If you feel that you are struggling with your mood and mental health, it’s absolutely essential that you reach out for professional help. Your doctor will be able to diagnose any underlying mental health conditions and can either prescribe you medication or refer you on to therapy that can help your symptoms and provide you with a better quality of life. These are tried and proven methods that can help generate results. But alongside this, it can never hurt to implement some changes to your lifestyle and routine that some report helps their mood and wellbeing. Here are some that you might want to consider.
Improve your diet
Nowadays, a lot of us rely largely on convenience food, which is often junk food. Fast food, takeaways and ready meals may be convenient, which can be tempting when you’re feeling down or troubled, but they won’t provide your body with the nutrition that it needs. It’s important to eat sufficient calories, as recommended by your doctor, to maintain a healthy weight, and to ensure that the foods that are on your plate are nutritionally dense. Consider wholefoods where possible, including fruits, leafy green vegetables, legumes, wholegrains, and other foods that contribute to normal brain function. You may also want to consider foods that are rich in polyphenols, such as berries, tea, dark chocolate, wine and certain herbs. If you want, you can also supplement with wellness supplements, which can help too!
When you’re feeling bad, chances are, you don’t really want to jump up and exercise. But exercise really can enhance your sense of wellbeing. It’s recommended that the average adult gets roughly one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week, or seventy five minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week. Remember, you don’t need to go the gym and engage in exercises you dislike. There are plenty of options out there, ranging from cycling to swimming, team sports, dance, fitness classes, personal training and more that you might find enjoyable.
Sleep can play an extremely important role in your overall well being. There’s a good reason that it’s recommended that you get eight hours a night. When you sleep well, you will be well rested and your body will feel in top condition. Good sleep can eliminate feelings of sluggishness and can encourage more activity and positive behaviour. Of course, if you’re struggling to sleep, there are changes you can make to your routine to help yourself nod off a little easier. Some options include:
- Reducing caffeine consumption
- Only spending time in bed when you plan to sleep
- Keeping to a set bedtime and wake up time
- Avoiding using your phone in bed
- Blocking out light when trying to sleep
- Reducing noise in your sleeping environment
By getting enough sleep, you can allow your body and mind to recuperate, helping you to feel ready for each day that lies ahead of you.
Nowadays, all too many of us spend a lot of time indoors. We work indoors. We socialise indoors. We relax indoors. When’s the last time you went out into nature? Believe it or not, simply spending some time outside can really boost your mood. Adequate exposure to sunshine can help increase your levels of serotonin, a chemical associated with positive moods. It can also provide you with sufficient vitamin D, which can have a positive impact on mental and emotional health. Head somewhere naturally beautiful where you can spend some time and relax. Maybe you’d like to go on a long walk or hike. Maybe you’d like to find a local beauty spot and sit quietly. You might want to lie out under the stars in your back garden one night. Whatever you choose, a little time in nature can work wonders for your mood.
None of these tips will completely resolve mental illness or necessarily lift your spirits entirely when you’re feeling down. But they can serve to help a little. Hopefully, some will work for you!