With the darker months of the year come some difficult challenges for many individuals in managing their mental health. Whether you are navigating difficult personal relationships during the holiday season or managing seasonal-affected disorders during the darkest months of the year, you can take the lead in managing your mental health proactively. Here are a few things you can do that can make a big difference.
Exercise for your Mental Wellness
Happiness may be subjective. But many people can increase their happiness through one very simple activity – exercise. If you want to improve your overall quality of life and be happy, the good news is that you can take action and see improvement. Exercise increases your overall health and wellness, but also provides endorphins that make you feel happy in the short term as well as in the long term. Endorphins are the only “feel-good” chemicals released through exercising though.
Your body will also produce serotonin, norepinephrine, BDNF, and dopamine, the reward chemical. All of which have huge positive benefits for the mind. The bottom line: the combination of these five chemicals will boost your mood, and has been proven to help to relieve both anxiety and depression.
Manage Your Media Consumption
News and social media can be surprisingly stressful if not taken in managed doses. Too much or unlimited media consumption can have a very real impact on your stress levels and overall mood. When it feels like things are getting to be too much, even if you just want to stay on top of current events or connected with friends and family, it’s ok to take a break. Know when you need to turn off the firehose, even just for a little while. It’ll do wonders for your mental health and it’ll all be there when you are ready to come back.
Find Intentional Ways to Relax
We’re still living in a very stressful pandemic situation, which means you need to be intentional about relaxing and staying positive. When once before, going to an exercise class or getting out and visiting people was a great form of self-care, it can seem like many self-care practices are no longer available to us. But many of those relaxation practices can easily be done from home. Getting in a workout in your living room can be just as good for you as going out to the gym.
Connecting with people over the phone or over video chat can also help you feel less alone and boost your mood. Reading or listening to podcasts can be a nice break from TV or movie watching. Yoga doesn’t need to be done in a studio. Embrace those things you can do and try not to dwell too much on the things you can’t right now. Prioritize relaxation to help balance your mood throughout the week.
Get Some Fresh Air
Going out for a simple walk can be very good for your mental health. Even if it’s not warm and sunny outside, a little fresh air can do wonders. Bring a little of the outside in if you can. Potted plants are great to refresh a space visually as well as to clean your indoor air. Open up your windows, and let in the sunlight when you can. Even if you live in the city, a fresh breeze and some sunlight can help lift your mood and encourage self-care during stressful times.
For more tips on how to stay in the right mindset to grow your career, connect with the recruiting team at ESGI today.