Taking Care of Mental Health
By Ama H. Vanniarachchy
When we talk about being healthy and fit, most of the time, we forget or give less priority to mental health. But, no person is healthy until he or she is mentally healthy. One may be physically fit, but what if he or she is mentally not so fit? Well, then that is not a healthy person. The other important thing is that mental health has a great impact on one's physical health.
But, how can we know if we are not mentally healthy? It is easy to know, if you pay close attention to yourself. If you are not feeling relaxed, if you find it hard to think clearly and make decisions with a straight mind, then surely you are not perfectly alright. These could be signs of stress and anxiety. If you are having sleep problems, suddenly developed eating disorders, then it is a reason to think about your mental health.
What you must remember is that such things that challenge mental health are very common and almost everyone goes through such things. It is important to know that these are not mental illnesses but are reasons to be concerned about. While you can take care of yourself, you can also reach out for help if you find it difficult to handle it all by yourself. Here are a few steps to balance mental health:
Rest and sleep
It is very important to get enough sleep and rest. Sleep helps to regulate the chemicals in our bodies and brain. Hence a lack of sleep causes depression and anxiety. Make sure to get enough sleep that is comfortable and refreshing.
Diet has a great impact on mental as well as physical health. Food and nutrition can enhance mood and change brain chemistry. Some food and drinks can make people feel moody or anxious. This is exactly why it is important to eat a balanced diet. Fresh organic food is great for the mind as well as the body.
Sunlight and fresh air
Being outdoors to get plenty of sunlight and fresh air can boost our mental health while it is excellent for our bodies too. This does not mean to engage in sports or to run but just being outdoors, enjoying the early morning sun, breeze and fresh air are simply great. It relaxes and gives more energy while taking away negative energies and toxins. Vitamin D in the morning sun helps the brain to release chemicals to enhance the mood. Seeing greenery, birds, and feeling the breeze are ways to feel relaxed and calm.
Gardening and its effects on our mental health are immense and proven. The green magicians do wonders on our minds as well as our bodies. They can teach us many lessons such as patience, sharing, and growth. Gardening also teaches us to appreciate little things in life and to be satisfied with the life we have.
Arts and crafts
Arts and crafts are therapeutic and have amazing healing powers. As for gardening, it teaches patience, mindfulness, and enjoying the moment. Creating new things and giving birth to art and beautiful things are therapeutic. It relaxes the mind and helps to release stress and tiredness.
Nothing can bring us joy than helping others. To see someone else smiling, happy and relaxed just because of something you did, is bliss. So involve in some charity to help the needy; it could be people or animals. Learn to enjoy life by bringing a smile to someone else’s life.
Create your little interior heaven
Pay attention to your living space and working space. Make sure it is not cluttered, messy, and dirty. Manage your garbage. Bring some greens inside. Let natural sunlight and fresh air do the cleansing job of your living space. Use bright or soothing colours and keep things organised. Beautiful lights, lamps, and fragrant incense will make your space vibrant and cheerful. Use natural fragrances such as incense sticks or powder instead of chemical air fresheners. A little soothing mantra or chanting played daily will cleanse the place.
Yoga and meditation
There is nothing better than yoga and meditation for your mind. Practice yoga twice daily or more and see the difference. A little meditation will always help to manage stress and will give the strength to face life’s challenges.