Mental health, much like other critical areas of life, requires daily attention and focus to maintain optimal levels of alertness, creativity, and well-being. It is an essential facet of our overall health every bit as much as physical wellness is—whether we realize it or not. We need to recognize that some underlying factors and conditions may trigger excessive or unhealthy feelings and concerns in our daily lives, which can lead to unfortunate behaviors like substance abuse or feelings of depression. As we develop our minds and become more aware of these underlying factors, it becomes easier to identify the sources of our stress and seek solutions.
Keeping up with our mental health in today’s increasingly busy world can feel trickier than ever as we navigate the many different roles we have to play throughout our lives. From the deadlines and daily stresses of work to finding time for exercise and proper nutrition, making time for our families and loved ones, and trying to balance our social lives into the mix, it can be easy for our mental health to take the back seat. That’s why regardless of where you’re at in your mental health journey, it’s never a bad idea to pay a little extra attention to your mental well-being throughout the day.
Checking in With Yourself
Checking in with ourselves daily with a few simple questions can be a great way to keep track of our mental health and stay ahead of problems. When we stop treating ourselves like an afterthought, we give ourselves permission to grow. Thinking about our feelings and searching for areas of our lives in which we can improve every day has a powerfully beneficial impact on our mental health.
Ask yourself the following questions every day.
How Do I Feel?
Distress, anxiety, and depression all have powerful physical and mental symptoms that impact not only our feelings but often manifest in our bodies as well. Ask yourself how you’re feeling throughout the day and take note of any unusual physical disturbances like headaches, stomach aches, tightness in the chest, and dizziness. The source of our stress isn’t always obvious, so it’s essential to pay attention to what your body is telling you.
Am I Taking Care of Myself?
If you’re feeling down, it may be because you aren’t making time for your physical and mental health. Ask yourself when you last ate a nutritious meal, and make sure you’re keeping up with self-care steps like exercise and personal hygiene. Even just taking a hot bath at the end of a long day can help alleviate stress.
Am I Sleeping Enough?
Getting enough sleep is perhaps the most important (and relaxing) thing you can do to improve your physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation causes a wide variety of severe health problems, including difficulty recalling memories, trouble thinking and concentrating, mood changes, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system.
What’s Taking up My Headspace?
Between work, school, kids/family, social obligations, keeping up with social media, etc., it’s easy to feel like your attention is constantly being pulled in many different directions. When your attention is stretched too thin, it can lead to stress and feeling overwhelmed. If you’re too busy worrying about the next thing on your to-do list or can’t keep your mind clear enough to focus on tasks, it may be a good idea to pick up a mindfulness habit like meditation or breathing exercises. Simply focusing on being in and enjoying the present moment is a great way to refresh your mental health throughout the day.
What Am I Doing to Bring Myself Joy?
Life isn’t all about working and surviving. Taking some time to focus on the things you enjoy is incredibly enriching, not only for improving your mental health but for increasing your overall satisfaction in life. Whether it’s taking a little time every day to pursue a hobby or interest or even just getting outside and enjoying some fresh air in the great outdoors, make sure you’re making time for your own happiness. Remember, taking care of your mental health is a necessary part of being healthy, and there’s no shame in taking a break when you need one.
Life Adjustment Team
At Life Adjustment Team, we know just how important mental health is. We have worked together for over 40 years to improve the mental health and enrich the lives of our patients. If you would like to learn more about how to manage your mental health and receive vital skills to live the best life you can, contact Life Adjustment Team today!