When is the last time you took a step back and evaluated how you are truly feeling in life? Mental health is a part of a person’s life that is often overlooked, and yet, is such a crucial component to achieving a healthy lifestyle. It is important to discern what activities help you when you are struggling with your mental health, how to check-in with yourself, and the potential triggers in your life that are causing you to struggle. Luckily, there are tons of tools at our disposal that we can use to successfully care for our mental health. Let us dive into what those are and how to implement them into your life.
The Steps to a Successful Mental Health Check-In
Coming to terms with how you are doing mentally can be quite challenging. It is crucial to be honest with yourself and how you are feeling in order to properly navigate what you need. Here are some ways you can check-in with your mental status:
- Journal - Sometimes all we need to feel better is getting all of our feelings out. You can reach out to a friend or loved one to speak with them as to your concerns and stressors. However, journaling is a private way to also get in touch with how you are feeling without needing to involve others. Pick up a pen and paper and simply write what comes to mind. Oftentimes, the simple act of sharing will help you to feel loads better.
- Participate In A Relaxing Activity - If you are someone who avoids their feelings, they can start to bottle up to the point of disaster. You might experience anxiety or find that you are quick to be angry. Your body might be in a constant state of fight or flight mode. Luckily, you can activate your parasympathetic nervous system and bring your body down from this state by participating in a relaxing activity. Some examples include: taking a bath, taking a cold shower, getting a massage, and spending time outside connecting with nature.
- Meditate and Connect With Your Body - With the constant chatter and hustling that comes with day-to-day life, it can be easy to overlook signals that the brain and body might be giving off. Certain symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, dry skin, and irritability are all signs that something might be off mentally for you. Be sure to take some time to simply sit with yourself and your thoughts. Use this time to see what signals your body might be trying to send to you.
Potential Triggers That Are Stressing You Out
- Complications in the Workplace - We spend a huge chunk of our lives surrounded and focused on our work. It comes to no surprise that complications and challenges at work will impact your mental health. However, it is crucial to understand when your emotions need to be separated from your mental state for your own sake. It is important to remember that your mental health matters more than any stressor that you might be facing in the workplace. Be sure to establish boundaries for yourself if you are experiencing unwelcome emotions due to your work.
- An Unhealthy Diet - Did you know the foods you consume can impact your mental health. There are certain foods that are beneficial to men and women’s wellness that are truly food for your brain. On the other hand, there are foods that can cause you to experience unwanted mental symptoms. Eating foods high in fat, processed substances, and/or sugar can cause you to feel unhappy. Not to mention, these foods can contribute to an unstable gut – which is connected to your brain.
- A Lack of Communication and Human Connection - The people in our lives have a major impact in how we feel. If we have a lack of human connection or tend to not communicate with our loved ones, we are more likely to feel lonely and isolated. It is important to work on these connections in your life and have a support system. Try and take those extra steps to reach out to those around you on a consistent basis.
Methods to Protect and Sustain Your Mental Health on a Day-to-Day Basis
- Exercise - Exercising can offer us a boost of serotonin and truly make us feel happier. While it can be challenging to fit it into one’s schedule at times, try to make the effort to add some movement into your day. This can be a full-blown yoga workout, hitting the gym, or simply going on a walk after dinner.
- Spend Time in Nature - Connecting with the nature around you can help to boost your mood. Not only do we get vitamin D from the sun rays outside, but the feel of the wind and the smell of the trees can be beneficial to your mental health. If you find yourself struggling at any point throughout the day, take a moment and step outside. Take note of how this makes you feel and how your emotions transform.
- Focus On The Positive Moments in Life - It can be easy to focus on the negative parts of the day that impact us, but shifting your mindset to focusing on the positive moments instead will make all the difference. Positivity breeds positivity. When you focus on the positive moments, you are teaching your mind to look out for those moments moving forward. Eventually it will become second nature and your outlook on life as a whole will transform.
- Take Gut Health Enzymes - Digestive enzymes will help to boost your digestive and gut health. It is crucial to take care of your gut health due to the connection it has to your mental health. If you let your gut become unstable, your symptoms will be more than simply bloating. It can cause anxiousness and irritability. Be sure to include this and a probiotic supplement into your health routine for a happier and healthier tomorrow!