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  • Sara

Taking Steps to Improve Your Mental Health

There are a lot of things that we can do to improve our mental health, and everyone is going to be a little different when it comes to what works and what doesn’t. As we strive to improve our well-being, it is critical that we keep in mind that it might take some trial and error before finding something that really works. We often have to wade through a few false starts before we start to build routines and habits.

One thing to consider, which may seem a bit irrelevant at first, but truly isn’t, is what type of learner we are. There are various ways in which an individual feels most comfortable ingesting information and we can use these resources to integrate wellness activities that are more likely to stick.

People generally fall into one of these categories when it comes to learning: visual, auditory, movement, or reading and writing. These are the approaches that best allow each individual to absorb information. So, if a person is a visual learner, in order to improve mental health, activities such as visiting an art gallery, watching a mental health video, observing nature, or other visually engaging options might be used to help. If a person learns best using movement, physical activities like walking, jogging, yoga, etc., may work best.

Not only is it helpful to understand what kind of learners we are when identifying a mental health routine that’ll stick, but there are many other ways we can amplify results. Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and spending time with positive people are just a few of the things that can help.

One of the most important things you can do for your mental health is to find healthy ways to cope with stress. Some healthy ways to cope with stress include exercise, journaling, and spending time in nature. Minimizing stress will have a huge impact on the mind and body.

Another important part of mental health is having positive relationships. Spending time with people who make you feel good can help you to feel better mentally. Whether it's family, friends, or a romantic partner, positive relationships are crucial for mental health.

Here are a few steps that I took to improve my own mental health. These are things that I continue to practice every day because our brains are just like a muscle in our bodies: they need to be exercised often in order to stay strong. It takes conditioning to create a learned response that we can turn to time and again to ensure we’re staying on track.

I began to prioritize myself – I don’t mean that I became selfish, but I started taking the time to look out for myself and make my needs a priority. It can be very easy to neglect our own needs and focus on everyone else instead. This ends up leading to burnout, decreased mental health, and low self-esteem. Practice finding a balance in caring for yourself and caring for others. For example, it is a great idea to set aside time each week for you and protect that time.

I learned my own definition of self-care – When it comes to self-care, it's important to remember that you are the only one who can truly take care of yourself. While it's great to have support from family and friends, at the end of the day, you are the one responsible for your own well-being. That's why it's so important to make time for yourself, to do things that make you happy and that help you relax.

It took some time, but I learned that self-care for me is different from others. Some people thrive on self-care that revolves around meditation, journaling, face masks, spa days, and other relaxing activities. What I realized was my version of self-care meant completing chores that I had been putting off, exercising or cooking a good meal. Take some time to learn what your version of self-care is and allow time each week to do something for yourself.

I spoke with others to hear about their journey – The path towards better mental health can sometimes feel very lonely and overwhelming. It can be helpful to talk to others to hear about their experiences. They are likely to have some insight on what worked for them and what didn’t, what type of support they gained, what the difficult parts were, and more. Sometimes it is great to listen to people tell their stories about recovery because it helps you to remember that recovery isn’t always a linear process.

Consider taking time to reflect on what you currently do to improve your mental health and decide if it is working or if you need to try something new. Developing a strong mental well-being is a learning process that takes time, but eventually you’ll find what works and, as a result, you’ll feel better than ever before!

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