Looking for helpful tips on how to improve your mental health? Check out my 10 Simple Yet Powerful Habits to Improve Mental Health and Reduce Stress and Anxiety.
10 Simple Yet Powerful Habits to Improve Mental Health
In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, today I’m sharing 10 Simple Yet Powerful Habits to Improve Mental Health with the best daily habits and activities you can do to reduce stress and anxiety to live a happier, healthier life.
When implemented, these 10 Habits to Improve Mental Health are simple, yet effective changes you can make in your daily activities that will help you live a happier, more peaceful life with less worry, stress, and anxiety.
I truly hope these mental health tips will help you in your daily life but most importantly, I want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE in your struggle and it’s OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP.
Disclaimer: This post provides the tools and tips I’ve personally used to improve my own mental health, but is for informational purposes only. Please seek out professional/medical help as needed.
10 Healthy Habits to Improve Mental Health
Like so many others, the past year and a half really did a number on my mental health.
At times, 2020 was a nightmare roller-coaster of anxiety and stress that I felt like I couldn’t get off, and I don’t even like rollercoasters.
But through the challenges and struggles I learned some huge lessons and spent a lot of time focused on self-reflection and learning how to improve my mental health everyday.
You can read my 4 Biggest Lessons I Learned Here but for today’s post I want to talk about 10 Healthy Habits To Improve Your Mental Health.
How Can Mental Health Be Improved?
You might be asking yourself the question “How can I improve my mental health everyday?”, and I’m here to tell you that it’s through making small, yet powerful changes in your daily routine.
The small changes you make every single day eventually become habits and it’s these healthy habits that can really make all the difference in your overall mental health.
Oftentimes we don’t realize what our own worst triggers are to our mental health, but sometimes it can be something as simple as adjusting your morning routine that can really help improve your mental health, increase your mood and energy, and reduce your stress.
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10 Best Healthy Habits to Improve Mental Health
Mental Health Tip #1 – Start Your Day with Something Positive
Did you know that one small positive thought in the morning, can change the entire outcome of your day?
You might be skeptical but I can tell you first-hand that starting your day on a positive note can really make all the difference in your mood, productivity, and stress-level.
Instead of immediately scrolling through social media or turning on the news and filling your mind with all the negative in the world, start your day off by doing something that puts you in a positive state of mind.
Whether it’s watching the sunrise while drinking a cup of coffee or listening to your favorite music, do something that makes you happy and start your day off on a positive note.
Mental Health Tip #2 – Take Care Of Your Body
There’s a misconception that exercising and eating healthy only helps your physical health, but it actually goes hand in hand with your mental health and well-being too.
One of the best things you can do for your mental health is to take care of yourself and your body by:
- Exercising daily
- Eating a healthy balanced diet
- Getting plenty of sleep each night
My overall physical and mental health improved drastically once I did My First Whole30 and I made a lifestyle commitment to eating better and filling my body with nutritious foods that were good for both my mind and body.
I also make it a priority to exercise every morning to boost my mood, and like taking evening walks with my boys to de-stress from my day.
And of course, getting a great night’s sleep is crucial to improving your mental health, so make sure you’re getting at least 7-8 hours nightly.
Mental Health Tip #3 Practice Positive Self-Talk
One of my favorite mental health tips and habits I would recommend implementing in your daily routine is positive self-talk.
Self-talk and the way we think of ourselves plays a big part in everything we do.
Just as we have to be careful of what we see and hear from those around us, it’s also important that we’re talking to ourselves in a positive way that’s uplifting.
Encouraging words will motivate us to keep pushing forward, while negative self talk can have the opposite impact causing us to give up on our goals/dreams.
At the end of the day it all comes down to learning to shift negative talk to positive talk.
Instead of negatively saying: “I’ve never done this before and I won’t be good at it”, tell yourself “This is a great opportunity for me to learn and grow.”
I personally really love practicing self-affirmations and regularly hanging up little post-it notes around my house with positive reminders.
Mental Health Tip #4 – Reduce Digital Stress
This healthy habit DRASTICALLY improved my mental health and is something I’ve made a strong commitment to this year.
I’ll just go ahead and call out the white elephant in the room – social media can be SO toxic for mental health.
Between the unhealthy comparison game, the constant negative news reports, and the information overload, I’ll be the first to admit I Miss Life Before Social Media.
If you’re noticing you’re constantly stressed out or anxious after scrolling through social media, then it’s time to take a social media break and reduce the digital stress.
Aside from simply reducing the amount of time you spend on social media (I recommend setting daily app limits on your phone), below I’ve included some of the best ways you can reduce digital stress.
1. Unfollow negative social media accounts and pages that don’t align with your goals
I actually just did a huge purge of who I was following on my Instagram and it’s been incredible only following accounts that I WANT to see.
Back in the day I would follow a lot of people who followed me, and for the longest time I struggled with unfollowing individuals because I didn’t want them to be upset with me, but at the end of the day your mental health is MORE important.
It’s really hard to live a happy life when your social feed is full of negativity, so don’t feel bad if you need to unfollow someone.
I recommend doing this a minimum of 1-2 times a year or as often as needed for your mental health.
2. Unsubscribe to e-mail lists
Just as following certain social accounts can breed negativity in your life, so can mailing lists.
