It’s easy to get bogged down in your work and get stuck in a routine that does not include self-care and wellness. You may find yourself thinking about work when you’re not at work, leading to stress, bad eating habits or insomnia.
External life pressures add to the mental burden. Can I afford the car I just bought? Will I have enough saved for retirement? Who will pick up the kids today?
Tons of things can weigh on your sanity and affect your work and overall happiness. It is important to take a step back, stop and smell the roses and connect with friends and family who can lift your spirits. The following easy mental health strategies can improve your life satisfaction, but they also can improve your work results and relationships.
When you return to work, you will come back refreshed and full of ideas and energy to produce better results!
1. Meditate or Pray
The benefits of meditation and prayer have been studied and proven to slow heart rates while improving mental focus, wellbeing and life satisfaction. By bringing our minds back to the present and using positive affirmations and gratitude, we can reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue in the moment.
Take five to 15 minutes once or twice a day and check in with your mind and body, focusing on your breathing and positive thoughts and gratitude. Even try smiling during this practice!
2. Take a Walk or Exercise
Everyone knows that exercise is good for us, but too often we think that real exercise is setting aside 30 minutes to an hour every day for any real benefit. For mental health, this is not true. Walking outdoors, walking a pet, standing up and stretching or taking a weekly class are all ways to build exercise into your routine and feel the positive endorphins.
Add exercise breaks into your calendar or follow the lead of your pet to take a break, drink water and move! Set an alert on your watch to stand up and stretch every couple hours. For accountability, commit to an exercise class.
3. Listen to Music
Rather than listening to the news or that new business audio book everyone is talking about, add some music to your life. When you are waking up, exercising or cooking, include some relaxing and soft music in the background. Certain musical frequencies can stimulate positive memories or emotions, which supports your mental health, aids memory and puts you in a better mood.
Feel free to move your body or have a dance party in your office or living room for a few minutes. If you have young children, they will love to join you.
4. Take Vitamins
Blood sugar levels and overall malnutrition have a significant effect on mental health and wellness. When blood sugar dives or when we don’t include enough healthy fiber and vegetables in our diet, it can impact our digestion along with our mood and attitude about life. Even if you follow a healthy diet, our modern food practices don’t account for adequate levels of certain vitamins and minerals.
Speak to your doctor if you are experiencing anxiety, depressed moods or inconsistent energy as they may be common signs of insufficient vitamins and minerals. Along with consuming half your body weight in water each day, consider vitamin supplements for improved mood and brain function.
5. Improve your Sleep
Odd work hours, family obligations and stress can ruin your sleep, which is impactful on mental and physical health. If you can’t control your work or family responsibilities, you can control your sleeping environment. Invest in a high-quality pillow and bedding and rethink the temperature and lighting in your bedroom.
Avoid blue light through a filter on your computer monitor and leave your phone outside the bedroom. Add room darkening shades to your windows and lower the evening home temperature to around 65 degrees F. Consider using a sleep mask if you are sensitive to light. Avoid eating or exercising right before bed. Build in a relaxing sleep routine to help you nod off such as a heated neck warmer or lavender essential oil.
6. Take Mini Escapes
Few people can afford a monthly vacation. But you can take mini escapes. Whether it’s a pedicure, a lunch date or an art class, build fun escapes into your calendar that you can look forward to and that feel like a vacation. You can do this alone or with a friend or family member. Make sure that the vibe is relaxing and stress free.
Get a latte and shop without the children. Visit a bookstore or museum. Take along a picnic for the park. Go bowling or to the beach. The sky is the limit, but the goal is to make it quick, inexpensive and consistent throughout the month. All work and no play is, well, no fun.
These are just a few easy mental health strategies. Of course, working for the right employer also helps to reduce your stress and allow you to take proactive steps toward mental health. Check out the lifestyle benefits of working for LvHJ right here.