Things can be tough, and then they can get tougher taking care of your mental health is the most important thing you can do for yourself. It forms the basis for your productivity, motivation, energy levels and attitude towards life. It should be a part of your daily routine and habituated the same way brushing your teeth or your morning cup of coffee is.
Here are 5 things you can work towards incorporating in your daily routine
– 3 pillars of mental health: Your appetite (3 healthy meals), sleep (7 to 8 hours of continuous sleep) and exercise (at least 20 minutes every day). This is the basis of any good mental health, any fluctuations in this is indicative of emotional distress and must be addressed immediately.
– Journaling: Maintain a reflection journal that you use everyday, this can be your daily dump of your thoughts. Here are 3 types of journaling techniques you can incorporate
1) Free flowing journaling. In this there is no time limit and can be engaged with at any time of the day.
2) Expressive journaling. For 15 minutes of continuous writing, if stuck at word continue writing the last word till another thought pops in and the buzzer busses for 15 minutes.
3) Rose – Thorn – Bud. Identify something good about your day, something challenging and something your looking forward to tomorrow
– Connect: Connect with a friend everyday. Call up a friend and spend sometime talking and listening to them. This form of connection is a way of reaching out and knowing you’re a part of a larger social network, a part of a community and society.
– Routines: Have a routine at the start of your day that is conditioned with positivity. This a great way to start your day with energy and a positive attitude. Then setup a wind down routine that helps you calm your thoughts and facilitates peaceful sleep.
– Dance: when angry or sad get up and dance. This helps release the physical energy associated with the emotions, helps you disengage from the situations for a bit. Then revisit the triggering situation with fresh calmer eyes
– Care for others: Self care is important but also caring for others, this act increases feelings of gratitude, positivity and hope all of which are crucial for good mental health.
Mental health hygiene begins with small changes in your routine, this is crucial for mental health care. However, if things are distressful it may be in your best interest to connect with a mental health professional.