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8 Out-of-the-Box Self-Care Strategies for Better Mental Health

Fostering your mental health is important, but it can be hard to know how to do that without the help of professionals. Fortunately, there are small and practical things you can include in your everyday routine for better mental health, and they’re easy to accomplish with just a small investment of time and energy. Before we get to the practical steps, it’s important to understand that physical mental and emotional health are all connected and affect each other.

Today, we explores eight self-care tactics that will improve your clarity, energy, and general mental well-being!


drink water

1. Start the Day Well

Starting your day with habits that support your mental health can set a positive tone for the rest of your day. Begin by hydrating your body with a glass of water first thing in the morning, as it helps to refresh your system and increase energy levels. Follow this with a session of reading or gratitude journaling, even if it's just for a few minutes.


Finally, incorporate religious practice or meditation into your morning routine. This can significantly improve your focus, reduce anxiety, and cultivate a sense of calm that you can carry throughout your day. Together, these practices create a foundation for good mental health and overall well-being.


healthy meal example

2. Mind Your Physical Health

Your physical health is intricately connected to your mental well-being, so it’s critical to foster it. Be sure to eat a nutritionally balanced diet that includes vegetables, healthy fats, quality proteins and whole grains. Check these stress busting diet tips.


You’ll also want to moderate your caffeine intake, as too much caffeine can negatively impact your heart and other parts of the body. If you experience heart palpitations, negative thoughts, and anxiety then it’s worth cutting back or completely avoiding caffeine. Watch out for fizzy and energy drinks, even orange soda has caffeine! While you are at it, remember to exercise regularly, which will do wonders for your physical and overall well-being, by boosting your happy hormones that help to lift up your room. Studies show that walking is as effective as anti-depressants, aim for for 45 minutes a day, 4 days a week, for at least 12 weeks to obtain the results and then of course you remain consistent with this habit to continue improving and maintaining your mental health.


3. Set and Follow a “Not-to-Do” List

To-do lists are excellent tools for staying productive and remembering things. But not-to-do lists can do wonders for boosting mental health. Consider all the things you should avoid doing, which can range from negative self-talk and procrastination to not checking your phone after a certain time in the evening. Then, put those things into a list to establish boundaries and help manage expectations; you’ll experience less anxiety and stress in the process!


4. Make Home Healthy

Creating a home environment that supports your well-being involves a few key strategies. Start by decluttering your space. A tidy and organized home reduces stress and promotes a sense of calm and order. Next, consider adding an oil diffuser to your living area or bedroom. Essential oils like lavender or bergamot can enhance relaxation, improve your mood, and even aid in better sleep.


healthy snacks

Additionally, keep healthy snacks readily available in your kitchen. Having fruits, nuts, or yogurt on hand encourages nutritious eating habits and provides the energy needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s easier to say no in the shop once, instead of fighting temptations every day at home so don’t bring in any unhealthy snacks and leave them for enjoying on your day out. Together, these strategies not only improve the physical space of your home but also positively impact your mental and physical well-being.


5. Learn Breathing Techniques

Deep breathing exercises are well known to help reduce stress and anxiety. The 4-7-8 breathing method is one such technique: inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. This type of breathing shuts of your fight or flight stress response and calms your nervous system. Learn more about this technique here to help relax the body.


6. Practice Gratitude

gratitude journaling

Taking time to be grateful for the good things in life can help shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones.


Write down three things you’re grateful for every day, starting with “I’m grateful for…“. This kind of exercise trains the brain to look for happiness and positivity in the present moment. This can be a great tool to start the day on a positive note, or you can do it at bedtime to help you with the relaxation needed for deep restorative sleep.


7. Take Breaks from Social Media

Social media can quickly cause stress and comparison fatigue, among many other issues. Health.com points out that taking short breaks from the online world can go a long way toward reducing pressure and helping you focus on your own life. Block out specific times for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms, and stick to the plan! This can be part of your “Not To Do List”.


8. Schedule Time for Self-Care

self-care is not selfish

Self-care is vital for good mental health. Make time for things that bring you joy, whether it’s reading, taking a long shower, or going for a walk with your dog.

Scheduling time for self-care reminds you to make yourself a priority and nourish your mind and body.

Incorporating small and practical self-care tactics into your daily routine can help improve your mental health, regardless of whether or not you’re an expert.


Remember to set boundaries, create a distraction-free area, embrace deep breathing, walk more often, pursue your passion, and implement the other strategies above. You have the power to foster your mental health, so don’t hesitate to take meaningful steps toward that each day!


Gratifying Wellness is your partner in overcoming chronic conditions. Click here to schedule a call.


This article was prepared in collaboration with James Hall from seniorcarefitness.com.

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