Being intentional about self-care is an important aspect of your overall mental health - mind, body and spirit. This means taking time to actively protect your happiness.
Here are five, simple activities that are proven to help your well-being and lower your overall stress.
Physical activity. Whether it’s hiking, biking, running, swimming, weightlifting, dancing, golfing, yoga, participating in a seasonal sports league or any other form of movement – physical activity releases powerful endorphins that lift your mood and boost your energy levels. Studies have shown regular exercise can do more than simply improve your physical health. Physical activity also helps relieve stress, improve sleep, and improve your overall mental health.
Spend time outdoors. Whether it’s taking a hike, gardening, or eating lunch on a bench outside your office, feeling the sun’s rays can be beneficial. Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, a hormone associated with boosting your mood and helping you feel calm.
Meditation practices. Yoga and various other muscle relaxation practices can help improve your mental health. Although it can be difficult to quiet your mind, take time for reflection, prayer, or deep breathing throughout your day. These moments can help you cope with stress.
Socializing. It’s important to spend time with other people – whether you plan a coffee date with a co-worker or intentionally call a friend who lives out of state. This could also mean exploring new interests where you can meet new friends in your local community.
Volunteering. Being generous with your time can reduce stress too. Finding a cause you care about or regularly committing time to an organization can help make you feel happier.
Overall, taking time each day to do one of the above activities is important for your mental health. Challenge yourself to make intentional choices throughout your day to help boost your mood.
Healthy eating is another important habit that can help improve your overall health. Learn more about tips on planning for healthy eating.