There might always be something going on in our lives, whether it be school, work, relationships, extracurriculars, etc. Unfortunately, these things can all have their own demands or pressures, and can contribute to stress. Keeping stress levels low is really important to our mental health, and in turn, it’s really important that we take care of our mental health. Our mental health can affect our thoughts, behaviors, emotions, and the way we deal with change, so the state of our mental health can affect our everyday lives in a positive or negative way. The goal is positivity! So what can we do to help improve it?
De-stressing does not have to take a lot of effort or time. It can be just a simple activity like picking up a book for a few minutes, or listening to music. It’s about taking some time for yourself to just relax. Try out a hobby, like sewing or sketching. Do a small puzzle or play a game. Meditate or do yoga. Yoga is also a great way to exercise. Just try focusing on breathing. Also, laugh more- it lightens your mental load and helps you feel better. Being social also helps as opening up about what you’re feeling can take a little bit of the pressure off, but you don’t have to. Sometimes, just talking with friends and family can offer a good distraction from stressful things.
Improving mental health goes back to some basic necessities. Even eating and sleeping well are key factors in reducing stress levels. Physical exercise and nutrition are so important- a healthy body makes for a healthy mind, and the other way around. Exercising is proven to relieve stress and leads to a healthier life, while proper nutrition can help maintain the vitamins that stress depletes. Sleep helps us gain energy, process memories, information, and our emotions. And when we don’t sleep enough, too much cortisol (a steroid hormone), is produced. That might sound boring and insignificant, but too much cortisol can keep us constantly stressed and unable to relax. Overall, there are so many things you can do to relieve stress and be in a better state of mind- and these little things can go a long way!