Staying mentally healthy is a lifelong journey. Just like a plant, mental health needs care, attention, and support to flourish over a long time.
You may not have a mental health disorder, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work on your mental health—it’s just a part of being human. Whether you struggle with a mental illness or simply want to improve your life, prioritizing mental health is an important goal for everyone.
Maintaining a healthy, balanced mindset is not an easy process. It requires consistency, commitment, and sometimes stepping further outside your comfort zone than you’d like. But that’s precisely where you grow.
Making mental health a major priority is something you’ll benefit from in more than one area. It means more physical and mental energy, increased self-confidence and awareness, and healthier relationships with ourselves and the people we love.
If you’ve decided that you’d like to play a more active role in maintaining your mental health, here are seven helpful tips that are free, simple, and easy to kickstart even in the darkest times.
1. Be Honest With Yourself
The more honest you are with yourself, the easier it will be to make decisions based on healthy self-interest. If something you’re doing harms your mental health, it takes honesty to recognize where the problem really lies.
Before you can begin making lifestyle changes that support positive mental growth, it’s important to look inwards and identify which mentally harmful habits are within your control. Maybe you are resistant to external support or have been indulging in some self-destructive emotional habits.
Being honest with yourself isn’t about self-judgment; it’s about recognizing what role you have to play in your current mental state. Once you know what you’re working with, it will be much easier to avoid personal triggers and navigate the path to freedom from them.
2. Find A Creative Outlet
One of the best ways to stay mentally and emotionally healthy is to stimulate yourself with regular creative activities. Poetry, painting, journaling, or even cooking are creative practices that can help keep your mind active, inspire imagination, and bring you closer to yourself.
Without constructive pastimes, it can be easy to slip back into old habits that don’t serve your mental state. Watching TV and scrolling on social media are perfectly okay in moderation, but they do little to keep you motivated or elevate your perspective on life.
Adopting a creative outlet will give you the time, space, and opportunity to engage with a different part of your brain that promotes self-confidence, self-expression, and joy.
3. Set Boundaries
Insufficient social and emotional boundaries are a breeding ground for stress, anger, and a lack of personal fulfillment. Our relationships need boundaries to thrive, and learning to set your own can positively transform your life.
Setting boundaries often means saying a gentle but firm “no” to things you don’t want or know will negatively impact your mental state. You deserve to lead a life that makes you feel happy and free. If someone is standing in the way of that (consciously or not), you need to let them know.
4. Sweat It Out
There’s a reason why this advice sounds like a broken record. Time and again, exercise has proven to be one of the most effective ways to fight depression and anxiety, which are both common drivers of poor mental health.
Don’t worry. You don’t need to start training for a triathlon or attempting some impossible yoga moves. Starting small, slow, and comfortable will do just fine. The great thing about physical movement is that it gets easier (and more enjoyable) the more you do it.
The beginning is the hardest part. But once it enters your routine, you can use it as an outlet for releasing difficult emotions such as anger, grief, worry, or apathy. Increasing your heart rate and sweating out toxins will help you think clearer, feel stronger, and appreciate yourself even more.
5. Try New Things – And Finish Them
Sometimes, the brain needs proof that it can overcome a challenge. Trying new things and completing tasks are vital for mental health because they remind us of our potential for success.
There are several studies focusing on how completing a long-term activity or routine can induce positive mental health benefits. Feeling motivated to do anything can be hard when you’re in a mental slump, but completing even the smallest tasks can ignite a lasting sense of satisfaction.
Activities such as reading a book, redecorating your home, or growing a plant from seed to flower demonstrate our ability to be patient, determined, and victorious. Completing tasks brings mental pleasure, showing us what we’re capable of when persistence is applied.
6. Focus On The Goal
Prioritizing your mental health over everything often means making sacrifices you don’t always want to make. You may need to stay home instead of going out or have a session with your therapist instead of catching a movie with friends. These are not easy decisions, especially in the beginning.
You can help yourself stay focused by making time for your mental health. Dedicating a few hours a week to mentally healthy activities (even if it’s sleep) can introduce a comforting sense of routine and keep you motivated no matter what your life looks like.
Practice Putting Your Mental Health First – Always
Mental health is not a static destination or a reward you win and hang on your wall. It’s an everyday commitment that takes a lifetime of practice. As with any skill, the more practice you get, the stronger you become.
There will be good and bad days, but what matters most is that you trust yourself to make it through regardless. Remember to lean on family and friends when things feel overwhelming, and celebrate your progress every chance you get.About the Author: Steph Davidson is a content manager with over ten years of experience in writing, editing, blog development, SEO, marketing, and media relations. Steph lives in Toronto and can be found drinking tea and watching horror movies when she’s not working with words.
rtor.org and Our Sponsor Laurel House, Inc. Celebrate Pride in June
On June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay nightclub in Greenwich Village, sparking a riot and six days of protests. This incident, known as the Stonewall Uprising, marks a turning point in the gay rights movement, now celebrated as Pride Month in June.
This Pride Month, www.rtor.org and Laurel House affirm their commitment to supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community in their quest for equity and justice, especially in their fight for accessible, safe health and mental health care.
www.rtor.org and Laurel House are committed to the advancement of racial equity and social justice, and to making mental health services available to all.
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
Recommended for You
- Nurturing Physical and Mental Well-being in Adolescent Boys - December 4, 2023
- How Stigma Impacts People with Mental Health Issues - December 4, 2023
- Barriers to Recovery: Shame - November 27, 2023