When it comes to taking care of yourself, there’s so much more you can do for your mental wellness than taking a “me day” here and there. While those one-off breaks can be good for your temporary mood, improving and maintaining your overall well-being is a way of life, rather than a chore.
The following post are a number of small changes that you can start implementing in your life that have helped many others improve their mood, lower depression and find a general sense of purpose. Take care of yourself, you deserve to feel good!
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It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again: staying active is all too important to maintaining your overall well being. Not only does staying active decrease the chances of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, but is also linked to our overall mental health. If you’re not a fan of going to the gym, that’s okay. Find a way to get active that’s enjoyable to you. For me, I learned recently that I love running, but don’t limit yourself to the few obvious methods. Try rock climbing, rollerblading, spinning or biking — whatever gets you moving and feeling good.
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As the great John Holmes once said “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” Giving back is a concept that’s been built into every major religion and philosophy for obvious reasons. Though as it turns out, giving out does more than just help the person on the receiving end, but has a positive mental effect on the person doing the donating. Whether it’s donating money to charities, volunteering your time for an organization or just spending time with loved ones in need of care, these acts of good have shown to increase self-worth, lower rates of depression and over time can extend your life expectancy.
Promote Creative Thinking
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Never stop learning! Learning a new skill or taking on a hobby gives people a sense of accomplishment, and can lower the risks of depression, improves memory and boosts overall mood. A new skill can be anything, singing, dancing, reading, knitting — it doesn’t matter! Just try something that you enjoy and requires focus
Build Meaningful Relationships
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Friendship is a crucial part to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only is it just nice to have someone to hang out with and do fun activities, studies show that building meaningful relationships is actually beneficial to your overall health. According to a Harvard Study of Adult Development, people who are more “socially connected” go on to live happier, healthier lives. According to the study, “People who are more isolated than they want to be are less happy, their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain function declines sooner, and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely.” So grab your friends and keep them close.
Don’t Bottle Things Up
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Feeling anxious? Feeling Sad? Don’t keep your problems locked up under key and guard — speak to someone about it. Everyone is different, but I find that talking to a close friend or relative calming when I’m faced with stresses and anxieties. If you don’t feel particularly comfortable talking to your friends or family, put in the work and find a support group or seek professional help. Talking out your problems with someone other than yourself can be helpful when sorting out problems as to give you a fresh perspective. That being said, sometimes it just feels good to vent to someone.
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