A list of things that may help with your mental wellbeing.
This is not and doesn't assume to help with someone's mental health or any mental illnesses and doesn't replace therapy or medication. If you are suffering with your mental health you should seek help from professional sources. These are simply things that may support your mental wellbeing.
We could all use at least some of these tips to improve our mental wellbeing and improve our head space, especially with all of the events going on in the world. I have gathered evidence that shows that these tips can be helpful to you or your loved ones.
Studies show that mental health and sleep are linked, with a lack of sleep exacerbating the effects of mental illness. Getting a good amount of sleep each night is conducive to improved mental wellbeing, along with a regular sleep schedule.
A "good amount" of sleep is different for each person and if you're having problems with sleeping and feel it is affecting you negatively then seek help from a trained health professional.
There are several ways you may be able to improve the amount or regularity of sleep you get, such as using relaxation techniques, like a quiet environment, focusing on something like your breathing or a word, or being in a comfortable position. Other things that may help are, getting regular exercise if you can, getting a good amount of natural sunlight, blocking out excess light or noise when sleeping and refraining from drinking alcohol and caffeine and not smoking before bed.
Use social media less
Multiple studies conclude that there is a link between social media and mental health, it can have negative effects, such as:
Insecurity about your self image or life, while you may be aware that people edit their selfies and other pictures, you could still feel inadequate if you compare yourself to them, even though you aren't. If you are creative you may feel envious when you see someone outperform you in the same thing you do.
Isolation, a study at the University of Pennsylvania found that high usage of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram increased feelings of loneliness, while less usage of social media apps lead to decreased feelings of loneliness.
Fear of missing out, where you feel like everyone else is having more fun than you, and you cannot put down your phone in case you miss out on something, which ultimately leads to you neglecting your personal life outside of social media.
This suggests that you should take breaks from social media where you can, try and find other things you can focus on like a hobby or show.
Improve or alter your diet
Always follow the advice of a doctor or nutritionist before anything else.
Sources show that the relationship between what we eat and how we feel is complicated, but here are some tips that might make you feel better:
Eat a balanced diet, your brain needs healthy fats to function properly, these include olive oil, nuts, seeds, milk and eggs, make sure you eat protein with every meal, as it contains amino acid that your brain needs to function well, eat wholegrains, fruit and vegetables, since they give you vitamins and minerals your body needs. Make sure to keep your gut healthy too, by eating things like fruits, vegetables, probiotics and beans.
Watch the amount of caffeine you consume, since some people report that it makes them aggravated and/or anxious. It may also cause problems when you sleep, especially if you drink it close to bedtime.
Make sure you eat regularly, no matter what it is you eat, to keep your blood sugar at a good level, which may help you feel better. Also make sure you aren't dehydrated, keep drinking throughout the day, as this can affect your mood and physical health. It is best to drink water, but the most important thing is that you drink something non alcoholic.
Studies also suggest that eating with other people provides mental and physical benefits; eating with someone at least once a week may help your mental wellbeing.
Do physical activity
Research shows that if you are able to do physical activity of any kind it could provide not only physical benefits, but mental ones as well.
"Physical activity" in this sense includes: any type of physical activity, such as walking, carrying bags or climbing stairs, exercise, like running, lifting weights, etc., play, or sports.
People recorded feeling more content, awake and calmer after physical exercise, particularly low-intensity aerobic exercise – for 30–35 minutes, 3–5 days a week, for 10–12 weeks, and the greatest increase in enthusiasm was seen in people who's moods were initially low.
It has also been shown that exercise can decrease stress and has a positive impact on self esteem and body image, which in turn has a positive impact on mental health.
Overall it is best to do what you can, but of course if you are unable to do any of the above suggestions, there's no need to feel bad, you are doing your best and that's what counts.
None of this advice is a substitute for help from a professional and if you are struggling or worried about your mental health then see a professional.