Having good mental health should be a top priority in one’s life. Looking after your mind and ensuring that you are happy, healthy, focused, and thriving is essential. But how do you keep track of your mental health, how do you give yourself the best chance at living the life you want? Routine. Having structure can improve your focus, productivity, confidence, and wellbeing.
What is mental health?
Mental health is the term we use to describe certain areas of our health including our psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing. Our mental health is considered to be good when we are happy, healthy, and engaging well in day-to-day life. But if we are struggling with our mental health, we may experience physical and psychological symptoms that prevent us from coping with everyday stressors.
Establishing a routine helps your overall health and wellbeing. Routines help us cope with change, improve our relationships, create healthy habits and reduce stress. Studies have shown that having a daily routine can help manage symptoms of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar. Research has proven that it takes 21 days to form a new habit and the same goes for a routine. Having a daily routine can be a significant difference in your life but what should your routine look like?
Get your body moving
First of all, you need to get your body moving! Exercise is an important part of life that is essential to keep your mind and body healthy. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, then walking for 30 minutes every day will get your blood circulating in your body and leave you feeling happier and healthier. Set yourself a daily target to walk a certain number of miles or find a nature trail near your home to visit. Walking isn’t the only exercise of course, if you want to do another form of exercise for your mental health, why not try boxing, swimming, dancing, or yoga? Maybe you want to try a new sport? Find something that you enjoy doing and stick to it.
You are what you eat
As the old saying goes “you are what you eat.” Maintaining a well-balanced diet is important for all aspects of your health, but believe it or not, the food you eat can affect your mental health. The wrong foods can affect your hormones and mood and harm your daily life. Make sure you are fueling your body with the right nutrients and vitamins but also allowing yourself to indulge and treat yourself sometimes too.
Gratitude is the attitude
Appreciating the small moments in life is a great way to improve your mental health. Spend some time every day expressing your gratitude for the things and people in your life that you love. A good way to practice gratitude and put it in your daily routine is to get a gratitude journal and write three things you are grateful for every day at the same time to keep it simple.
Sleep, sleep, sleep
Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep. A lack of sleep can be a huge contributor to poor mental health, and it isn’t only about the number of hours that you sleep, it’s the quality of your sleep. If you struggle with sleep, there are plenty of sleep tracker apps that can help you identify what you need to work on. Maybe you need a strict bedtime routine and morning routine. Maybe you need to take away some distractions from your sleeping space. Remember, if you are well-rested, your mood will improve, and you will be happier, healthier, and more likely to keep your mental health in check.
Life is about having fun
We all have obligations. Whether that be family, work, friends, or studying. But life is all about having fun, creating memories with the people around you, and doing things that you enjoy. So when you are setting a routine for yourself, make sure you schedule in time for yourself to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Do you like to read? Set yourself the task to add 30 minutes every day. Do you like going out to the movies? Schedule a date night with your partner or a hangout with your friends once a month. Make time for the things and people that bring you joy.
How to implement this routine
The best way to start implementing a new routine is to start small. If you want to change your life, it needs to start with a single step. Maybe you can start by doing a morning routine? Focus on that for a month or more and slowly start adding to your routine. If you are an organized person, you may like a written schedule in a visual place to remind you every day of what you need to do. Be strict. The stricter you are with your routine, the more likely you will stick to it. Prioritize your mental health by setting routines that work for you. Remember, sometimes things will happen outside of your control that change your routines, so you should learn to adapt during those times and reschedule as you see fit.