It’s estimated that almost 7% of adults suffer from depression. While this is a serious medical condition, it can sometimes be alleviated or eliminated. With the right habits, you can take daily steps to improve your mental health. If you’re suffering from mild depression, these activities are a great place to start to make improvements that can change your whole outlook.
Sunshine has a powerful effect on people. When you go for a walk to get your body moving, being outside has a positive effect on your mood. Your brain releases many happy hormones that can counteract depression and anxiety. Being outside can give you mental clarity, boost your oxygen levels, and help you get a break from daily life. It’s important to spend as much time outdoors as you can especially if your mood needs a boost.
Let Things Go
People hang onto a lot of things. It’s important to learn how to let things go. You can’t change the past, you can’t make people go back and undo what they did to you. But you can let it go, leave it in the past and move on. People with mental health challenges often focus on past issues. While there are situations that require therapy and assistance to work through, for the minor things, learn how to let go.
Help Someone Else
It feels good to do something nice for others without expecting anything in return. You can go a step further than make a comment on social media on a birthday for instance and send one of many JibJab birthday ecards. You can text someone to let them know you are thinking about them. You can pay for someone’s gas, their groceries, or even share a smile. Kindness goes a long way to making people feel better and more joyful.
Eat Nutritious Foods
Everyone loves fast food. They designed it to be delicious and irresistible. It’s okay to eat these and other processed foods on occasion but fueling your body with nutritious things to eat will make it feel better. It’ll improve your mood. It’ll improve the way you feel and so much more.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Constant lack of sleep does something to the brain. There is a reason they use sleep deprivation as torture. It’s important to prioritize sleep if you struggle with mental health challenges. One thing you can do is to turn off screens an hour before bed. No checking your phone right before you go to sleep either. The blue light from technology stops your body from making melatonin which is essential for resting at night. Another thing you can do is to make your bedroom dark and cool. Blackout curtains help remove any ambient light from streetlights or the moon.
Get a Hobby
It’s important to do something you enjoy just for enjoyment’s sake. A hobby like woodworking, painting, or restoring vintage cars gives your mind something to focus on. It gives you a purpose as well. You can take pride in your work and share it with others. Hobbies aren’t like work where you might be constantly rated for your performance. They are things you do for the love of it and it makes a big difference.
Plant a Garden
Some people love the feel of the earth in their fingers. It grounds them and brings them peace and joy. When things start to grow in the garden, you can find excitement and take pride in knowing you helped make it possible. Serenity gardens are designed to create peaceful spaces where people can go to unwind, relax, and reconnect with themselves. Vegetable gardens can provide nourishment and sustenance.
Make a Friend
It’s important to have positive relationships and friendships where you can express your feelings and be safe. Good mental health means not only can you identify how you feel, but that you have people in your life who value you enough to listen to everything you say. Good mental health means you don’t internalize and stuff your feelings, but that you find healthy ways to verbalize them.
Better mental health is possible. While some situations will require medicine and counseling to work through, others can be helped with positive lifestyle choices.