Mental Health Habits
At Horizon, we believe the best approach to wellness is treating the body and the mind. Our focus is patient-centered care. This includes mental health, substance abuse, and any other stressors, life crises or stress-related symptoms.
Mental health helps determine how you handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Nurturing your mental health can impact everything about your life, so here are some strategies and habits to help improve your mental health.
Get Restful Sleep
Sleep is important for both your physical and mental health. Getting at least 7 hours of quality sleep can make a huge difference in your mental health.
To get enough high-quality sleep, try these habits:
- Avoid caffeine after 3 p.m.
- Try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day.
- Make your bedroom into a quiet, relaxing, clutter-free space.
- Aim to keep the temperature in your bedroom somewhere around 65°F (18.3°C).
Cut Back on Social Media
Constantly consuming information about other people’s lives may promote feelings of low self-worth, which can increase anxiety or depression.
To spend less time on social media, try to:
- Keep your phone in a drawer or outside your bedroom while sleeping.
- Make a list of alternate, more meaningful activities to replace your usual scrolling sessions.
- Turn off notifications or delete social apps from your phone.
Strengthen Your Relationships
Humans are social creatures, and strong relationships can have a positive influence on your mental health. Friendships can ease feelings of loneliness and make it easier to get emotional support.
To cultivate positive connections, try these ideas:
- Keep in touch by checking in regularly, even with just a quick text or funny meme.
- Meet up for a morning walk or breakfast.
- Call for a short chat during your lunch break.
- Schedule biweekly or monthly dinner dates.
Exercise offers a range of mental health benefits, including relieving stress, helping you fall asleep faster, and lifting your mood. Experiment with different physical activities to find the ones that work best for you.
Enjoyable movement could include:
- Joining a running or walking club
- Taking a slower-paced restorative yoga class
- Trying seated exercises
- Taking stretching breaks every hour
- Gardening or doing other work in your backyard
- A weekend family hike
Savor Nutrient-Rich Foods
Certain foods can affect your mental health. Try expanding your diet to include foods packed with mood-boosting ingredients, like:
- Whole grains
- Fatty fish, like salmon
Certain foods, namely alcohol, caffeine, refined carbs, and added sugars, may worsen anxiety symptoms. So, limiting these foods could help ease some of your symptoms.
Get Some Sunshine
The sun is a great source of vitamin D, which can improve attitude and mood. Stuck inside all day? Try these ideas for getting fresh air:
- Taking a quick walk
- Sitting in your backyard
- Standing outside breathing in the fresh air
- Open the window near your desk
- Suggest taking a work meeting outside
- Eat lunch at a nearby park
- Exercise outdoors
When to Reach Out
Working with Horizon’s behavioral health team can be a powerful way to improve your mental health. You don’t need to have depression, anxiety, or any specific mental health symptoms to benefit from a therapy session.
Reaching out for an appointment is particularly important if:
- you’ve experienced a stressful or traumatic event
- you feel more upset, anxious, or sad than usual
- you frequently feel agitated, irritable, or angry
- your motivation has tanked
- you’ve noticed changes in your appetite and sleep patterns
- you often find it difficult to get through the day
- you feel stuck or overwhelmed
- you’re using alcohol or other substances more than usual or turning to other unhelpful coping behaviors
Schedule an appointment with Horizon’s behavioral health team today: https://www.horizonhealthcare.org/behavioral-health/