Psychiatrist Blog

Mental health wellness – More than just medication

man looking stressed getting treatment

Whether you are on medication or not, healthy lifestyle habits are essential for promoting not just overall physical health but your mental health as well. Here are a few tips that you can do to improve your mental well-being

  1. Don’t cut corners on your activities of daily living – shower, comb your hair, brush your teeth. These simple activities will significantly boost your mood, increase your energy, and help you sleep better at night. 
  2. ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE! Routines are crucial. They help provide sense of predictability, structure, and encourages efficiency and eliminates procrastination. 
  3. Self-care activities are important – Whether it’s a bubble bath, reading a book, or just drinking a cup of coffee in solitude, pick something you enjoy and find relaxing and make it a daily priority. 
  4. Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have. I don’t think I need to extensively explain why you should avoid wearing your stretchy yoga pants and a sweat shirt all day. Put on some jeans, maybe add some bright colors, and you’ll be impressed how attire can positively affect your mood. 
  5. Don’t be a couch potato! Exercise for at least 30 minutes, three days a week or even five if you’re feeling ambitious – gym membership not required! Go to a nearby park, jog around the neighborhood, or even utilize fitness videos on YouTube. Exercise helps increase serotonin which in turn will improve your mood, appetite, and sleep. 
  6. Eat a well-balanced diet and make sure you drink plenty of water along the way. Eliminate processed foods, sugary drinks, and other unhealthy choices. And it’s ok to have a treat every now and then, just don’t overindulge. 
  7. Develop healthy sleep habits. Wake up at a decent hour and go to bed at a reasonable time. If your sleep cycle is out of whack, it’s vicious cycle that is hard to break. Start with choosing a time to go to bed and incorporate a few activities that will help train your brain to relax and prepare for bed. Turning down the lights, sipping on some “sleepytime” tea, and listening to soothing music are some tips I usually recommend to patients to help promote good sleep hygiene. 

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