Keeping fit has become the new it thing.
Everyone now pays attention to what they eat and how they engage in physical activities to burn excess calories. Gyms are suddenly open in many corners, with growing numbers of registered members monthly.
But, while we are all paying great attention to our physical health, how are we prioritizing that of our mental health?
Where do we go to get our mental health fitfam – to maintain healthy emotions and feelings?
What do we do to ensure that our mental health is just as fit as our physical health?
Staying conscious and being intentional about our responses can help us maintain a healthy mental wellbeing.
Here are a few activities that can help improve your mental health
- Exercise: Yes, fit-famers, being active is a good way of boosting one’s mood and reducing stress. So, stay on track. Engage in 15 minutes of exercise 4-5 times a week to remain mentally alert.
- Procrastination: Set realistic goals, and break big goals into smaller achievable tasks. Focus on what you can control, and monitor yourself as you progress towards your goal. This helps reduce the feeling of overwhelmingness which we tend to feel when we are stressed.
- Sleep: Be conscious of how you spend your time and ensure to have 6 – 8 hours of sleep daily. Good sleep enables better thinking, learning and memory, and overall positive attitude. And if you find yourself struggling to sleep at night, try to take short naps during the day to make up for the lost sleep.
- Journal: Keep track of your thoughts and actions by writing them down. This helps you understand your thought process and track your triggers. Most times, journalling helps you re-evaluate those feelings and thoughts you may be having. When you read what you write down, you can get a different perspective that will give more insight.
- Positive affirmations: Sometimes we experience low moods, or moments when our self-esteem is threatened. Positive self-affirmations help us through these moments in restoring our esteem and confidence. Make a habit of practicing positive self-affirmation every morning, and when you feel your stress rising. You are capable.
- Social Support: Surround yourself with people who love and support you. Staying connected with people who encourage you and lift you up is a necessary ingredient for boosting confidence and reducing anxiety. Close, quality relationships help you navigate your stressors, which in turn strengthens your response to it.
- Help others: Studies have shown that helping others helps create a sense of happiness. So, volunteer in a charity cause, or help your friends, family or neighbour in whatever way you can. This will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and pride, thereby boosting your mental wellbeing.
- Self-awareness: Be conscious of your emotional reactions to events around you. Be intentional in the activities you engage in, and be mindful with your behaviours. Understand which activities make you stressed, and try to avoid them. Navigate yourself towards those activities that are pleasurable to you. This does not mean you should not try new things. Try new things that can potentially make you happy and relaxed.
- Self-care: Engaging in self-care activities help reduce stress and uplift good moods. Self-care focuses on providing a sense of calm to your mind and body, and is a quick way to boost esteem. There are different self-care practices which people engage in. Some examples are reading a book, sitting on a balcony while it rains, taking a bubble bath, turning off all devices to meditate.
- Seek help: If you feel overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety or long periods of low moods, speak to your support system. If these feelings do not go away, seek professional help. Seeking help is a sign of strength that shows that you are willing and ready to return to optimal mental wellbeing. Seeking help is also s form of self-care.