Tips on Boosting Your Mental Health Everyday

Tips on Boosting Your Mental Health Everyday

Your mental health is very important and a lot of us do not pay enough attention to our mental health. Many of us live in a constant state of being on the go and it tends to take a toll on our mental health. So how do we go about improving our mental health when our lives are so fast-paced? According to mpgHealth here are so simple things you can do every day to give your mental health a little boost.

6:30 a.m. / Open the blinds as soon as you wake up.

When it comes to mental health, sleep is everything. And when it comes to sleep, circadian rhythm is everything. What cues your circadian rhythm? Light. By opening the blinds and getting bright light into your eyes early in the morning, this sets the clock on your circadian rhythm so you can feel energetic during the day and tired at night.

7 a.m. / Make sure a tall glass of filtered water is the first thing you consume.

Apart from sleep, digestive health is probably the biggest determinant of mental health. In order to have good digestive health, you need to start the day with a stellar bowel movement. By drinking a tall glass of water before you eat or drink anything else, and then resting calmly for a few minutes, you’ll encourage a good BM first thing in the morning. Filtered or spring water is worthwhile because our municipal tap water can contain pesticides, chlorine, fluoride, and pharmaceutical residue.

8 a.m. / Practice equanimity and nonreactivity.

Let’s say you’re on your morning commute and you’re stuck in traffic, or you got cut off, or you can’t find parking, or the train is running late…commuting is one of the more stressful things we do as modern human people. We can’t change those stressors (short of working from home or having a walking commute), but we can change the way we perceive and react to those stressors. We are all so conditioned to be reactive, going from zero to 60 with frustration and road rage. Instead, play around with keeping a state of equanimity and nonreactivity in the face of super-annoying stressors. Try taking a deep breath and seeing some humor in the situation. Remind yourself to tread peacefully on the earth.

8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. / Protect your morning hours for deep work.

I believe humans want to work hard, make a contribution, and enrich the world. So why does it seem like all we ever want to do is scope out the snack cart and surf social media like zombies? The problem is we’re bad at scheduling our days to set ourselves up for deep work. I find most people get into a deep flow state with work in the morning hours, approximately 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. If you have meetings scheduled during that time, or you open up social media, or you go down an internet rabbit hole, or your flow-state gets disrupted by the one million dings, pings, and requests from colleagues, then those flow hours will go toward doing a reeeaallygood job of responding to your colleague or doing a reeaaally good job going down an Instagram rabbit hole. But they won’t go toward deep work and creating something great. Protect those morning hours. Turn off notifications and direct your attention and energy to the important work you want to accomplish.

12 p.m. / Reach for real food.

It’s lunch o’clock, and everywhere around you are the smells of pad thai and pizza. If you want to set yourself up for optimal mental health, it’s worth making a few counter-mainstream food choices. Rather than indulging in what’s cheap, convenient, and addictive, it serves us to reach for real food. This can become a slippery slope toward obsessive clean eating, so I want to caution you that the most important dimension to this is simply that it be real food. This doesn’t mean just eating chia seeds and kale. It means eating well-sourced, pastured meats, including red meat, wild fish, carbohydrates from starchy vegetables (e.g., potatoes, plantains, sweet potatoes) instead of refined carbohydrates, plenty of veggies, plentiful healthy fats (e.g., grass-fed ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil, fatty cuts of pastured meats), and eating fruit when you’re craving sweets.

8 p.m. / Microcize.

There’s no better antidepressant than exercise. And yet, so many of us don’t do it. It’s hard to find time and energy to drag ourselves to the gym. My solution? Do five to 20 minutes of movement that you enjoy in your living room at night. After I get my daughter to sleep and before I eat dinner, I do about five to 10 minutes of Pilates, or follow along with a Zumba video on YouTube, or I belly dance, or I just put on goofy music and dance. It’s not as good as a 90-minute yoga class, but the best kind of exercise is the kind you actually do. This approach is realistic and sustainable. Try it tonight.

9 p.m. / Kiss your phone good-night.

One of the best things you can do for your sleep and overall mental well-being is get the phone out of the bedroom. When we keep it on our bedside table, it’s the last thing we look at before bed and the first thing we look at when we wake up. In the morning, it sets the wrong tone for the day, and at night, it sends a shock of blue spectrum light to your brain, jacking up your circadian rhythm. Set up your charger outside the bedroom, adjust your settings so you would still hear emergency calls. Your sleep will be so much better without the intrusion of dings and pings and the option to check your phone one last time to see what stressful nonsense came through at midnight.

10 p.m. / Lights out.

10 p.m.?! That’s practically dinnertime. I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules. Evolution basically made the rules. Our bodies want to fall asleep approximately three hours after sunset. And if we stay up later than that, we get “overtired,” which is the state most of us are in when we’re trying to fall asleep—tired but wired, anxious, thoughts racing, tossing and turning, and pushing against the stress hormone cortisol that got released into our bloodstream when we didn’t fall asleep at 10 p.m. One of the most effective ways to solve your insomnia is to recognize your tired signs and swoop yourself to bed right then, before you get overtired. You’ll find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.

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