Fighting mental health issues seems like a never ending battle. With doctors trips here and there, counselling sessions with your therapist, and medication to keep up with, it can soon become a never ending cycle that’s hard to break out of. While medication and counselling are both great forms of dealing with mental health issues, you can also be making changes to your lifestyle that can seriously help the way that you’re feeling. So, even though your first port of call should be to see your GP when you’re experiencing problems with your mental health, why not try these lifestyle changes that could help you out in the long run too?
Look at your eating habits
You may not realize it, but what you’re putting into your body doesn’t just affect what weight you are. It can also have a serious impact on the chemical balance in your brain. Foods that are full of nutrition will promote better moods and make you feel happier, whereas junk food will upset the chemical balance in your brain which in turn, can contribute to low moods and depression. Take a look at these ways in which you can change your eating habits for the better:
- Switch snacks like crisps and chocolate for healthier alternatives like carrot or cucumber sticks. While they might not seem as appealing, they will in fact, make you feel better about giving in and having a snack. Because these snacks provide nutrition and are mostly water based, you’re not piling in even half as many of the calories as you would with a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar.
- Eat slower and savor every mouthful so that your brain has time to catch up with your stomach to tell you when you are full. You might find that you’re eating little and often, but your body will be able to digest the food much more easily, leaving you less bloated and possibly even losing a pound or two. Perhaps part of your mental health issues is related to your appearance? Doing this will help kill two birds with one stone.
- Notice when you’re tempted to reach for naughty food. Think to yourself why you’re doing this as you might find that you’re an emotional eater. Pin pointing this problem will allow you to try and resolve your issues another way like calling a friend to chat.
- Really learn to listen to your body. If you think you’re hungry, drink some water and wait ten minutes. More often than not, your body will in fact, be thirsty. Reduce the chance of overeating and promoting bad moods by having a glass of water when you think you’re hungry.
Up your water intake
Speaking of water, it’s important to make sure that you’re drinking enough water each day so that your brain is hydrated enough to think straight. A dehydrated brain is an unhappy brain, so try and get the recommended two liters of water each day so that your body and brain can thrive. If you’re struggling to get that much into each day, why not buy a water bottle that tracks how much you’ve consumed so that you’re able to push yourself to drink more water? It’s much easier than you think, and if you’re not keen on the taste of water by itself, then you could always infuse your water with fruits to make it taste nicer and add even more nutritional value.
Get plenty of exercise
We all know that to live a healthy lifestyle we must eat right, drink plenty of water, and get exercise. But did you know that exercise can play a large role in the way that you’re feeling? Take a look at how much exercise can impact your mental health:
- You may already know that exercise releases endorphins into your body, which in turn make you feel happier. The more than you’re exercising, the happier you’re going to feel!
- Exercising will change the way that your body looks and how you feel about yourself. You will notice more defined areas and feel more confident; making you happier in general.
- If you’re choosing to work out at the gym or in exercise groups, you will make more friends and expand your social circle. People who are surrounded by good friends and don’t feel lonely are generally happier.
Take “me” time
One of the most important things that you can do when you’re struggling with mental health, is to take plenty of time to yourself. Being constantly on the go is very tiring both physically and mentally, and it’s not going to do your mental health any favors. Take a look at these ideas on how you can spend a little more time loving yourself:
- Spend more time with your family and friends. As mentioned above, someone who feels lonely or doesn’t have a strong circle of people around them can be worse on your mental health. Pop over to your family and friends for a catch up as often as possible!
- Take time to actually relax. Whether this be watching television after a long day at work, or even reading a book, it will help you maintain a sleep schedule if you’re giving yourself time to wind down each day. Sleep is super important for regenerating your body and brain.
- Give yourself a pampering session. There’s nothing quite like taking yourself off for a long, hot bath, with lots of bubbles, popping on a face mask, and allowing your troubles to melt away while you relax. Whatever you find relaxing, do it at every chance you get.
- Allow yourself to be alone. While it’s understandable that you don’t always want to be alone, it’s important to build your self confidence and independence back up as much as possible. Even if it’s only an hour here or there, it will make all of the difference.
Cut out the stress in your life
One thing that many people fail to do when they are suffering with their mental health, is to cut out the stress in their life. While it’s understandable that this isn’t always possible due to work life, it’s always best to cut out as much stress in your life as possible. Perhaps you run a club that causes you a lot of stress? While you’re fighting your mental health issues, it might be a good idea to pass on the responsibility to someone else. Cutting out as much stress as possible will help you recover faster and much easier.
Listen to hypnosis
A great way of fighting feelings of anxiety or depression is by listening to some hypnosis tapes. While some people don’t believe they work, allowing a hypnosis tape to speak to your subconscious while you’re relaxing might just be the release that you need. More often than not, you will find yourself falling asleep to these kinds of tapes as they are built to be relaxing for the consumer. So, if anything, you could use it to help you drift off into a peaceful sleep each night!
Relieve your body of toxins
Finally, toxins in the body aren’t just going to harm your physical self. Things like tobacco and alcohol can impact your brain massively, and make it behave in ways out of the ordinary. Cut out as many toxins such as alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse so that your brain has a good chance of recovering!
Images courtesy of Unsplash.