Don't Forget About You, 6 Steps to Improve Your Mental Health

Everyone wants to be happy, the key to finding your happiness is taking care of your mental health. Think about it like this "happy mind, happy body" and remember that your mind is a powerful thing.

1. Get Enough Sleep

Believe me; I know how easy it is to cut back on sleep in an attempt to get everything done. It is a risky call though because a lack of sleep can cause you to be less productive during your waking hours. Given the assumed premise that many adults sacrifice sleep to get more done, this seems counteractive. Give your mind the recovery time it needs at the end of each day, for most adults this falls somewhere between 7-9 hours per night. Get the sleep you need to get all that work done, and you will end up feeling better while you do it!

2. Meditate

Shut off your mind. With everything going on in your life it can be easy to think about multiple things at once, which is stressful and overwhelming. Take breaks to shut off your mind and meditate. Whether you schedule this time into your day or take it as you need it, even 5 minutes at a time will help relax you. If possible, enjoy your meditation time in a quiet place with no distractions. If you cannot do this, try a quiet walk around the building, focusing on details such as the clouds, or the wind instead of that 3:00 pm meeting or what cleaning you need to get done when you get home.

3. Stress Relief

This one varies for everyone, find whatever it is that relieves your stress, and be sure to do it often. It may be listening to soothing classical music or uplifting swing while you work. It may be taking a two-minute break every hour to do some jumping jacks or squats to get your blood flowing at your desk. Whatever it is that helps you to keep your cool and your focus, make time for it throughout the day.

4. Write

Writing is one of the best ways to clear your head, or to get the ideas flowing. Write down everything that pops into your head when you are trying to come up with new ideas. You will be surprised how many good ideas will stem from the silly ideas that you know will never work. Free writing is ideal for bringing yourself to center and getting your thoughts together. You do not need to be concerned with the quality of your free writes or your brainstorming sessions, you do not even need to show them to anyone else, but they will exponentially help you to better connect with your thoughts. Sometimes there is so much going on in your head, the only way to make sense of it all is to get some of it out, and writing is a prime outlet for just that.

5. Spend time with people you love

Improve your mood and your happiness by surrounding yourself with those who matter to you. Make time for your family and your friends, and enjoy the memories you make with them. In my world I am a fan of Sunday dinners with the family. Making sure to hold on to the connections to the people in your life who matter, makes getting through the rest of your days easier.

6. Don't live on social media

Social media makes it easy to get caught up in leading your digital life. For the sake of your mental health, don't let yourself live in social media, get out there and make real memories. Go ahead and share those memories on social media, and tag the people you make them with, but never forget to go out and make those memories. Scrolling through your news feed will never give the same "high" as laughing with your friends at whatever ridiculous inside jokes develop while you are spending time together. 

*Resources: National Sleep Foundation