Ways to Make Mental Health a Priority in 2021

With the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, it’s easy to lose sight of taking care of ourselves and minding our mental health. Self-care does not necessarily mean face masks, warm baths and the occasional pilates class (all of which are great things), but making mental well-being a priority and taking it seriously. We so often get caught up in work, social life and other external factors which lead us to neglect taking care of our mental health.

There are many ways to mind your mental health and make it a priority moving forward. We are not experts, so we recommend seeking professional advice if you believe you or a loved one needs assistance. Even making small changes to your daily life can make a big difference in the long run. Here are a few tangible resolutions that can have a large impact on your mental well-being and outlook.

Practice mindfulness
The root of practicing mindfulness is being intentional about living in the present moment and minimizing outside distractions. This is easier said than done. We are quick to jump from moment to moment without appreciating the present for what it is. Multitasking becomes a hindrance and a habit. One simple way to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life is to put your phone down and take in your surroundings. Rather than comparing yourself to someone else on social media or checking your work email every other minute, engage with what’s around you. Take a moment to breathe, acknowledge your feelings, slow down and appreciate your surroundings. Incorporating small moments of mindfulness into your everyday life will help you slow down and relax your mind.

Stay active
Exercise is beneficial not only to physical health but also to mental health. Physical activity can relieve stress, lower tension in your body and boost your mood. This exercise can be as simple as a 20-minute walk or a quick stretching session. Anything that gets your body moving and blood flowing each day will gradually help you feel better, increase your motivation and give you more energy.

Go outside
Sun exposure can be an instant mood-booster. Time spent outside is proven to reduce anxiety and lift your spirits. Humans feel connected to the natural world and being in nature can help center us. The natural light, vitamin D and beautiful scenes of nature are all factors that will help lower your stress and calm you. Make time to go on a hike, walk your dog or even just read your book on the patio!
Take time away
Work and school can often become overwhelming and may become hard to manage when you are experiencing stress, anxiety or depression. When these stressors feel unmanageable, it’s important to take a break to reset. Taking a break may seem impossible when your to-do list is stacked high, but this break will ultimately help increase your productivity after you’ve had time to rest and recharge.

Nurture your relationships
We cannot face the challenges of life alone. Though time alone and rest is necessary for recharging your brain, isolation is unhealthy and can make your mental state feel even worse. Take some time to be with friends and family – really BE with them. Have enriching conversations, encourage each other, laugh together and experience the ups and downs as a group. This will help you feel less alone and will remind you that there is always someone to talk to.

Seek professional help
These tips are just a few ways you can incorporate daily habits into your life to be intentional about taking care of your mental health. Remember that there are professionals and resources to help you if you feel you need more assistance and care when it comes to your mental health. Talking to a counselor, therapist or doctor can help you better understand your symptoms and learn how to take steps to improve your mental health.

As a reminder, you can also have a positive impact on someone else’s health! Be sure to check in on the people in your life. You never know who is struggling with their mental health and could use a friend or simple encouragement. And remember, you are never alone.