Mental health problems weren’t uncommon in the world even before the emergence of the pandemic. But they’ve increased during an ongoing global health crisis. Today, anxiety disorders are the dominant mental health issue in the United States, and they affect 40 million adults aged 18+. Though COVID-19 has made several of our citizens feel vulnerable. A survey published by APA shows that 65% of US adults are highly stressed given the nationwide uncertainty regarding this disease.
Even after nearly twenty months, over 80% of Americans experienced at least one stress-related symptom. That’s why it’s vital to follow the instructions proposed by mental health experts to boost your mental well-being.
How can you boost your mental well-being?
Before discussing healthcare professionals’ suggestions, it’s crucial to mention signs indicating your declining mental health. These include problems with sleeping, losing appetite, feeling irritable, and having constant mood swings. Also, a person suffering from mental issues can’t concentrate properly, tends to withdraw from society, and experiences long-lasting sadness. Sadly, one-fifth of adults now with some mental illness can’t access proper treatment. It may worsen their condition and render them helpless.
However, you can now contact mental health experts digitally. We’re living in the age of telehealth and telemedicine, where patients can reach doctors/nurses without any physical proximity. So, with their digitally acquired learning, healthcare practitioners have proposed some recommendations for curbing your anxiety/depression effectively. We’ll discuss some of these suggestions here to help readers boost their mental well-being.
1. Get help
Today, online education allows aspiring individuals to become competent healthcare professionals and help people with mental health conditions receive the care they deserve. So, approaching a healthcare professional such as a nurse who has leveraged eLearning alongside clinical practice will do you good. Pursuing an online DNP from reputable schools, these experts learn various skills, techniques, and strategies to help patients improve their mental well-being. So, get some professional assistance when you need support. Talk to doctors/nurses and undergo therapy/counseling when you’ve been overwhelmed by stress/anxiety.
2. Practice self-care
Take care of your body by quitting harmful addictions that plague not just your physical existence but also your psychological well-being. We suggest you abandon smoking/drinking to boost mental health. Even smoking marijuana can decline your mental well-being. Stay away from friends who encourage these unsafe habits. Instead, make better friends and acquire safer hobbies. Unless you show yourself some affection, a healthcare professional can’t protect/bolster your mental health.
3. Get outside
Getting outside and receiving sunlight exposure can also help you lift your mood. Sunlight gives you vitamin D that stimulates your brain to release endorphins. These hormones form links to the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. So, getting a lot of sunlight relaxes your mind while keeping “bad thoughts” at bay. Ideally, spend 30-120 minutes outside daily. When the sunlight is less during winter, you can use light-therapy lamps to avoid SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
4. Exercise more
Exercise does the same as sunlight. Physical activity makes your brain release serotonin that makes a person happy. So, you can improve your health – both mental and physical – by working out more often daily. Now, we don’t ask you to overexert yourself. Experts suggest working out for 30 minutes will keep your mind relaxed and body energized. Even walking to your car or using stairs instead of elevators can do the trick. Just don’t stick to a sedentary lifestyle where you have to keep sitting.
5. Try meditation
There are several relaxation practices for people suffering from anxiety disorders. You can perform yoga, mindfulness, or meditation to improve your mental well-being. Studies show that meditating just for 10-20 minutes can help activate your mind to the fullest. Then we have aerobics and deep breathing exercises for relaxation. Combined with meditation, these activities will let you sleep peacefully and remain delighted throughout the day.
6. Eat well
Science has confirmed the existence of a strong relationship between one’s diet and one’s mental health. Consuming processed meals will harm your mental well-being. On the other hand, eating a nutritious lunch will benefit your mind. So, we recommend eating a well-balanced diet with essential minerals and vitamins. Make fruits and vegetables crucial components of your daily food intake. In short, eating healthy meals can also help you sleep better and keep your mind fresh.
7. Sleep well
An adult needs to sleep 7-8 hours daily to rejuvenate their mind. Sound sleep can help your body energize itself. We’ve seen that insomnia constitutes an essential symptom of mental issues. But sleep itself enables people to control stress/anxiety and regain their mental well-being. So, please don’t waste your time on social media when it’s time to sleep. Go to bed early, limit your screen time right before you sleep, and wake up early in the morning. That’s how you can improve mental health.
8. Adopt hobbies
Spend your time doing things you’re interested in to keep your mind engaged. These pastimes can help a troubled mind relax. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? There are many hobbies to choose from, ranging from painting, gardening to cycling, mountaineering. We also recommend you start journaling; writing down your everyday affairs can help you understand your triggers. Learn what triggers an episode of stress/anxiety. Then stay away from people/events that trouble your mind.
9. Be sociable
Don’t become a hermit and instead socialize with friends/family. It’ll keep your mind working and stress at length. Create strong connections with people and maintain positive associations with folks who make you feel relaxed. Having friends isn’t crucial for your confidence only, but it also helps you get the much-needed support when you’re feeling down. A study has even claimed that talking to people for 10 minutes improves your memory. So, being sociable boosts your cognitive functions.
10. Limit media
It’s already pretty unnatural for human beings to spend their time staring at a screen. Interacting with strangers on social media can sometimes become unbearable. Don’t use your phone right after waking up or right before sleeping. Reduce your social media addiction by keeping yourself busy in the pre-mentioned pastimes. Don’t scroll on Twitter/Facebook when you’re eating. Spend more of your time with real-life people instead of their social media avatars.
Since the emergence of the pandemic, people have been suffering from declining mental health. These problems existed even before COVID-19. MHA National statistics show that 19% of Americans suffered from declining mental well-being in 2017-2018. In England, one-fourth of people are likely to experience symptoms of mental illness annually. So, what do healthcare practitioners recommend people do to save their mental health? There are a few simple suggestions, i.e., sleeping on time, working out regularly, consuming nutritious meals, and acquiring a hobby. You can also communicate with individuals suffering from similar conditions to share your feelings. That’s how you protect your mind from deteriorating.