Even if we don’t talk about it, most of us will struggle with some sort of mental health issue at some point or another. The stresses of modern life — not to mention its more sedentary nature — can often lead to chronic stress and anxiety and even result in burnout if not addressed. Mental health issues are so prevalent, an estimated one in five American adults (43.8 million people) will experience some sort of mental illness every year.
There are many ways to care to your mental health:
● Make room in your life for things you enjoy such as your hobbies and spending time with your loved ones. Fun is essential for alleviating stress.
● Take care of your physical health — eat a balanced diet, avoid drugs and alcohol, and exercise on a regular basis.
● Talk to your doctor if mental illness symptoms begin to interfere with your life and responsibilities. It’s important that you seek medical care when you’re struggling.
● Value yourself. Surround yourself with people who support you and your happiness and break free of toxic relationships that don’t benefit anyone. Consider speaking with a therapist if you think you need help with your self-esteem.
● Try new things! Travel somewhere you’ve never been, take a class at a local rec center or community college, or check out a part of your town you don’t frequent regularly. Shaking things up helps you appreciate everything life has to offer.
Out of all the important things you should do to tend to your mental well-being, never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. When you don’t get a good night’s rest, your brain and body aren’t able to go through essential processes that enable your best function the next day. Prolonged sleep deprivation amplifies the effects of psychiatric disorders which will, in turn, further disrupt your sleep. It’s a vicious cycle, and once you’re in it, it’s hard to break. By fine-tuning your bedtime environment and routine, you can help prevent sleep deprivation in the first place, supporting and improving your overall mental health.
Bedroom Decorating Tips
When decorating your bedroom, make sure every element serves to improve your sleep. Avoid painting walls bright, exciting colors; instead, stick with paint colors that soothe, such as earth tones, light blues, and dark greens. Make sure your sheets and blankets are breathable — it’s important to stay cool at night. Your body temperature naturally lowers when you’re asleep, and overheating can impede on the overall quality of your rest. Keep your bedroom temperature between 60 and 68 degrees F at night, and add a bedside fan if you tend to overeat. Finally, make sure your room is dark enough at night by hanging blackout curtains (or using a sleep mask) and removing any blue light-emitting electronics.
Bedtime Routine and Habits
Having a regular bedtime routine tells your body that it’s time to shut down and rest for the day. Spend the last hour or two before you go to sleep doing something that helps you unwind. Take a hot bath or shower using aromatherapy products, or stretch out any lingering physical tension with a few bedtime yoga poses. Reading before bed also has tons of benefits for the mind. Find a routine that you enjoy so you’ll look forward to it at the end of each day.
Nighttime Behaviors to Avoid
Don’t let your anxieties follow you to bedtime. Once you’re done with work for the day, be done for the day. If racing thoughts and worries won’t let you relax, write your thoughts down in a journal until you feel them lifted. While alcohol may make you feel sleepy, it’s best to avoid more than a single nightcap before bed. Drinking before bed can actually disrupt your body’s
circadian rhythm and ruin the quality of your sleep. Furthermore, avoid heavy and spicy foods that can lead to indigestion that keeps you up at night.
Out of all the things you should do for your mental health, never underestimate the power of sleep. Your body and mind need at least eight hours for their health and well-being. To get the best sleep and reduce the effects of mental illness, create a bedroom environment that soothes, establish a bedtime routine, and avoid worrying, drinking, and eating foods that lead to indigestion. Follow these steps and great sleep should follow!