Six-Part Health Series (Part 2): 10 Ways to Protect Your *Mental* Health in 2020

It is easy for us to concentrate on our physical health when we see problems. If we are starting to gain more weight, we can watch what we eat more carefully. If we have the flu, we can see our doctor and help to curb some of the symptoms. It is a lot harder for us to recognize when our mental health is suffering. However, our mental health is just as important, and can actually impact our physical health. 

Our mental health affects our daily lives by influencing how we feel, think, and even how we behave. So often, we think that mental health only refers to a person that is experiencing a mental illness. In actuality, we all need to concentrate on our mental health to protect the positive characteristics that help us to thrive in today’s world.  

Here are 10 ways that you can start to protect your mental health in 2020:

1. Find a Therapist

When we get a physical illness, we see our doctor. Adding a behavioral health expert to your team can help you to maximize your mental health and find ways that work for you to deal with stress in daily living.

2. Set Boundaries

Learning to say “No” is an important skill for your mental well being. Decide what is most important to you and use that knowledge to prioritize requests from others. Determine what to delegate or negotiate when you are asked to commit your time and energy to something that isn’t important to you.

3. Spend Time in Nature

Connecting with nature helps our bodies to relax and appreciate the world around us. So, find some time to get outside and let your mind and body recharge.

4. Laugh Out Loud

Have you noticed how often kids laugh out loud? Now, think about the last time that you allowed yourself the same outlet. Humor is a great stress reliever, and the physical action of laughing out loud makes the perfect mind and body connection.

5. Give Yourself a Pep Talk

Have you noticed that the voice in your head is a lot more critical to you than you would ever be to a friend of yours? Learning to be more positive in our self-talk is an important skill in mental health. Check out this Ted Talk video on how to improve positive thinking

6. Be Grateful for What is Going Well in Your Life

Taking time to appreciate the positives in our lives is another important skill. At the end of each day, take a moment to list 3 things that you are grateful for today.

7. Connect with Others

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Make time to keep in touch with people who are special to you. A phone call to chat with someone can change your mental outlook.

8. Take a Daily Break

Start a pattern of taking a daily break to recharge. This can be anything from doing meditation to singing out loud in the car or taking some time to read a book. Look for something that will fit into your day and break up the pattern of building stress.

9. Get More Sleep

Making sleep, nutrition, and exercise a priority in your life is another building block to positive mental health. 

10. Try Something New

When you find it hard to motivate yourself to work on your mental health, try to do something completely new for you. Your mind will kick into overdrive by concentrating on learning this new activity. Trying something new can change your daily routine for the better.

The mind and body connection is an important bond for all of us. Taking time to work on protecting your mental health is an important step in your well-being. To learn more about different health subjects, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

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