As Mental Health Awareness month is wrapping up, it’s the perfect time to highlight some simple ways to boost your mental well-being. Improving mental health can seem like a difficult challenge, but there are a variety of lifestyle changes that can help make it easier. These are tips you can use year-round to help take care of your mental well-being.
One of the easiest ways to improve your mental health this Spring season is by getting outside and enjoying nature. While we all know exercise is great for our physical and mental health, doing so in the fresh air can provide an extra boost. Even just being outside without exercising is good for our health, too. A study of 20,000 people done by the University of Exeter showed that people who spent just two hours each week in green spaces (i.e. local parks, hiking trails) were substantially more likely to report overall good health and psychological well-being than those who do not.
If you are unable to get outside regularly for healthy doses of sunshine, there is a chance you could be deficient in vitamin D, which is provided by the sun. According to Sage Clinic, people with depression are more likely to be vitamin D-deficient. Especially during the colder and rainier months, taking a vitamin D supplement can make a difference in your mental health. Everyone knows that vitamins are essential for our physical health, but vitamin D and many others play an important role in our brain function and therefore, mental health.
Some vitamins and minerals that are known to help mental health according to Sage Clinic include:
Of course, it is crucial to consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet. Healthy eating habits can help ensure you get the necessary vitamins and minerals without the need to supplement, however different people develop deficiencies for many reasons. Your healthcare provider can help come up with a nutrition plan that is best for your individual physical and mental health needs. Generally speaking, though, cutting down on processed and fast foods and eating more fruits and vegetables is a great place to start fueling your body and brain.
Another simple way to prioritize your mental health is by adding meditation to your daily routine. According to Psychology Today, “meditation can help individuals sleep better, cope with some symptoms associated with mental disorders like depression and anxiety, reduce some of the psychological difficulties associated with chronic pain, and even improve some cognitive and behavioral functions.” Just a few minutes of mindfulness practice each day can be enough to help you de-stress and stay grounded. Check out Tatiana’s show #MindfulMonday every Monday at 9:00 a.m. (and watch past episodes) to get more in-depth content about mindfulness and meditation.