6 Tips to help your mental health bloom
There is no doubt that spring is in the air. And with spring, there is a season of changes. School is letting out, allergy season begins, there are weddings to attend, closets to clean out, and the weather can't seem to make up its mind! But just as the weather changes, mental health can fluctuate as well. I want to offer a few tips you can implement to help keep your mental health in top shape this spring.
As things change, it can be easy to feel isolated. Take this time to create and foster social connections. Staying connected to friends can help to reduce loneliness and build resiliency. Other benefits include an increase in self-esteem and improved physical health. When you have a healthy support system and good friends, they can encourage you to engage in healthy behaviors like activities outside of the house.
Prioritize your sleep
We've all heard it before, but sleep is vital to maintaining your health, positive mental health included. Often, we feel we have too much to do to put sleep first on our schedule, but it's important to remember that sleep is a necessity. Good sleeping habits can help in regulating moods, regulating functioning, and increase concentration. (For you coffee lovers, I know it's hard to hear that coffee isn't sufficient in replacing sleep in this way).
A good sleep schedule and healthy sleep hygiene can also reduce stress and regulate how you respond to it. Your physical health can also see some benefit, as good sleep reduces the risk of health problems. Plus, waking up after a good night of sleep can leave your body feeling well rested and ready to go.
Try setting a routine
Setting a routine may not have been your first thought as the weather gets warmer and vacation season begins. However, setting a routine can provide a sense of control which, in turn, can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. It goes hand-in-hand with prioritizing sleep, as setting a regular sleep schedule can help you to regulate your natural sleep-wake cycle, which will soon make it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling more rested. Routines can also lead to more productivity throughout your day, and encourage healthy habits such as self-care and healthy eating.
Have grace for yourself
Emotions change. That's what makes us human. Try to have some compassion and leniency with yourself. It is okay to allow yourself to really feel your feelings. This can help you become more self-aware, understanding the thoughts and behaviors associated with how you are feeling. You will likely become better able to cope with difficult situations and setbacks when you acknowledge and accept what you feel, rather than try to avoid or go against it. Doing this can also improve your relationship not only with yourself but with others. Being open and honest about your emotions can better your ability to communicate with others, and build and deepen connections and trust.
Find a pet- or plant!
Having a pet can help in reducing stress just from having the comfort and emotional support of a furry or scaly friend. It provides a sense of companionship to help combat feelings of loneliness or isolation. It also encourages exercise and socialization, especially for the pets that need walking.
If you aren't someone who can have a pet, you can try owning a plant instead. Just as pets do, plants can help in reducing stress levels and provide a sense of comfort and relaxation. Being around plants has been shown to improve mood, boost creativity, and promote mindfulness. Plus, having a plant can help improve your indoor air quality.
Both pets and plants can boost self-esteem and build a sense of accomplishment, as you see something you are caring for happy and healthy. They both also increase productivity and routine.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
If you still happen to find yourself stuck in a rut you can't get out of, don't be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to your support system, friends, and family. Another great resource is to seek out a professional who can help guide you back to a healthy track.
Remember that it takes a little rain to help a flower bloom!