Most of us recognize the importance of staying physically healthy, but when’s the last time you gave yourself a mental checkup? After all, life can get stressful. And, that stress can take a toll.
Here are five strategies to keep your mind, as well as your body, in top condition.
Of course, exercise helps you lose weight and reduces your risk of many diseases. But, did you know exercise is good for your brain too? Studies show regular physical activity decreases feelings of depression, anxiety and stress and makes people happier. Create an exercise habit by automatically adding it to your schedule. Sign up for a weekly pick-up game or Zumba class, go for a 20-minute run when you wake up every morning or hit the gym on your way home from work. If you’re not an active person, don’t be afraid to start small. Even a daily 15-minute walk during your lunch break offers significant benefits.
Connect with Friends
People often overlook the powerful influence of friends. Recent research shows strong ties between friendship and psychological well-being. Friends make us feel valued, assist us in defining our priorities and provide ongoing support. So, pick up the phone and call someone, set up a coffee date or watch the football game with a buddy this weekend. The socialization with gives you a chance to recharge.
Set Aside Me Time
There’s so much you HAVE to do. That’s why it’s important to set aside time for some of the things you WANT to do. Even if your schedule is tight, make this a top priority. As with regular exercise, start small and add the activity to your daily or weekly routine. You can even combine strategies. For example, if you take a 30-minute walk every Sunday morning with friends, you’ve covered tips #1-3.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Especially when things go wrong, it’s easy to fall into negative thought patterns. One of the best-researched methods to combat this downward spiral is the gratitude journal. Every day take a few minutes to write down what you are thankful for. This seemingly simple habit improves overall mental health and reduces stress levels.
Although this may seem counterintuitive, helping others helps you. Researchers at the London School of Economics found the more people volunteered, the happier they were. “Volunteering builds empathy, strengthens social bonds and makes you smile.” If you’re not sure where to volunteer, contact your local food pantry, animal shelter or retirement home. Or, go online and check out the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity or Volunteer Match.
Is Your Work Negatively Affecting Your Mental Health?
Any job can be demanding, but the wrong job can make your life miserable. If you know it’s time for a change but you don’t know where to start, FirstStaff is here for you. We place light industrial and office professionals throughout Arkansas and western Texas. Search our available openings and discover a better opportunity today!