As I shared in this post on How to Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Need, we often don’t realize what our negative mental health triggers are, but sometimes my biggest anxiety and stress triggers can be getting inundated with e-mails.
For that reason, I recommend frequently evaluating the e-mails you’re subscribed to and unsubscribing as needed.
Remember, your mental health is more important than appeasing others.
3. Don’t look at social media before bed or when you wake up
Wanna reduce your digital stress? I recommend ditching social media before bed and when you first wake up.
If you’ve never heard it, there’s a quote that says “What consumes your mind, controls your life”, and I wholeheartedly agree with that.
If the first thing you do when you wake up is scroll through social media and obsess about what everyone else is doing or obsess over the amount of likes you got on a photo you shared, then that’s going to set the tone for your day.
Likewise you want your mind to be clear when you go to bed and not worried about what you just read on social media.
I recommend logging off social media a minimum of 30 minutes before going to bed and waiting at least 1 hour before logging on after waking up.
You’ll quickly find making this a daily habit will drastically improve your mood.
4. Take a Social Media Break
Last but certainly not least, the best way to reduce digital stress and improve your mental health is to simply take regular social media breaks.
Lately, I’ve been logging off on the weekends to focus on being present with my family and it’s SO nice to check out for a couple days.
Whether it’s dedicating an entire day, hour, or weekend to logging off social media, make a commitment and stick to it.
It might be hard at first, but your mental health will thank you!
Mental Health Tip #5 – Embrace the Quiet
We all live such busy, chaotic, noise-filled lives that sometimes one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to embrace the quiet, still moments.
Sometimes that’s just closing your eyes for a few minutes and deeply breathing in and out, or praying/meditating.
I love setting aside a couple minutes every single day to just close my eyes, pray to God, and focus on all the things I’m thankful for in that moment.
Relying on my faith has really helped me get through some tough times and learning to take advantage of those quiet, peaceful moments has helped me find more balance in my day.
Mental Health Tip #6 – Practice Gratitude/Celebrate The Little Things
In case you’ve never heard them, I thought I’d share two of my favorite quotes on gratitude with you:
- “The most beautiful way to start and end your day is with a grateful heart”
- It’s impossible to be negative and grateful at the same time
Being grateful can really help shift you to have a positive mindset and it’s one habit I’m personally trying to remain committed to.
When you learn to focus on gratitude you’ll stop focusing on complaining about insignificant, unimportant things in your daily life that really don’t matter and instead will learn how to celebrate the little things (which are really the BIG things).
One tip that’s extremely helpful in practicing gratitude is keeping a journal and writing down something you’re grateful for every single day.
You can do this before bedtime, when you first wake up, or maybe on your lunch break, but be consistent and write in your journal every single day.
At the end of the year, it will be so special to go through your journal and read all the things you are grateful for!
Mental Health Tip #7 – Create Better Morning & Night Routines
If you haven’t figured it out yet, your daily routines plays a big role in your mental health.
A chaotic morning can make for a stressful day, and having inconsistent bedtimes can negatively impact your sleeping routine, and as this article there has been a direct link found between stress and a lack of deep sleep.
Instead of just “winging it” and hoping for the best, work on establishing consistent morning and nighttime routines so that YOU can set the tone for how your day starts and ends.
My bedtime routine for the last 6 months has been taking a relaxing bubble bath (this lavender/chamomile bubble bath is incredible), reading this awesome book on Breaking Anxiety’s Grip, and doing some breathing techniques before laying down.
Having the same consistent nightly routine has DRASTICALLY improved my sleep quality and as a result has improved my mood.
I also like to start off my day slowly with some self-care thrown in so that I don’t get immediately overwhelmed with all the tasks ahead of me.
Remember that you are in control of your daily routine and if you don’t like your current one, CHANGE IT to something better.
Mental Health Tip #8 – Stop Multi-Tasking & Give Yourself a BREAK
Multi-tasking is one of my biggest struggles that I personally deal with, but learning to slow down and focus on ONE TASK AT A TIME, has worked wonders in improving my mental health.
Just like I shared in this IG Reel you can do ANYTHING, but you can’t do EVERYTHING.
It’s okay to slow down and it’s okay to take breaks as needed.
Better yet, GIVE YOURSELF GRACE.
Stop trying to do 27 things at once and instead set aside time blocks to focus on individual tasks.
Not only will this help improve productivity, but it will also help you remain present and in the moment instead of worrying about too many things at once.
Mental Health Tip #9 – Set Boundaries and Say “No”
In alignment with the above tip to give yourself breaks, it’s important for your mental health to set boundaries and learn to say no to things that aren’t good for your well-being.
This might be a challenging habit to implement if you are a struggling people pleaser like me, but trust me it’s something 110% necessary for your mental health.
Setting boundaries means saying no to things, situations, or people who might not be good for your mental health, and it’s important to realize there are several types of boundaries to be mindful of.
This includes physical boundaries, emotional boundaries, mental boundaries, and time and energy boundaries.
One of the boundaries I’ve really tried to work on maintaining over the last couple years is time and energy boundaries when it comes to work and family commitments.
Sometimes that means not saying yes to every function we’re invited to, but at the end of the day our mental health and happiness is more important.