Prioritizing your mental health should be at the top of your healthy living list, alongside your other health goals. Just like you would go on vacation to break free from the daily grind, your brain needs regular rest.
Often, when you go through the ups and downs of life, you tend to neglect caring for your mental well-being. Taking regular breaks in your brain has been shown to improve motivation, decision-making skills, and memory and learning.
To take full advantage of a well-rested brain, here are a few ways to refresh your mental health:
Sleep is the top priority when it comes to resetting your mental health, but that can be hard to believe when you consider that one in three adults doesn't get enough sleep every night.
Start by prioritizing to get about seven to nine hours of sound sleep at night. Keep your sleeping environment as cool and dark as possible by covering windows and, if necessary, a eye mask so that you fall asleep faster and wake up less quickly.
watch your mind
It can be hard to slow down these days, but taking the time to practice mindfulness, record your thoughts, and practice meditation are helpful ways to reboot your mental health.
Take the time to notice your senses, recognize your emotions, disconnect from social media, and have quiet time to yourself without distractions, even if it's just ten minutes a day.
Start something new
Most people don't like change, but changing your routine or introducing something new into your life can give your brain the refresh it needs to function adequately. Your brain likes patterns so much that it can get used to the same routine over time. So, if you want to give your brain a boost or a new challenge, start adding something completely new to your life.
You can try a new exercise routine, a new puzzle, add a new hobby to your to-do list, or even adopt a dog. Don't be afraid to get out comfort zone if you're looking for something new to try.
Get fresh air daily
Sometimes the key to happiness lies in the simple things, like the outdoors. Research shows that getting outside for just 20 minutes a day can improve your mental well-being. Plus, breathing in some fresh air can help improve your concentration and focus.
If you have a cat or dog, you're probably familiar with the peaceful feeling of watching animals or petting their fur. The heart rate slows and the mind calms. If you don't have any animals of your own, you can still interact with different species when you visit butterfly houses, zoos, aquariums, or even a friend's house or volunteer.
Animal shelters can always use a good volunteer. Some also have foster programs for those who cannot adopt. Walking the dogs, socializing puppies, or taking an animal for a weekend visit here and there gives both you and the animal time to focus on something else. There is a peaceful magic to being around animals. They deserve companionship and care just like you.
Give yourself a brain dump
A brain dump is the habit of writing down all your thoughts, concerns, questions, needs, things on your to-do list, and anything else that is on your mind and then reorganizing them into coherent thoughts. Brain dumps are designed to clear your mind, organize your thoughts, and help you regain control of your life. You could also use the creation of a “mind map”. More on this soon!