January is the month of mental wellness, which gives us a chance to shed light on its importance. Various factors affect our mental wellbeing. Wellbeing is not merely the absence of illness. Rather, it involves a multitude of factors, including one’s social, mental, physical, and emotional health. Well-being relates to happiness, life satisfaction, and a sense of purpose. This article briefly explains various factors that can lead to enhanced wellbeing.
Steps for improving your mental wellbeing
There are lots of things we can try to take care of our wellbeing. We have 8 tips to help you:
Try to do at least one activity every day that you enjoy, which could be cooking for yourself, curling up and reading a book, or walking your pet. Moreover, acknowledge how you feel and be mindful of your emotions. Instead of suppressing your feelings or avoiding them, try letting yourself feel them and accept that this is what you’re feeling at the moment.
You could also benefit from writing down positive affirmations that resonate with you as well as some healthy coping skills to help you deal with difficult emotions. Starting a gratitude journal, where you write down things you’re grateful for every day, anything from nice weather to a loving friend has also proven to be helpful.
If you’re feeling down or stressed out, try to not isolate yourself. Instead, you could talk to someone you trust. Go on a coffee date with a friend, a family member, or even a colleague and openly share what you’ve been going through lately. Talking to someone who genuinely cares about you and having them listen to you, and giving you the validation you need can help significantly. If face-to-face interaction is not possible, you can have this conversation virtually through a phone or video call. Moreover, try to connect regularly with your friends and family every week or so.
Our physical health has a considerable effect on our mental health, and it can improve our wellbeing if we look after it. Research has shown that a minimum of 30 minutes daily of any physical activity such as running, cycling, walking, yoga, or even dancing can have a significant positive effect on your physical health.
You could also engage in mindful eating, where you focus on your sensual awareness of the food as well as your experience of it.
To help you do that, minimize distractions while eating, such as watching the TV, and eat more slowly. Also, getting a good quality of sleep is crucial. Moreover, try to avoid harmful substances such as alcohol or tobacco to cope with your feelings. Even though they might seem to make you feel better in the short term, they will have detrimental consequences in the long run.
Our physical environment also affects our wellness and our personal health. You can manipulate your environment in a way that positively affects your wellness. For instance, you can start by tidying up the space you’re in. Visual “noise” actually increases one’s stress. If it feels like too much, you can start with one small area, which will give you the sense of accomplishment you need to proceed.
For example, start with decluttering a shelf. Secondly, delight your senses by getting incensed or a vaporizer to disperse essential oils you find appealing. You could also consider adding artwork that matches your taste or places a few photos or objects that have sentimental value to you in a place where you’ll see them often. Moreover, try to maximize the natural light you’re exposed to in the day. Research has shown that daylight is linked to enhanced mood, morale, and reduced fatigue and eyestrain. You could also add other light sources such as a lamp.
This relates to our ability to establish a healthy balance between work and leisure in such a way that it provides a sense of personal satisfaction. This is crucial as our attitude and our ability to deal effectively with work, school or career goals have a great impact on our wellness, performance, interactions with individuals as well as and overall success. To achieve occupational wellness, make sure you’re always working towards your goals.
You can do this by writing down your goals, generating a plan to implement them, and starting working on them. You could also enhance your skills and expand your knowledge in the process. However, make sure you’re also enjoying what you’re working on and critically assess the pros and cons of your current job. If you still feel unsatisfied or stuck, try talking to a career counselor.
Dedicate some time to contemplate your ethical or religious beliefs every day. Reflect on what matters to you and what values guide your life. Connect with your faith community. Find a group of people or an organization that shares your beliefs and reconnect with them, whether in-person or online. If you don’t have such a community, you can find a cause you believe in and give back. You could become a mentor, a tutor, or volunteer in an animal shelter.
This can grow your community and help you connect with people who are like-minded. Plus, it’ll give you a sense of purpose and gratitude. Devote time to connect with yourself every day, at least for five minutes. Whether it’s before going in for work, during your lunch break, or as a bedtime routine, try to fit in some time to meditate.
A crucial aspect of wellness is intellectual wellness, which refers to active participation in scholastic, cultural, and community activities. Expanding your knowledge and developing your skills will allow you to live a mentally stimulating and successful life. Important elements of intellectual wellness include valuing creativity, curiosity, and lifelong learning. You can do this by reading something for fun.
This can be a Nicholas Sparks book, a history book, or a book about philosophy. You could also have a stimulating conversation with a friend where you debate a certain issue. Moreover, you could learn a new skill like playing the flute or the guitar. If you’re not into music, you could always learn a new language. There are many available apps right now that make this process easier and more fun. Lastly, you could engage in crossword or sudoku puzzles.
When we talk about a better quality of life, money is always a factor. This is why financial wellness is also integral to one’s overall wellness. To minimize stress due to financial strains, you can start keeping track of all your financial records as well as set a budget depending on your monthly income. Also, you could plan how you’ll spend your money ahead of time and increase your awareness of the money you’re spending.
Moreover, instead of worrying all the time, you could set up an emergency fund to provide financial security. Further, building a savings account is very helpful. It’s also advised to plan carefully before making a big purchase such as a house or a car. Lastly, try to enhance your financial literacy to make more informed financial decisions on matters such as opportunity cost, interest rate, and retirement planning.
Disclaimer: Everyone is different, and what works for your friend doesn’t necessarily have to work with you as well. Try these 8 mental wellbeing tips for yourself and see what works for you! It will be a great opportunity to explore your preferences.
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