Habits That Can Improve Your Mental Health

Make: Exercise

A common set of problems with many people who have depression is lack of motivation, negative self-image, and general weakness. Exercise can help change all of that. Studies have shown that jogging for around 30 minutes a day can increase your brain’s dopamine secretion (also known as the ‘happiness hormone’), and dramatically improve your energy, appetite, and sense of well-being. Miracles do not happen overnight, but you can be certain that consistency in small things can foster big, positive changes.

Break: Oversleeping

Optimal mental health requires sufficient sleep, but too much can have diminishing returns, and, at some point, negative effects! For most of us, the comfort and warmth of our beds is hard to resist when we are upset or feeling below par. Lingering in bed and the accompanying lack of movement can cause unwanted weight gain, muscle spasms (due to lack of oxygen) and random body pains and weakness. Find your sleeping “sweet spot”–neither too little nor too much–and thank yourself later.

Make: Better Hygiene

It is wondrous how little things can lift us up on a mediocre day. One small compliment can help dissipate a foggy resolve or down hearted mood. While this should go without saying, remember a few small rules of improved hygiene; brush your teeth twice a day, give your hair a good wash, take relaxing baths, treat yourself to your favorite scent. Why? Because you want to!

Break: Over-Dependency on Social Media

Social media is both the boon and bane of our modern-day existence. Reliance on it as our only outlet is a potentially dangerous thing, At the risk of sounding like your grandparents, I must warn against letting these things control you and determine your schedule. Some social media can be the black hole of time, stealing you away from you, your family, and friends. Dependence on anything is a risky road, so do yourself a favor: be the same person both on and off social media. Do not use it to hide or wear a mask. Remove from your lists those who are emotional vampires or who make you feel about yourself, those who demand too much of you. Use your phone to listen to music, call a friend, or read a downloaded book.

Make: Eating Practices

Keep in mind that any advice along these lines must be tailored to specific individuals and the goals they have set for themselves (i.e.: gaining or losing weight). Make healthier choices, but do not punish yourself if you find that you have splurged occasionally! Once again, moderation and consistency are the magic tools.