Life can get busy and stressful. Trying to balance work with social and family obligations often leaves little time to focus on your own needs. However, when the chaos of life is in full swing, it’s more important than ever to put your mental wellbeing first.
Similar to taking steps to maintain an active lifestyle or a healthy diet, there are steps you can take to increase your mental health. OrthoIndy surgeon, Dr. David Brokaw, shares four tips on how to practice a mentally healthy lifestyle.
- Get active. Make sure to get routine exercise in a manner that is comfortable to you. “For me it’s working at my farm or walking in my woods,” said Dr. Brokaw. This will help clear your mind and relax. After exercise, you may feel more energized and think more clearly.
- Set aside quiet “me time”. We all need time alone. Find a hobby you enjoy such as reading or working on a project. Then, make it a routine so it’s something you can continuously look forward to. When you have a day that is particularly stressful, even 15 minutes of alone time goes a long way.
- Unplug from electronics. There are so many distractions in today’s world. Whether it’s television, social media or the Internet in general, make sure to take a break. Put down your cell phone or turn off the television or computer and just be present in what is going on around you.
- Practice kindness. “Consciously choose to do one random act of kindness per day,” said Dr. Brokaw. Making someone else feel happy usually boosts your own happiness level. Even small actions, like stopping to talk to someone about their day or smiling at someone in the hallway can change someone’s entire day.
In the end, it’s important to find what works for you that helps keep you happy. Whether it’s going on a morning walk every once in awhile with a close friend, surprising your child with ice cream or getting out an old recipe book and cooking by yourself. Just take time to do things for yourself.
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