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How to Maintain A Balanced Mental Health
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How to Maintain A Balanced Mental Health

Having the ability to talk about the latest trends in fitness should carry over when talking about mental health.

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5 min read

July 14, 2021

Caring for your mind is just as important as caring for your body. Having the ability to talk about the latest trends in fitness should carry over when talking about mental health. And yet, it seems there’s still a stigma surrounding the topic; like a taboo better left unspoken. What many fail to realize while doing this is how far that silence is holding us back from tending to such a vital issue.

Mental wellbeing is such a big part of our lives and deserves the same level of work and undivided attention as our physical health. From the information we consume and whom we associate ourselves with to our current circumstances and behavior we display, maintaining balanced mental health is key to staying in good shape. Here are a few tips to get you started.

11 Ways to Help Your Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It helps determine how we handle stress and make choices.

1. Be Nice to Yourself 

Treating yourself with kindness is generally vital, but it’s especially important when you’re going through a rough patch. As far as activities to improve your mental health go, being nice to yourself is one of the most—if not the single most—crucial step you can take. What’s fascinating and encouraging about this step is that self-love comes in all shapes and sizes. For many, it means making more time for hobbies or giving their kitchen a makeover. For others, it’s learning to play an instrument, planting a vertical succulent garden, adding home remedies to their self-care routine—the list goes on. The idea is to figure out a method that works for you and stick to it, and above all, bid that inner self-critic a big ol’ goodbye.

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2. Surround Yourself With the Best of the Best

The friends you party with may not always be the ones you go to for a heart-to-heart, and that’s okay. Improving your mental health will teach you the value of support networks that go beyond what you’d normally expect. They may come in the form of family members, childhood friends, coworkers, or alternatively, like-minded individuals you meet at classes, clubs, or other support groups. The key is to simply keep an open mind and accept that connections work in mysterious ways—you might end up with an unlikely confidant that uplifts you in ways you didn’t think were possible.

Ways to maintain positive mental health include connecting with others, helping others, and getting professional help if you need it.

3. Do Things for Others 

Helping others isn’t just good for the people you’re doing it for—it’s good for you too. Volunteering, helping a friend move, or simply being there for a family member that wants to vent about what’s weighing them down can do great things for your mental health; it might make you feel good about your place in the world too. Better yet, helping others could give you a sense of community, and that’s one of the top things that really help with your mental health.

Living with a mental health problem can affect how well you sleep, and poor sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health.

4. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep and mental health are closely connected. Besides giving you enough energy for your daily activities, sleep can change how your mind works—your outlook on life can be severely affected too. Just think of how moody you are when you get less than five hours of sleep, then compare that to the leisurely, long, nine-hour slumber you typically get on the weekends.

5. Break Up the Monotony

While our routines make us more efficient and enhance feelings of security, a little change of pace is a recommended go-to when stuck in a rut. Not only does change perk up a schedule that’s growing tedious, but it also creates opportunities to meet new people and learn new things about yourself. Alter your jogging routine, plan a summer road trip, take a walk in a different park, change the pictures on your wall, or treat yourself to a Michelin-starred restaurant; anything goes.

The mental health benefits of meditation include better focus and concentration, improved self-awareness and self-esteem, and lower levels of stress.

6. Quiet your Mind

If you’re looking for ways to help your mental health gain balance, try meditating and practicing mindfulness. There are so many exercises that help improve your state of mind, making for a calmer outlook on life devoid of negative thoughts and feelings. On top of that, daily meditation and mindfulness are proven to strengthen your brain, particularly influencing the so-called grey matter.

7. Understand and Accept Stress

Stress is a part of life, whether or not you like it that way. This is why coming to terms with it and understanding how it manifests in your day-to-day life is vital. If you’re one for exercise, try out stress-relieving yoga poses, jog in a park, or do Tai Chi. If your four-legged friend is as therapeutic as adorable, take them out on a walk to one of Golden State’s dog-friendly beaches. Alternatively, if you’re prone to writing, take up journaling or start a blog. Whatever you end up doing, remember to take note of what feeds into your coping skills and aim to develop a healthy routine from then on.

When you stick to a diet of healthy food, you're setting yourself up for fewer mood fluctuations, a happier outlook, and improved ability to focus.

8. Eat Healthy

Yes, stating the obvious is a must. Don’t drink 10 cups of anything a day unless it’s water. Opt for vegetables and fruits—once you’ve found the best ones, you won’t be able to get enough. Healthy eating is essential for improving your mental health and encourages a healthy attitude towards food in general. Munch on healthy snacks with your friends, try out new recipes, and try not to obsess over your intake.

More hours of daily screen time are associated with lower psychological well-being, less curiosity, lower self-control, and more distractibility.

9. Put Your Screens to Sleep Too

Studies have shown that looking at screens before bedtime can affect how quickly you fall asleep—it also affects the quality of the sleep you’re going to get. Blue light from your smartphone directly affects the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycle. Reading, scrolling, or posting your Instagrammable photo ops keep your mind active when it should be winding down instead; not to mention those flirty texts with your latest crush that keep you up at night.

10. Find Support and Be Supportive Yourself 

If you or someone you know is struggling, finding support is one of the best things you can do. And while a support system isn’t always one-size-fits-all, reaching out to a counselor, primary care doctor, or mental health professional can prove more beneficial than you initially imagine. Also, if the person you find isn’t giving you the kind of support you need, there’s no shame in searching for an option that better fits your requirements. Likewise, if a friend or family member is feeling down, ask yourself if there’s anything you can do to be supportive.

Being healthy emotionally can promote productivity and effectiveness in activities like work, school, or caregiving.

11. Take it Step By Step

Remember not to overwhelm yourself. Maintaining balanced mental health isn’t about taking all these steps at once—you probably won’t achieve the desired result. Instead, try and think of your mental health journey as a road map, where each reached goal draws that dotted line from point A to B and to C. And like any road trip, it’s important to stop and rest along the way, check in with yourself, and reward the progress you’re making; you’ll thank yourself later.

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