issues, or any other personal problem, it can get pretty hard to keep your chin up.
There are certain things that you cannot change no matter how hard you try. On the brighter side, there are other things you can change, one of them being your approach to challenges. Here are some important daily habits that will help you with mental health struggles.
Establish a morning routine
Whether you get up for work or school early or have other daily obligations, one of the ways to have a better day is to have a routine arranged. It doesn’t have to be “set in stone”, you can always leave room for a last-minute change of plans.
You can start your day by writing a to-do list, journaling, listening to positive affirmations, and meditating. If you feel good about any of these, make them a daily routine and something to look forward to every morning.
Top it up with a healthy breakfast, a cup of tea, or coffee, and you are good to go.
Clean your space
Making sure your living space is decluttered and clean can improve your mental health. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get up and move, but if you adopt a habit of short and small-portioned cleaning daily, it will not be overwhelming for you.
For example, when you wake up you can spend a couple of minutes tidying up your bedroom. Fix your bed, open the windows for some fresh air, pick up clothes from that pile you made yesterday, etc.
The same goes for other rooms. Wash your plate after breakfast, or put it in the dishwasher. Learn how to clean as you go, because it will save you so much time and won’t be hard on you, especially when you already do not feel your best.
Take care of yourself
This is sometimes the hardest part, but it is very important to treat yourself with respect and kindness. That goes a long way and brings some other good daily habits into your life.
For example, if you are not feeling your best and are working/taking classes from home, do not stay in your pyjamas no matter how comfy they are. Get up, stretch, take a shower if you need, and get ready like you would if you were going out.
This will make you feel more focused on work or school and would create the necessary working vibe, making you feel less sludgy and ready for your day. If you look more put together for work, coffee with friends, or any other event, you will probably feel more put together.
Sometimes even showering requires so much energy, but stick with it and do it – it’s gonna make you feel better, we promise. After you are done with your day, take a moment for yourself. Meditate, relax, and watch your favourite film or TV show.
Food and movement
A healthy balanced diet and movement can do wonders for your mental health. It is a struggle when sometimes you do not feel like eating or feeling too tired to move a muscle, but give it a go. Baby steps for the win.
Avoid skipping meals, especially breakfast. Try to include a variety of nutritious foods in your diet, and stay hydrated. Supplements and vitamins can help as well.
Movement is very important for your overall health. Find something that sparks joy and makes you feel good, whether it is yoga, swimming, dancing, or a simple 20-minute walk around the park. Physical activity produces “happy” hormones like dopamine and serotonin, so undoubtedly it will make you feel better.
The first step is always the hardest, and in most cases, it is admitting that you are struggling. Please do not hesitate to seek medical assistance if your mental health is declining. Stay strong and remember you are not alone even if it seems so sometimes.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.