May is Mental Health Awareness month, so let’s discuss what mental wellbeing means and how you can take care of yours in eight easy ways.
It’s generally accepted that we should take care of our physical wellbeing. You might keep fit at the gym, go for regular walks, eat nutritional food, take daily vitamins, and go for regular health check-ups. Just as we need to take care of our physical wellbeing, we need to take of other areas of our lives too. The area that many of us tend to neglect is our mental wellbeing.
The world has become a busy place where everything seems urgent and competes for your attention. You’re expected to always be accessible and to cope with pressures at home, at work, in your social circle, and in your online communities. With all these demands and stresses, it’s easy to see why many of us suffer from overwhelm and heightened levels of anxiety.
When you take care of your mental wellbeing, you’re proactively building skills to cope with life’s challenges. You’re cultivating resilience, mindfulness, coping skills and a growth mindset. You’re taking steps to ensure that your mental wellbeing improves every day.
If you don’t quite know where to start, here are eight ways that you can improve your mental wellbeing.
1. Write things down
Clear the clutter from your mind by writing things down. The act of writing has both a therapeutic and practical purpose. Make checklists for things that you need to do. Journal your thoughts and feelings. Scribble random ideas to implement when you’re ready.
2. Only focus on what’s important today
You have a finite amount of time each day. You can only do so many things at once. While you might plan out your week ahead, remember to only attend to the most important tasks for today. If you take on too much, you become frazzled and overwhelmed. In the end, you accomplish nothing.
3. Stop multitasking
One of the most common myths out there is “multitasking”. This is the idea that you can competently work on more than one task at the same time. The truth is that your mind can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to work on multiple tasks, you’re simply task-switching. This means that you’re shifting your attention from one task to another. This is an ineffective habit that interrupts your workflow and exhausts your mind. It causes you to get less done than if you had just focused on one task at a time.
4. Take mental breaks
Rest is important for your mental wellbeing. You need to take mental pauses for your mind to work at its best. Be sure to take regular breaks during your work day to recharge your mind. You should also schedule breaks at longer intervals, for example weekly, monthly or quarterly breaks. When you allow your mind to take a break from the responsibilities that demand your constant attention, it recharges and helps you to be more efficient when you return.
5. Build positive social connections
Being connected to other people is an essential part of being human. You need to connect with people who share your interests and with whom you can make great memories. It’s important to surround yourself with people who are encouraging and positive, and for whom you can do the same. When you’re in the presence of excessive negativity, you feel drained. People who have a negative and pessimistic outlook can drag down your mood, making you feel antagonistic and cynical.
6. Spend time offline
The online world has become a major part of our lives. The internet has changed everything that we do and has given us many benefits. It also means that we’re accessible at any time. With Wi-Fi, email and social media at our fingertips, it’s almost unheard of to be offline or uncontactable. According to various studies, being hyperconnected has far-reaching consequences on your mental wellbeing. Spending a few hours of your day offline is vital for your mental wellbeing. Disconnect from the internet and social media as often as you can. Spend time in nature to revitalise your mind and body. Monitor the number of hours that you spend online each day and try to reduce this over time. Your mind will be grateful for every break that you take from the online world.
7. Work on your mindset
Your mental wellbeing depends on your mindset because mindset is everything. A positive mindset will help you to look for opportunities for growth in every area of your life. It helps you to see new possibilities and create a better life. A negative mindset holds you back. It sees anything new as a threat and keeps you stuck in your comfort zone. Build a positive mindset every day by journaling your thoughts, challenging your old beliefs, and using positive language.
8. Move your body
Many studies have shown the remarkable effects that exercise has on mental wellbeing. It reduces anxiety and improves mental function. It also improves self-esteem and gives you a better outlook on life since it’s a mood booster. It’s important to move your body as often as you can. This can include regular body stretches during your work day or having an exercise routine that you enjoy.
Your mind does so much for you. Take the time to look after it and give it the care that it deserves. You’ll reap significant rewards and see change in many areas of your life.
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