Simple ways to help your mental health

HealthWith all the chaos of today’s world: text messages, emails, radio, work, family, school; it’s so hard to make time for ourselves. Many of my patients describe feeling like they are just trying to survive, get through the day, and it just feels like a flurry of activity. It’s quite easy to put ourselves by the wayside and we get stuck in a rut. I like to call this concept inertia. We may find things like exercise falling to the side, resorting to fast food (we’re all guilty of it!), and sneaking in some screen time for our leisure. Other things may start to show up such as fatigue, weight gain, disrupted sleep. For those of us who have depression, this can be extra hard. Although I can’t say what I’ll share will be helpful to everyone, here are some things myself and patients have shared that they found helpful:
1) Wake up and go to bed at the same time, have a winding down routine.
2) Limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink a day or 2 drinks an occasion (12 oz of 5% alcohol beer/5 oz 12% alcohol wine/1.5 oz of 40% alcohol liquor). Ideally less if you are prone to anxiety or depression. It can affect our mood and sleep in undesirable ways as well as promote weight gain.
3) Eliminate or heavily minimize liquid sources of calories. They don’t satiate us and are often not nutrient dense to start with (I’m referring to the common sources: soda, coffee, store bought juice).
4) Sneak exercise in your day. Stop using remotes. Park a little further away from the entrance. Use the stairs. You get the idea!
5) Try to cut out a little screen time at home. Replace it with some time such as talking over dinner.

There’s other ideas too, but this entry was meant for simple and easy starter ideas. I’ll check in another time and try to enter some more if anyone is interested!