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5 Lifestyle Changes for Mental Health and Wellness

5 Lifestyle Changes for Mental Health and Wellness

Self-care is something that most Americans tend to neglect, thinking it means indulging in expensive clothing, taking time away from family, or spending hours primping before the day even begins. But nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that self-care, which is paramount to a healthy mind and body, is much more mundane than that. Real self-care is achieved by making small changes to your daily life that help you get the most out of yourself.

Here are five such changes that you can implement starting today.

1.) Start each morning with breakfast and exercise

If your morning routine involves rolling out of bed and heading straight for the coffee machine and remote control, you might want to rethink the start of your day. Studies have shown that watching the news can increase stress and anxiety. And while you certainly need to stay abreast of what’s going on in your world, you don’t have to do it before you’ve had a chance to fully awaken your mind and body. Instead, start incorporating some healthy habits into your life. Begin each day with a breakfast that consists of healthy foods, including lean protein and fruits. You’ll also start each day on the right foot by exercising for half an hour before hitting the shower.

2.) Eliminate clutter

Clutter. It’s everywhere, from our kitchen counters to that junk drawer in the garage that we try to avoid. But an excess of items in our homes can have a significant negative impact on our mental health. Chances are that you don’t actually need half as much “stuff” as you own. Your home should be a place where you can reduce stress and find respite. Spend some time decluttering and give away or donate items you haven’t used in more than a year, and create a space for things you do use.

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3.) Give yourself the gift of a good night’s sleep

How well we sleep directly impacts how well we function the next day. Mental Health America notes that people need seven hours each night and that the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60° and 67°. By getting enough sleep, you give your body the time to rest, recover, and repair physical and emotional damage. You can avoid distractions in the bedroom and give yourself a more comfortable sleeping environment by removing the television, bright colors, and excessive pillows and decorations off the bed and walls respectively.

4.) Learn how to say no

Polite society dictates that we try to please everyone. However, that isn’t possible. You will only wear yourself thin if you don’t learn how to say no. Psych Central’s Jane Collingwood offers more information on how to say no in this quick two-minute read.

5.) Start a hobby

The benefits of having a hobby cannot be underscored enough. Not only does pursuing a personal endeavor give you the opportunity to tap into your creativity, drawing, painting, or playing music gives your brain a way to release thoughts and emotions without words. It doesn’t have to be something you’re good at as long as it’s something you enjoy.

While the American Institute of Stress notes worries about the future, money, and work as the top three sources of stress in the United States, the stress and strain of your life will be unique to you. But you don’t have to let it bring you down. Take the time each day to give yourself everything you need to face the challenges that will come your way. By doing little things, such as eating a healthy breakfast and getting adequate sleep, you will find that most negative circumstances aren’t as bad as they seem.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is for educational purposes only. This is not a substitute for a medical appointment. Please refer to your physician before starting any exercise program.