You can do a lot to maintain or improve your mental health, just as you can do a lot to improve your body’s health.
In fact, the two go together. What you do for your mental health can help your body. What you do for your body can boost your mental health.
- A good place to start is to be active. Exercise your body and your mind. Carrying grudges and jumping to conclusions do not count! Start by getting up off the couch and going for a walk. And doing it again and again. If you want to do something more physical, please do. Make it fun and make it the right kind of exercise for you. Partner up with a pal. Help each other stick to your commitment to become more fit.If mobility is a problem, find exercises that you can do from your chair. Check out “Sit and Be Fit” on WOSU TV for workouts that could make a difference.
Don’t forget to give your mind a workout, too. Challenge yourself with puzzles or riddles. Read � to yourself, to a child, to a friend. Try learning something, anything you didn’t know before.
- Be sure to get enough rest. Yes, you want to exercise. You also need to sleep. Not too little, not too much, but seven to eight hours each night. Naps help, too. Twenty minutes in the afternoon can be a great pick-me-up.
- Be social. Get out of the house and interact with others in the community. Go to a worship service, join a club, get to know your neighbors. Create a network of friends and fellowship. Life is more fun and more bearable if you don’t try to go through it alone.
- Be kind to yourself as well as to others. Many of us waste a lot of time and energy beating up on ourselves. Why didn’t we do this task better? Why did we fail to get that job done? Why aren’t we thinner, why aren’t we better looking, why are we such losers? So, stop with the complaining, already. Get over what you’ve done or haven’t done and get started on the rest of your life.
- Be aware of life’s joys and absurdities and have a good laugh. Have several. Laughter doesn’t make you fat. It’s free. And it can make you feel a lot better. It also help you put things in perspective, and that doesn’t hurt.
- Be grateful for the little things in life. Do appreciate the big blessings, but start with the little things that are good. In fact, take a moment to think of three things that you’re thankful for. Can you think of three more? And three more beyond that?
Sure, life can be cruel. Awful things can happen that knock us to our knees. But while we’re down there, if we can think of one thing, one thing to be thankful for, we’re on our way to finding the strength to get back up.