As you finish up your final semester of the year, ask yourself, how is your mental health today? What practices do you maintain to ensure a healthy state of mind during high stress times? If you answered nothing to the last question, listen up! We have some simple tips to improve your mental health.
1. Make meditation a part of your daily routine
Recent studies show meditation and mindfulness can have a positive impact on stress, anxiety, focus, creativity and even relationships. You have no idea how much your mind wanders until you stop and attempt to quiet it. Meditation can seem very overwhelming, particular if you’ve never tried it before, or are unsure about which method is best for you. If you’re anxious about starting, there are some useful tools and apps to get you started on your mindfulness journey.
Check out HeadSpace; it’s a gym membership for the mind! You’ll find a course of guided meditation delivered via the app or online. Another simple idea is just to explore YouTube for some guided meditation that suits you and your needs. Remember to tailor your practice to your needs, it’s not always easy, but five minutes of meditation are better than none.
2. Talk openly about your mental wellbeing
Half the battle of speaking openly about mental health and depression is the stigma surrounding it. Ask your family, friends, and colleagues “are you ok?” regularly, and listen to their answer.
3. It may seem obvious, but eat healthily!
Of course, a poor diet has a huge effect on our physical health, but what about our mental health? According to Felice Jacka, Associate Professor, Psychiatric Epidemiologist and Director of the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University, “there’s a very strong link between quality of diet and the risk of common mental disorders like depression and anxiety.” You can read the full article from HuffPost here.
Take the time to meal plan at the beginning of each week, and steer clear of the snack and confectionery aisles in the supermarket. Try substituting sweet snacks for healthier alternatives; instead of ice cream in the evening have some yoghurt and berries.
4. Exercise daily
Daily exercise can feel like an impossible feat when you’re time poor, but even 30 minutes of exercise can have a huge impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. If you don’t have an established exercise regime already, try the Nike + Training Club. It’s perfect for those who don’t know where to start when it comes to workouts, or if you just need some fresh moves!