How Can I Improve My Mental Health Daily?

If you’re finding that your mental health is suffering, you’re not alone. Today, more than 1 in 5 US adults live with a mental illness. This is concerning. But, somewhat reassuringly, the commonality of mental illness in America is at least helping to lessen the stigma around seeking professional help.

Besides seeking therapy, though, there are other strategies you can employ to improve your mental health. Are you keen to find out what they are? Stay with us as we take you through our top tips to improve your mental health daily.

Mental Health Tip # 1. Clean Up Your Diet

Unless you don’t know anything about nutrition, you’ll likely already be aware that a healthy, balanced diet can help support optimal physical functioning and well-being. But did you know that what you eat can affect your mental health as well?

Yes, choosing to consume nutritious, nourishing foods can help improve our mental state, too. So what are these mood-boosting nutrition sources? To eat well for mental health, some of the essential brain foods you should be reaching for every day include:

  • Energy-giving proteins – like chicken, seafood, fish, lean meats, and eggs, for example.
  • Satisfying complex carbs – including brown rice, starchy vegetables, sweet potato, and quinoa, to name a few.
  • Brain function-enhancing essential oils and fatty acids, the likes of which can be found in oily fish like salmon and trout, as well as in nuts and flaxseeds.

To optimize your mental health diet, there are also foods you should avoid. These include:

  • Concentration-impairing sugary snacks and processed foods, like potato chips, fatty fry-ups, and candy.
  • Energy-spiking, sugar-laden soft drinks, to avoid those dreaded sugar rushes and crashes.

Mental Health Tip # 2. Do Some Exercise

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Just like eating well, exercising regularly is not just good for our physical well-being. No, physical activity also has many advantages for our mental health. The benefits of exercise for mental health are abundant. Some of these body-moving motivators include:

  • Enhancing our mood, releasing mental tension, and even, regulating stress.
  • Improving our self-esteem, confidence, and body image.
  • Minimizing negative emotions and the risk of developing related mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

Mental Health Tip # 3. Get Quality Sleep

Getting good quality sleep is essential for optimal cognitive function. It also has a huge effect on our mental state. We’ve all been there – not getting enough sleep can make us grumpy, low in mental energy, and lethargic. It can make us snappy and irritable, and more likely to lash out at those around us.

How to combat this? Get those Zs. Implement sleep hygiene. What does this look like? Sleep experts recommend establishing a structured sleeping schedule, avoiding the temptation to nap at random times, and also, putting a turn-down routine into place to get you ready to get some shut-eye. Dimming lights, disconnecting from blue-light emitting electronic devices, and showering or doing skincare before bed can all help you get into the sleepy time mood.

Mental Health Tip # 4. Connect with Loved Ones

The importance of relationships and close connections to lift our moods and benefit our mental health has been well documented. Why is this the case? Most mental healthcare experts would agree that social connections and positive relationships are needed to support and boost our mental and emotional health.

Being socially connected helps individuals beat loneliness, isolation, and the risk of developing mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. The best part? Feeling connected and as though we are part of something meaningful does wonders for our mood, confidence, and self-esteem. This is essential to maintain a positive emotional state and support our mental health.

Mental Health Tip #5. Practice Mindfulness

Source: health.harvard.edu

Being mindful is all about being present and fully engaged in whatever you’re doing, without distractions or judgments. It’s like hitting the pause button on your busy life to really connect with your thoughts and feelings in a calm, non-reactive way.

Try spending a few minutes each day meditating, focusing on your breath, or just really immersing yourself in everyday activities like cooking, eating, or walking. These simple practices can help you stay grounded and reduce stress.

Over time, making mindfulness a regular habit can boost your emotional resilience and help you handle challenges more effectively. Plus, it can make even the most mundane tasks feel more enjoyable and meaningful. Give it a shot—it’s a small change that can make a big difference!

Mental Health Tip # 6. Limit Alcohol and Avoid Drugs

Drinking and drugs can mess with your mental health, causing more anxiety, depression, and other issues. They also mess with your judgment, leading to bad choices that make things worse. If you drink, try to keep it moderate. Pay attention to why you’re drinking and look for healthier ways to deal with stress.

If you’re struggling with substance use, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are tons of resources like counseling, support groups, and treatment programs to support you. Remember, asking for help shows strength, not weakness.

Mental Health Tip # 7. Manage Stress

We all know that stress can really mess with your head. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and a bunch of other problems. It doesn’t stop there—it can also weaken your immune system and raise the risk of chronic diseases. To keep stress in check, try some relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization. These methods can help calm you down and counteract the nasty effects of stress.

One thing that helps a lot is prioritizing tasks and delegating when you can. Managing your time effectively by setting realistic goals and breaking tasks into smaller, bite-sized steps can make a huge difference. Don’t forget to engage in hobbies or activities you love. They’re great for relieving stress and boosting your overall happiness.

Mental Health Tip # 8. Seek Therapy

Source: orlandothrivetherapy.com

So you’ve been actively implementing our mental health tips, and finding that they’re not really helping? You may have a deeper issue. Perhaps you’re in need of some psychiatric care. The truth? There’s no shame in seeking support.

Not sure where to find a therapist? Ask your family doctor or local medical practitioner. Nurses who have completed online direct entry MSN programs can also help refer you to a mental healthcare professional who can provide the psychiatric support you need to get through those tough times.