First-line treatments for mental health disorders like depression or anxiety are frequently psychological therapies and medications, but changeable lifestyle habits that influence our mental health are rarely addressed. Even those who are not suffering from a mental illness may be looking for strategies to manage their daily mental health, lessen stress, and enhance their mood. Here are 3 lifestyle changes to help you get started.
- Make sleep and rest a top priority
Getting up at the same time every morning can help lessen insomnia and improve the quality of sleep. Some people are genetically inclined to be more of a morning or evening person, so we should ideally have some flexibility in this regard (especially with work schedules). Moreover, it’s essential to avoid forcing yourself to sleep. If you cannot fall asleep in around 20 minutes, it might be better to get up and keep your mind engaged in something low-light and low-stimulus until you feel sleepy.
- Eat better and get active
Lean red meat, shellfish, legumes, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables are examples of whole diets that are rich in nutrients necessary for healthy brain function. In terms of getting active, swimming, jogging, lifting weights, and participating in sports are all potentially beneficial. A good first step is simply getting the body moving by going for a brisk walk or doing house chores.
- Take a nature break
Not only does getting enough sun exposure increase levels of the hormone serotonin, which regulates mood, but it also raises vitamin D levels, which have an impact on our ability to think clearly and maintain a regular sleep-wake cycle. According to studies, spending time in nature can boost one’s mood and sense of self. Spending time in a forest is seen as a mental health prescription. Studies suggest that owning a pet has several advantages and that receiving animal-assisted therapy (using horses, cats, dogs, and even dolphins) may help improve one’s mood.
source: The Conversation