Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. To help, we've rounded up the best advice on improving mental health from our experts' past articles. Read to learn more.
Often, a lot of focus is put on physical health—from eating nutritious meals to getting enough water and staying active. And while those are important things to give attention to, your mental health is just as significant. In fact, it plays a key role in a wellness and weight loss journey.
We’ve shared some articles in the past with advice on improving mental health from our experts. Here is a roundup of the best advice from those blogs all in one place.
1) Practice self-compassion
Self-compassion means being kind to yourself when faced with challenges, adversity, or the discomfort of an unknown future. The first step in practicing self-compassion is to acknowledge and honor your thoughts and feelings. Think about how you show others (a close friend or family member) kindness and extend that to yourself.
Dealing with frustrations and challenges is part of being human, and we are all interconnected in this way. We all strive for comfort, and we can offer kindness to each other as well as ourselves. If you find yourself worrying about the future or feeling upset, here is how you can anchor your awareness back to the present and feel peace:
Step 1) Stand and feel the soles of your feet on the Earth beneath you. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Focus on the contrast between your feet and the floor.
Step 2) Rock forward and back a little. Next, move the weight your feet carry side to side. Notice the sensations in your feet as you do so. Make small circles with your knees, feeling the changes in sensation.
Step 3) When your mind has wandered (which is normal), return your focus and attention to your feet.
Step 4) If you choose, you can begin to walk slowly. When walking, notice the change in sensations. Pay attention to how you lift your foot, step forward, and place your foot down.
Step 5) As you walk, take a moment to reflect on how small the surface area of your feet is and how hard your feet work daily. Reflect on this with a sense of gratitude.
Step 6) Take a few deep breaths and continue about your day.
Read the full article on self-compassion here.
2) Check-in on your media consumption
With all of the available information on social media and news outlets, it is easy to let time pass as you keep scrolling and end up feeling unsure, scared, or confused. There are three questions to help you stay informed while also taking care of your mental and emotional health.
- Where is your news coming from? If you’re using social media as your only news source, you may experience increased anxiety more than traditional media outlets such as newspapers and television.
- How much news are you consuming? Stay informed but be mindful of how much time you’re spending scrolling through the news. Ask yourself: “Do I have enough information to make informed choices?” If the answer is yes, unplug. This can add time back to your day and improve your emotional and mental wellbeing.
- How do you feel while receiving news? Your body is very good at showing signs of stress—for example, a clenched jaw, tight shoulders, or a bouncing leg. The next time you’re reading the news, or scrolling through social media, check-in using a body scan.
It’s important to stay informed, and it’s also important to prioritize your mental wellbeing. It’s okay to unplug for a bit. Read the full article on media consumption here.
3) Learn how to rally up social support
Social support on a health journey is so important, and it can actually help you reach your goals. The best way to get the support you want is to ask for it. Read the full article to learn the different types of social support. Here are some ways to rally up the support you truly need:
- Identify your needs. Consider what kind of support you need and think of someone in your life that can help you.
- Ask! Make sure you ask for what you need. This may mean asking more than once, and that’s okay.
- Be specific when you ask. For example, ask your coworker if he/she would be willing to have your calls transferred to them so you can take a 15-minute walk a few times each week. Invite a friend to join you at the gym because you need encouragement.
4) Accept yourself as you are
It is important to accept yourself as you are, be kind to yourself, and stay positive. How often do you take a step back to evaluate the way you treat yourself? When you accept who you are and where you are in your journey, you are liberated to move forward to where you want to be. It takes energy you were putting toward obsessing over why you’re not meeting your self-imposed standards and redirects it toward making a positive change.
If you identify that you’re not showing yourself acceptance and kindness, what habits contribute to this? Do you spend more time thinking about your current situation (eating habits, weight, level of activity, etc.) versus working towards the habits you want? How much time are you spending on social media comparing yourself to others? Take notice of any habits that may not be serving you and make a shift.
Read the full article on self-acceptance here.
These tips are a small sampling of the advice Profile by Sanford offers its members. If you are interested in learning how Profile can help you reach your health goals, schedule a free consultation today.