When you’re ‘down and out’, or ‘feeling small’, will self-care act like a bridge over troubled waters? Forgive our music comparison, but exactly what part does self-care play in helping us overcome the stresses in life? Some say it’s a cure-all, while others are less enthusiastic about how much help it actually provides. The real question should be how to effectively use self-care for improved mental health.
Is there a link between mental health and heart health? Does our mental health actually cause heart problems? Keep reading to find out the latest conclusions.
If you are looking for tips to improve your mental health, check out Dr. Ashley Gardner’s tips for improving your coping skills during stressful times. Practicing these easy and everyday tips are a great step to help you achieve a happy and healthy mind!
Tips for Improving Your Mental Health
Find coping skills that work for you. Separate the useful skills from those that are not a good fit, and practice those
- Practice “guided imagery” or visualization. Imagine a place or situation you find relaxing, and picture this in your mind, engaging as many senses as possible (smells, sights, sounds, textures).
- Schedule some down time without devices or distractions, perhaps taking a “technology holiday” one weekend day a week.
- Try setting a sleep schedule. A bedtime routine that you perform every night (such as showering, then 15 minutes of reading) can help train your mind to wind down in the evenings.
- Practice meditation using an app – there are several free options available!
- Spend time with supportive friends and family. Maintaining healthy relationships helps avoid loneliness, which is a known risk factor for depression.
- Find activities that bring you joy like gardening, cooking, or hiking. Having an outlet for stress is important in maintaining your mental health.
- Pick any type of exercise and be faithful to it, such as walking, biking, or yoga. Studies show that 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week has a measurable positive effect on mood, similar to the effect size seen with antidepressants!
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Ashley Gardner
If you are interested in learning more about how to address your mental health, or are seeking psychiatric treatment, contact our office today at (214) 997-4459.