Mental well-being and physical health go hand-in-hand, whether we like it or not. And in the last couple of years, it’s safe to say that most people’s mental health and well-being has taken a serious hit.
If we don’t do something about it, the physical decline is likely to become that much more apparent (placing even more stress on already maxed-out healthcare systems around the world). On top of this, taking care of your mental well-being is essential for your fulfillment and satisfaction with life.
So, if you’re feeling less-than-optimal lately, this article is for you! We’ve got 21 ways to improve your mental well-being right now! But first, let’s examine the link between mental health and the workplace (there’s more of an association than you might think!).
About one in six workers experience mental illness, including anxiety and depression. Surprisingly, work is a major stressor in a lot of people’s lives. And get this: It’s an even bigger stressor than money in many cases.
While sick days due to physical illness is common, mental health days (aka paid days off work to take care of your mental well-being) aren’t as prominent. However, they are becoming more and more accepted, which is great news.
The truth is we spend a huge chunk of time at work. In fact, if you’re working about 40-hour work weeks, work accounts for almost 25% of your time and around 70% of your time each week awake (assuming you sleep about 8 hours a night). That’s a big deal.
But there are tons of ways you can promote and bring awareness to mental health in the workplace (including the 21 ways to improve your mental health right now, as listed below!).
So, let’s get into it. What can you do to enhance your mental health and well-being in a matter of minutes or seconds?
Grab that pen and paper (or even your phone works!). Write those things, persons, places, or activities that you’re super grateful for in your life. And truly feel those appreciative feelings! The goal here isn’t to just make a list. You want to feel that attitude of gratitude.
Related Article: 10 Simple Reasons You Should Start a Gratitude Journal
Are you ultra artistic? Do a quick painting or drawing! Show off your skills. Find that thing you’re good at and do it. It’ll help give you a quick confidence boost, which, let’s be honest, we all need when we feel a little down.
Seriously. Feelings of accomplishment can help get you out of a funk, and sometimes, it really is all about just taking that small step forward.
Creative expression can amp up your overall mental well-being, improving positive emotions and decreasing negative ones!
Close connections and quality relationships make life meaningful. In fact, research even shows this to be true, linking improved mental health with good social relationships.
Okay, by no means should this be your go-to every time. Suppressing your emotions with food is not what we’re recommending you use as a coping mechanism. But… every now and then, a little chocolate can go a long way in helping you feel better.
You can thank the caffeine and theobromine that dark chocolate contains for these incredible effects!
This can be especially helpful if you’re feeling anxious. Familiar entities can help us relax and act as a soothing mechanism for stress and anxiety (this is often why many individuals will watch their favorite TV shows again and again).
Throw on a comedy or re-visit a joke that you know gets you every time. Laughter truly is medicine!
Leave the technology at home and head out on a walk. Sometime, we all need to disconnect. And this can really help our mental health reset.
Okay, we know you don’t feel like it, but let’s just pretend, yes? Good. Let’s throw on that tune that always gets you moving. Trust us, you’ll feel tons better after you bust a move.
Yawning (c’mon, you know you want to as you read that word!) can help improve mental alertness, which decreases fatigue that may be contributing to your low mental state.
Sometimes, we just need a bit of relaxation and alone time. And this activity does just the trick. It’s even better with a bit of background meditation music, helping you truly relax and forget the stressors of your day.
If you’re feeling annoyed, frustrated, overwhelmed, or anything close to these emotions, grab a pencil or a pen and get writing. Letting it out on paper can offer an outlet for your emotions (similarly, venting to a friend can also help!).
Dogs and cats are known to help lower cortisol in humans and boost oxytocin. So, if you’re feeling less-than, grab your furry friend for a cuddle or play sesh (fetch anyone?)! It’s likely they’ll be more than happy to oblige.
Related Article: 5 Amazing Reasons You Should Adopt a Pet Right Now
Lay out your clothes for tomorrow or plan out your calendar. Doing so can help you feel more in control of your life, enhancing your mental well-being!
Did you know that holding a grudge only causes harm to yourself? If someone’s hurt you in the past, let those emotions go. It’s not for them. It’s for you. And you’ll feel a weight lift off when you finally drop it.
Yes, it might feel ultra-fake. But get this: Smiling can promote feelings of calmness and contentment, actually helping you feel a bit better. The whole “fake it until you make it” concept might have some validity to it.
Let’s get this out of the way: There really is no truly selfless act. Thus, it’s okay to do something for someone else, even when the goal is to help yourself feel better (you will!). Plus, it’s a total bonus when someone you care about or someone who needs help benefits too.
Is your office or room looking a little crowded? Take a moment and clean up your environment. It impacts your mental health more than you think!
Movement increases endorphins. Endorphins help you feel good. So go ahead, and move your body. Even changing your posture, such as bringing your shoulders back and sitting up straight, can help you feel better.
So, it might feel a bit lame! Here’s the thing: no one is watching. Head to a mirror and give yourself a high-five. Remember, you are your biggest cheerleader and your own best friend, always.
Our 21 suggestions to improve your mental well-being don’t stop there. On top of doing the entities listed above right now, you can also boost your mental health and well-being by adding these activities to your regular routine:
While the list above can help in the moment, it’s always a good idea to stay proactive. Look after your body and your mind.
As Jada Pinkett Smith has said,
“Don’t take your health for granted. Don’t take your body for granted. Do something today that communicates to your body that you desire to care for it. Tomorrow is not a promise.”
May 25, 2022