May might be mental health month but year-round mental health is always better

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act and also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

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Even if you don’t have a diagnosed condition like anxiety or depression, it’s vital to prioritize your emotional well-being. The following are tips to help you out:

  1. Make time to do the things you enjoy. Work on your hobbies or passion projects. Also take breaks and do small fun activities, be it doing a crossword, dancing or gardening.
  2. Exercise. When you work out, your body releases the happy hormone; endorphin. Endorphin is a powerful antidote to stress, anxiety and depression.
  3. Eat healthy. Foods can have short-term as well as long-lasting effects on your mental health.Your body needs a mix of nutrients and minerals to function well, so making sure you’re eating a good diet is truly vital for mental health. A balanced diet includes; 6-8 glasses of water a day, fruit and vegetables, protein and carbohydrates.
  4. Practice gratitude. Get rid of negative thoughts and take time each day to think about the things you’re grateful for, both big and small. List the big-picture things you’re thankful for, such as your health or family, as well as small, daily things you’re thankful for, like the nice weather.
  5. Sleep! Good quality sleep isn’t just about getting seven to nine hours of shuteye each night. It’s also about getting sleep that is restful and will ensure you’re energized for the day ahead. If you’re struggling with getting restful sleep, incorporate helpful practices into your nightly routine, such as; meditation, keeping the temperature of your bedroom optimum and avoiding your cellphone before you tuck in.
  6. Seek help. There is no shame in seeking professional help if you’re struggling with your mental health. Find a therapist or psychiatrist you’re comfortable with.
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Written By: Christine Olubayi