By Dr. Tamarah Chaddah
Mental health is a key component of general well-being. It includes the way you feel about yourself, your relationships, as well as how you manage your feelings.
Factors such as excessive stress, anxiety, and depression can impact our ability to function.
Unfortunately, mental health is still often overlooked as something people need to “work on”. But just like other areas of health, it deserves focused attention. Good mental health is about maintaining a healthy balance between coping with everyday challenges, taking care of your mind, and finding positive outlets for stress.
Of course, taking care of your body is an important step towards mental and emotional health – and the daily choices you make can greatly affect the way you feel both physically and emotionally.
Below are some lifestyle tips you can think about incorporating into your routine:
Regular physical activity can help people suffering from anxiety and depression. Exercise can increase the release of endorphins, a chemical produced by the body that naturally makes you feel happier and better about yourself. In fact, some studies show that exercise is as effective, if not more so, than some anti-depressants. Aim to get moving for 20-30 minutes a day, three times a week to get the mood-boosting benefits.
Get Enough Sleep
Most people need up to eight hours of sleep to properly function during the day. As tempting as it may be to plough through a few more emails, or stay up streaming your favourite TV show, sleep deprivation can trigger symptoms of anxiety and make it extremely difficult to cope with depression. A good sleep helps you feel more energized and ready to take on the day.
A healthy diet is essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind. Choosing foods that are rich in nutrients and vitamins will not only increase your energy levels, but will also improve your mood. Try to incorporate foods from all of the four food groups, such as dark leafy greens and brown rice – and be sure to never skip out on any meals, as doing so can alter your mood throughout the day.
More specifically, studies have shown that a diet rich in Omega 3’s (found in fish) not only reduces the risk of heart attacks, but can help smooth out the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder and prevent against depression. If you have trouble consuming fish on a regular basis (ideally three times a week), consider taking a fish oil supplement.
Learn How to Cope with Stress
Be aware of any triggers that can increase stress and learn how to manage them. While stress is a natural part of life, it’s essential that you find ways of preventing stress from dominating your everyday living, otherwise you risk feeling too overwhelmed to do anything. When you’ve had a bad day, give yourself as little as 5-10 minutes to write down your feelings and thoughts – get them out of your head and onto a piece of paper. Even talking with family members or close friends can help relieve tension – a great alternative to simply bottling it up for the future.
Finding time for yourself and engaging in activities that bring you joy is also a great help. Whether it’s gardening, socializing, cooking, walking, or a massage with our of the RMTs – focus on activities that lighten your mood and in turn, improve your mental health.
Try Natural Supplements
In some cases, supplements can complement the lifestyle tips mentioned above. For example, there are many supplements available that can be extremely effective for reducing anxiety and improving depression. The best part is that many of these supplements come without the unwanted side-effects of many conventional medications.
Remember, it is important to get the advice of a health care provider to ensure you are picking the right product and one that is safe for your particular needs. Our team at BeWell Health Clinic will ensure you get the best advice and the right treatment.
Whether you’re experiencing mild to severe symptoms of stress, anxiety, fatigue, or depression, we can help. Learn more about how you can improve your mental well-being by visiting Dr. Tamarah Chaddah at BeWell Health Clinic.