Taking care of physical health is something we are all taught since childhood. But mental health has never been taught. We are taught how to eat, exercise & move for physical health and well being. But no one talks about consciously taking care of our minds!
Mental Health must be also taken care of as a lifestyle. Some practices and rituals to support our mental well-being :
1) Move for 10-15 minutes : Our bodies aren’t designed to not move. Intentionally moving each day either in the form of walking, stretching, swimming or even playing is a mood booster. Our mind is happier when we move, If you can take it outdoors – get some sun-even better!
2) Eat well : Eating well is not just for our bodies but also for our minds. Our gut is our second brain and whatever we put into our bodies directly affects our brains. Anxiety and depression happens when there is a cognitive impairment. Foods that are processed and high in sugar trigger this cognitive impairment. Eating fruits & vegetables with a good amount fats and proteins is a a true gift for your mind, body and soul.
3) Mindful Breathing : Bringing attention to your breath intentionally as you sit or lie down allows us to tap into a sense of calm through out the day. Breathing consciously activates the mind body connection as we pay attention to the breath in our belly or nose. It allows us to turn down the volume of our thoughts and tune into a space of healing.
4) Sleep Routines : Sleep is a time of healing and recovery for our body and mind. Ideally sleeping and waking up at the same time every day is self care. When we wake up, have sufficient time for self care and priming our minds, there are lesser chances of feeling anxious in the day.
5) Disconnect : Our phones and devices are extremely stimulating. The blue light from these devices affects our sleep and moods. We must periodically disconnect from devices and cultivate good boundaries and habits around consumption of social media & technology. Being mindful around aimless scrolling on social media and keeping our devices away during meal times is a practice for better physical, mental and emotional well being.