Mental wellness is a vital aspect of our lives, one that is often overlooked.
So much attention is given to our physical fitness and nutritional health that we can easily put mental health on the back burner.
But as the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted this past year, our mental health matters a lot.
Sudden life changes or unexpected scenarios can easily throw us off-kilter, especially if we haven’t been taking care of our mental and emotional resilience.
There are many practices that we can engage in to ensure long-term mental wellness.
Below are a few to get you started.
Train Your Mindset
One of the most important aspects of healthy mental wellness is your mindset.
In other words, staying healthy mentally is a direct result of your internal messaging.
For example, are you someone who criticizes yourself a lot? Or do you encourage your strengths and celebrate your progress?
The messages you consistently tell yourself about your own worth and the world around you will greatly determine the quality of your mental wellness.
If you feel negatively about the world, you will likely feel that way towards yourself.
If you’re someone who struggles to generate positive internal statements, the good news is it can be changed.
By finding ways to accept who you are and convert negative statements into positive ones, you will find that your mental health and self-esteem will improve over time.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to create affirmations for different areas of your life.
This involves writing out or saying statements that provide encouragement, positivity, and self-love and repeating these daily.
Do What Fuels You
Another vital component of long-term mental wellness is to engage in activities that fuel you.
Too often we can get stuck in the routine of work, chores, and home life.
While you may be one of the lucky few to have a job that is your life’s passion, the truth is that for many people, work is a process that simply pays the bills.
If you fall into the latter category, it’s even more important that you engage in activities that ignite fun and passion within.
If you’re stuck for ideas, start with doing activities that you enjoy.
Whether it’s a sport, a hobby, a craft, or simply listening to music, taking the time to do what you love will fuel your mental and emotional health.
By leaving fun and passion out of your life, it can lead to boredom, tension, and low mood. So, take the time to give back to yourself and do what you love.
Express Your Feelings
Life will always present difficult circumstances at some point.
Whether it’s ill health or the loss of a loved one, emotionally challenging times will inevitably arise.
But the problem for many people is they don’t find ways to express their feelings about the situation.
This results in avoidance, suppression, or acting out—none of which are healthy forms of expression.
If you find yourself in a difficult period in your life, there are ways in which you can help yourself.
Find someone to talk to such as a counselor, therapist, or friend. Write out your feelings in a diary.
Express yourself through music or art. Exercise or use a punching bag.
Whatever outlet you decide upon, what matters is that you’re not bottling up your feelings or burying them under the carpet.
This only leads to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
By finding healthy ways to express your feelings, you improve your physical and mental well-being in the process.
Learning is a natural part of life, but as we get older, we can easily stagnate and get comfortable with where we are.
But actively learning, whether it’s a new skill, a piece of history, or an academic subject, can keep you curious, engaged, and more resilient to life’s challenges.
Studies also show that keeping your brain active can prevent degenerative conditions such as dementia.
This makes learning an integral part of mental wellness long into the future.
If you’re wondering how to keep learning an active part of your life, remember it can be as simple as discovering new facts about another culture, or as big as going back to school and taking an accelerated BSN nursing program.
Whatever you choose, it’s important to stick with subjects that interest you. Otherwise, you may give up.
Take Time for Relaxation
It’s no big secret that relaxation is important for all areas of health.
In today’s stressful world, people are filling their days with obligations and work, which leads to burnout, sleep problems, and ill health.
While the physical process of relaxation helps calm the body and mind, it’s the simple act of taking time out for yourself that supports your mental wellness.
If you struggle to find the time for relaxation, start small.
Even 10 minutes per day just to sit in silence can go a long way when it comes to easing the strain.
As time goes on, try to increase the amount of relaxation time in your day so that you’re giving yourself as much decompression time as possible.
This can include taking long baths, reading a book, listening to music, meditating, or going for a leisurely walk.
Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
Like the practice of learning, it’s important in life to continuously challenge yourself.
Staying in a nice, cozy bubble is great, but if you want to build resilience, strength, and self-reliance in life, it’s important to regularly go outside your comfort zone.
By facing new challenges head on and then getting through them, you build self-esteem and confidence.
This could involve taking on new tasks at work, doing an activity that scares you, or pushing yourself to meet new people.
The point is that you’re regularly exposing yourself to new situations and experiences in the pursuit of self-development.
While it sounds uncomfortable, the rewards of the process are huge in terms of your long-term mental health.