Your mental and emotional wellbeing is a key factor in determining your happiness and productivity levels. Most, if not all, of us have experienced feeling unproductive and sluggish when our mental health has been going off track. Here are five tips to get you back on your positive mental health journey.
What you do in the morning usually determines the rhythm of your day. If you’ve woken up on the wrong foot, you can experience a downward spiral of feeling like nothing is going your way all day long! Try to wake up with a refreshing cold glass of water and lemon as this detoxifies and wakes up your body. Lemon not only provides a heap of Vitamin C (fantastic for fighting colds), but its potassium content is what helps stimulate cognitive function!
It is also a great idea to incorporate some morning yoga stretches that will help get your blood flowing while refreshing your emotional state, setting you up for a successful day. Check out this post on how yoga can alleviate stress.
Starting your day with writing a list of things you are grateful for is a clever way to focus on the positive rather than the negative. This is a great way to battle morning grumpiness! Depending on whatever problem you may be facing, gratitude practice can, at times, help belittle some other problems you may perceive to be quite large! According to a study from Ohio State University1, it was found that individuals with high levels of depression reported a reduction in their depressive symptoms when practicing gratitude daily.
Think about writing 3-5 things you are grateful for rather than thinking of entire list. Keep it short and simple!
That classic E word! A study from Harvard2 found that when participants participated in regular HIIT (high intensity interval training), they had decreased levels of depression due to the body’s release of endorphins (the body’s feel-great chemical). You can go to a gym to use their equipment/classes or alternatively there are many workout programs out there that you can purchase or download for free; a workout program worth a massive tick-of-approval is the Kayla Itsines Beach Body Guide!
Talk to someone
Lots of people find themselves keeping their burdens inside – this is always tricky because one day you can simply explode. Tackling an issue while it is still small is better than waiting for the issue to become large and difficult to solve. You can try to talk to a family member or friend about what is troubling you, or you can opt to see a counselor for professional advice and guidance. Remember: when talking about your problem with someone, get straight to the point and don’t dwell for long – this may increase the frequency of your negative thoughts. It can be a vicious cycle, but you don’t need to let it be.
Commit to your hobbies
A lot of the time we can forget to indulge in our hobbies and find ourselves committing only to work and school. Remember to take some time out each day (or every second day if that’s more reasonable for your situation) to focus on you. Whether it be as simple as running a bath or even driving up to your favorite mountain to go for a little hike – ensure you make time for you. The pressures that life throws at us at all stages in our life can be tricky, especially for parents. A great tip of enlightenment is to recognize
that even if you put yourself second and everyone else first (i.e. Your kids, parents, partners, friends, siblings etc.) you won’t be functioning optimally to put them first and actually do a good job with it. Being a happy & fulfilled mother/wife/friend means that you can actually offer your best to those whom you love.
1Harbaugh, C. N. & Vasey, M. W. (2014). When do people benefit from gratitude practice? The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9(6), 535-546
2 Drug-free options to fight depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, and magnetic stimulation can make a difference. (2014). Harvard Health Letter / From Harvard Medical School, 39(6), 3.