As human beings, there are simply some things that we must do in order to survive. We know need to drink water. We know we need to eat food. We know we need to sleep. But while we all may seem to innately know what to do in response to these physiological needs, responding to our psychological needs can be a much more difficult and much more easily forgotten endeavor. Though mental health may indeed seem like something that can be saved for later, just like food and water, it is an absolutely necessary priority.
Here are some simple things we can each do in order to work on our mental fitness:
MAKE YOURSELF A LOT OF LISTS
Whether you are making a grocery list, a to-do list, or any other type of list, the very act of making lists is something that has been clinically proven to be good for your brain. Making lists allows you to organize your thoughts and ideas in a real and tangible way. If you are tasked with a big project or an overwhelming amount of work, it can be difficult to find the motivation to even get started because the end seems so far away. But by making a list of what needs to be done, we can alleviate the stress of being overwhelmed by having a clear, step-by-step path to the finish line.
WORK ON BUILDING HABITS AND ROUTINES
Habits and routines are great for your mental health. Even if it is something simple, having at least one thing you consistently do each day can help you feel a little less stressed about the chaos of your everyday life. Consider meditating for just fifteen minutes in the morning, or reading a book each night before you go to bed. Another great daily routine is to exercise, which is something that produces additional psychological benefits (endorphins, self-confidence, etc.) as well.
SET ASIDE SOME TIME JUST FOR YOU
In the chaos of our everyday lives, it can be very easy to forget to take some time to yourself. When we have work, school, family, or social commitments, it can seem as if it is impossible to find time in the day to focus on our mental well-being. But even if it is for just an hour or two each week, it is still mentally vital to do something for the sake of nobody but ourselves. Ask yourself, “what is it that actually makes me happy?” After all, we are each the ones who are ultimately responsible for own happiness. Although it is so easy to forget to do so, it is up to us to find what leads us to happiness and to pursue it.
BUT REALIZE YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Building a network of caring and empathetic individuals in your life is very important for your mental health. Whether this network comes from your family, friends, significant others, coworkers, or elsewhere, having a connection with other people gives your life stability and helps improve your sense of self-worth. Though not everyone has a stable family situation and not everyone has a consistent group of friends to call their own, it is still possible to satisfy your body’s demand for social satisfaction anywhere you consistently interact with people. Taking the time to care for and be cared for by others is something that will dramatically improve your mental well-being.
These are just a few of things that you could do today in order to improve your current state of mind. Making lists, building routines, taking time for yourself, and caring for others will each create positive stability in your life.
If you or someone you know is suffering with a severe mental health disorder, it’s important to find help immediately. Polaris is a teen treatment center specializing in adolescent recovery. Learn more about our program or call us directly at (844) 836-0222.