According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly one in five adults who live in the United States were diagnosed with a mental illness in 2019. That’s over 51 million people who manage various conditions that impact their overall quality of life. Through therapy, medications, and other treatments, people are finding more ways to cope and manage in order to live fuller lives.
With conditions like anxiety and depression at an all-time high after the initial lockdown of COVID-19, it’s essential to find ways to make life less stressful for ourselves.
Here are four ways to make your life a little easier and help improve your mental health.
Make Social Media Work For You
We live in a world where social media has become a part of our everyday lives. We connect with our friends and family across the world. We buy and sell products or even look for homes to buy online. At the end of the day, we are constantly waiting for our phones to buzz in our pockets for the next notification. But why not make social media do the work for you?
There is a lot of bad news and hate that gets spread around the internet. Curate your social media accounts to only bring what is important to you and fills your cup. Whether you’re a real estate agent looking for commercial property news or are a creative in need of inspiration, make sure you are following accounts and sources that bring exactly what you want into your feed.
Take some time to unfollow any accounts that make you upset or give you a case of imposter syndrome.
Take 10 Minutes to Meditate
Our minds are constantly wandering as we think about the next thing on our to-do list. If you’re looking for a way to recenter yourself, taking ten minutes each day to meditate could be the key. The mental health benefits alone are enough to make someone ponder if it might be right for them. A recent study showed that meditation could reduce stress levels by 89.4%.
Meditation is not only great to reduce stress, but it can also help with focus, concentration, and improved self-esteem. If you’re like most people, you may not be sure how to meditate. There are dozens of apps available such as Headspace, that teach you the basics with guided meditations from professionals. If you lost your job due to COVID, they offer a free year subscription to enjoy their premium features.
The Five Minute Clean Up
It’s true what they say: a clean space in your home provides a clear space in your head. The Princeton Neuroscience Institute did a study on exactly this. Their study showed that clutter in a person’s view acts as stimuli. It distracts the brain and doesn’t allow you to focus on the task at hand, and ultimately causes more stress. This is especially true for someone who works from home where their living space is also their office.
Taking five minutes to clean up some of the clutter in your environment can create a major sense of relief. It also gives a sense of accomplishment by achieving a small task on an already overwhelming plate.
A Gratitude Journal
You may have heard of this before, but keeping a gratitude journal can dramatically help your mental health. It’s free to do and requires only a sheet of paper and a pen. Each night before bed, take a few minutes to write down two or three things you are grateful for.
It allows your mind to do an overview of the day and find the good things instead of the negative, stressful events that may have taken place. It also is an opportunity to set your mind up for success the next morning by ending your previous day with positive thoughts.
Life can be difficult at times, but there are little things we can do every single day to help. If we can make our lives easier, we can also make our bodies and minds healthier.
Interesting related article: “What is Mental Health?”