Your mental health plays a major role in your overall well-being and can actually affect many aspects of your life, from your job and fitness to your relationships with others. However, for many people, mental health is unfortunately usually pretty low on the priority list, which obviously isn’t a good thing when you consider how many pressures and stressors we face in our day-to-day life (especially those in the LGBTQ community). So, how can you make sure you don’t fall into that category?
When it comes to prioritizing your mental health this year, there are certain habits, choices, and practices you’ll need to evaluate. To begin your journey to better mental health, here are a few pointers to get you started:
Make Sure to Get Enough Sleep
Did you know that sleep and mental health are actually related? Sleep problems can exacerbate mental health issues and vice versa. It can also have physical ramifications such as exhaustion, impacting your immune system, and even increasing your risk of serious health issues like heart disease.
A lot of things in life are not in your control, but sleep isn’t one of those. So, if you suffer from sleep deprivation, you can actually do something about it. To make sure you get enough sleep each night, try these solutions:
Think about what’s keeping you up at night, is it an uncomfortable bed, a snoring partner, racing thoughts, or bright lights from outside or on TV—in your problem, you’ll find your way to a better night’s sleep. If you’ve tried these solutions and your sleep isn’t getting any better, it might be time to see a doctor because it could actually be a side effect of a hormone imbalance or other health issue.
Cut off Toxic Relationships
One of the hardest things to do is end a relationship with people you care about—whether they’re romantic or not. Unfortunately, the people in our life have a huge effect on how we feel and our general well-being. So, if someone in your life is bringing you a lot of unhappiness or even directly harming you, it’s essential that you remove them from your life as soon as possible, no matter how hard it may be. While it might be difficult in the beginning, you will surely begin to feel the weight of their presence being lifted.
Dedicate Time to Diet & Exercise
Your physical health and mental health are closely intertwined, so maintaining both equally is important. If you have been neglecting diet or exercise, now is the time to get back on track. Ensure some comfortable shoes for walking and running and go for it! To prevent burn out, start out slow by going a few days a week, just taking a walk during lunch, or signing up for a meal prep service. Even the smallest steps in the right direction will make a difference in the end. Need some help getting started, here are a few of our favorite health resources that can inspire you:
Give Yourself a Break
With social pressures, highly competitive job markets, and the constant hustle and bustle, it can be easy to push yourself to a breaking point. If you find yourself under constant stress, it might be time to give yourself a break. Whether you take a mental health day and stay home from work to recoup after a busy week or need to book a vacation, give yourself the gift of time for some much-needed R&R. You’ll be thankful you did when you come back feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Seek Professional Help
There’s no shame in seeking professional help from a therapist. In fact, it’s easier than ever with today’s modern solutions. Gone are the days when you had to wait weeks to speak with someone because their practice was booked out. Instead, you can use a therapy app to speak with someone online immediately. And sometimes, they’re even available 24/7 to help you through whatever challenges life throws at you.
And last but not least, don’t forget to lean on your friends and family for support during this journey—they can be an invaluable resources to making progress toward a better, healthier lifestyle.