Mental health challenges are more prevalent than ever, and it can seem impossible to find true solutions. Beyond seeking professional support, there are ways to DIY a healthier mindset. While no one method will provide a total fix for mental health issues, these strategies from Revivified can boost your mood and improve your mindset.
Care for Your Gut
Do some foods make you angry? Research suggests that a link between emotions and gut issues could explain some mood changes and other mental health issues. The brain and stomach connect in various ways and gut health influences other body systems. Eating better, and figuring out what foods work with your system, could improve your overall health.
Adopt a Pet in Need
Adopting a furry friend is arguably the easiest way to create positivity at home. But before looking for a pet in local shelters or rescues, consider your resources and how much time (and money) you can dedicate to a pet. For example, dogs need regular walks and outside time, while small pets like lizards or rodents have specific environmental requirements. All pets have vet care needs, so budgeting is part of the equation, too.
Sleep More (and Consistently)
Healthy sleep benefits the mind and body, not to mention your daily mood. But sleep deprivation can affect your mental health, says Columbia Psychiatry. Adjust your sleep routines and aim for seven hours, minimum, per night. For those with sleep issues like insomnia, more changes might be helpful for better quality sleep.
Make Time to Volunteer
Spending time with others—AKA socialization—offers a mental health boost. But helping others does even more; Mental Health America confirms that acts of kindness increase your happiness, help you feel connected to others, and add purpose to your life. Look for opportunities to volunteer locally and enlist friends to join you.
Get a Confidence Boost
It may be tough to feel good about yourself when you’re struggling with mental health challenges. But one way to boost your confidence is by tending to your appearance. If you feel like you look good, that enhances how you feel about yourself. To stay comfortable in your confidence, look for cozy clothes that don’t sacrifice style.
Spend Time in the Sun
Spending time in the sunshine feels good, and research confirms it’s also good for the body and brain. One study found that every additional hour spent outside lowered participants’ odds of experiencing depression. Going for a daily walk or sitting in a sunny spot near a window in your home can help you soak up the benefits of sunlight. If you’ll be outside midday, be sure to apply sunscreen first.
Hit the (Home) Gym
Exercise is another boon for better mental health, but it doesn’t require an expensive gym membership. Activities like walking, stretching, doing yoga, or lifting weights at home are easy to keep up with, free, and can alleviate mental health symptoms. Heading to the gym is an option, too, but staying close to home might be easier to stick with over time.
Can thinking good thoughts improve mental health? Positive thinking does have power, especially in reducing stress and anxiety. Even fake smiling can alleviate stress, as can thinking positively in challenging situations. Faking positivity isn’t a cure-all, but along with other mental health strategies, it may make a difference.
Though it takes time to overhaul your mental health, these out-of-the-box ideas may be an excellent starting point. From pampering yourself with some new clothes to pasting a smile on to reap the brain benefits, there are many ways to start turning things around.
"Cheryl Conklin is a freelance writer and tutor by trade. She is also a blogger, adventurer, traveler, and creator of Wellness Central. She uses wellnesscentral.info to share her thoughts on wellness along with the great resources she finds on her own wellness journey."
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