Boost your mental health with these tips | Community

Boost your mental health with these tips | Community

If the pandemic is getting you down, then here are some ways to give your mental health a boost.

Start your day with gratitude

It’s easy to be negative about the pandemic and all the missed opportunities it has brought. Instead, when you wake, make it a habit of naming three things you are grateful for and one thing you want to accomplish today.

n Drink a cup of coffee

Believe it or not, coffee consumption is linked to lower rates of depression. If you can’t or don’t drink coffee, try a substitute like green tea.

n Cool down for a good night’s sleep

The optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees.

n Find something you want to improve

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Figure out a way to take the first step to improve something in your life.

n Show some love

Nurture a close family relationship in some way.

n Create something new

Paint a picture, write a poem, start your autobiography. Creative expression is linked to overall well-being.

n Boost brainpower with dark chocolate every few days

The flavanoids, caffeine and theobromine in dark chocolate work together to improve alertness and mental skills.

n Take a trip down memory lane

Pull out an old scrapbook or photo album and relive some past memories.

n Phone an old friend

It’s never too late to call someone dear to your heart.

n Watch a funny show or movie

Laughter helps reduce anxiety.

n Get outside in nature

Talk a walk in a park or by a lake. Soak in the sights and sounds of nature.

n Go off the grid

Leave your electronics behind for day and disconnect from emails, text, alerts and other interruptions.

n Read a book

n Get a massage

n Write about an unsettling experienc e

Writing can reduce symptoms of depression.

n Spend time with an animal

Interacting with animals lowers cortisol, the stress hormone, and boosts oxytocin — which stimulates feelings of happiness.

n Add some omega-3 fatty acids into your diet

They are linked to lower rates of depression. Wild salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds also help build healthy gut bacteria.

n Smile more

This simple act calms you down and lowers heart rate. It also gives off good vibes to others, which often come back to you.

n Play a game with family members

n Take some exercise

Exercise lowers stress, builds up your immune system and keeps the cardiovascular and muscular systems functioning strong.

n Enjoy 15 minutes of sunshine

Sunlight synthesizes vitamin D, which is believed to be a mood elevator.

n Be a tourist in your own town

Explore places you’ve never been. You may be surprised what is right there in your own backyard.

n Practice forgiveness

If a driver cuts you off, forgive and forget. People who forgive have better mental health and report being more satisfied with their lives.

n Do a random act of kindness to a stranger

n Expressions of gratitude are linked to increased happiness.

n Try something new

As Albert Einstein once stated, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Go outside your comfort zone and make room for some excitement and adventure in your life.

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