2020 was a roller coaster that left many of us eagerly waiting to get off. The situation forced people to limit contact with loved ones to not spread. However, humans are naturally social creatures. With the situation looming over, it was easy to fall into a hole of despair.
Getting sick wasn’t the only thing to worry about. Rising unemployment left many wondering where their next meal was going to come from or how they were going to pay their rent. Depression, anxiety, and fatigue plagued numerous homes—but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in a rut. Read on to learn about ways you can improve your mental health this year.
Spend Time Outdoors
Sometimes all you need is a little bit of fresh air to brighten your spirits. Taking a stroll through the park or going on a hike are relatively safe activities to pursue. If you’re up for it, you can even plan a picnic. Pack up cooler bags with your favorite snacks, a cozy blanket, a good book and you’re ready to go. However, not everyone is prepared to step out of their homes and that’s okay. You can easily sit on your porch or crack a window open to let in some sun and a fresh breeze.
Additionally, spending time with mother nature will help your overall health. For instance, connecting with nature can reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, lower blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, and much more.
Get Enough Sleep
Do not underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Sleep and mental health are strongly connected to one another. In fact, your body is meant to repair itself while you sleep. By not getting enough Z’s, psychological problems can arise or worsen if they already exist. Moreover, not sleeping can have negative consequences on your physical health as well. Your immune system can weaken and you can end up experiencing serious health issues.
There are numerous ways you can regulate and improve your sleep schedule. However, making sure you get eight hours daily isn’t enough. The quality of the sleep you receive is also incredibly important.
The ‘stay inside 15’ hit many of us hard. In 2021, ensure you move your body as much as you can. Making this a daily habit will improve your mental health exponentially. In fact, working out can help relieve anxiety and make you feel better about yourself.
Don’t let closed gyms stop you from working out. There are plenty of free workout videos you can try in the comfort of your own home.
Eat Nutritious Meals
When you eat unhealthy food, it’s easy to feel bad. Not only do processed foods not provide any nutrients, but they also can have harmful ingredients that can hurt your body. Don’t throw away all your chips just yet! Moderation is the key to not eating too many unhealthy snacks.
If you struggle cooking meals for yourself, try a food delivery service. These programs will deliver kits with instructions and ingredients to make a delicious meal every time. It’s important to fuel your body with nutritious food that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Your stomach and brain will thank you for it.
Unplug From Technology
From the moment we fall asleep to the second we wake up, technology is all we think about. It’s a powerful tool that helps us connect with distant loved ones and can make our lives easier. Despite this, there are also a lot of dangers associated with using too much technology. For example, people can form unhealthy attachments to their cell phones or social media channels.
Taking a step back from technology to read a book, paint, or start a new hobby will give your brain a much needed break.
Seek Professional Help
Digging yourself out of a hole is difficult to do alone. There is no shame in seeking professional help to boost your mental health. Working with a licensed professional guarantees you’re getting the help you need for the specific issues you are facing.
Although having a face-to-face conversation with a therapist is difficult due to the health situation, there are online counseling services you can enroll in to talk with a professional 24/7.
You deserve a pat on the back for crossing the finish line into 2021. Although the future remains unknown, prioritizing your mental health after a stressful year is a must.