5 Habits to Practice for Good Mental Health According to an Expert
Achieving mental health is a lifelong journey that consists of small efforts, such as taking care of yourself, doing things you love, and taking control.
Mental health cannot be achieved by an instant formula. Rather, it’s a lifelong journey made up of deliberate steps towards a common goal — a healthy mind. Those who consider themselves mentally healthy make a conscious effort to maintain this disposition. Though these daily decisions are not foolproof, they help handle emotions, regulate thoughts, and essentially manage the things in life that are within your control.
While being mentally healthy isn’t an easy task, taking smaller steps will make it much more manageable. We asked life and career coach Aurora M. Suarez for daily habits that you can seamlessly adapt into your routine and will contribute to your mental health without even realizing it.
Acknowledge your Feelings
It’s natural to feel jaded after being cooped up inside for such a long period. Suarez advises to dig deep and figure out the reason for your fatigue: Is it the extended quarantine? Is it working from home? Do you find yourself in a rut? Do you feel a lack of connection to the outside world? Once you understand the why, only then can you figure out a solution.
“Make time every day for something not work-related,” Suarez suggests. “Connect with old friends. It can even be as simple as taking a shower for pleasure instead of just a function that you need to get through.”
When you’re bathing, use the opportunity to soak in the calming scents of your favorite body wash or shampoo. Dove Nourishing Secrets Thickening Ritual Shampoo has lavender oil and rosemary extracts, scientifically proven to calm the senses, lift spirits, and clear the mind. Taking a short time for just yourself can work wonders. Those few extra minutes in the shower can change how you start or end your day.
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Add Pleasure to Your Routine
Don’t be afraid to find enjoyment in the little things that appear “superficial.” For example, don’t dismiss your desk as just a place of work. Instead, it’s imperative that you find pleasure in it because it is your place of work. Try making your desk a place of beauty and light, recommends Suarez.
This form of indulgence doesn’t have to be grand. You can sit with your morning coffee to notice its flavors and temperatures or take a minute to proverbially pat yourself on the back for finishing a deadline before moving on to the next one. If you’re a busy work-from-home mama, it can be finding a brief moment for self-care, like not skipping on lotion for once. Make the most of it with Vaseline Intensive Care Deep Restore Body Lotion, which has Vaseline Jelly and glycerin to deeply moisturize and restore dry skin.
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“Five percent is not a lot,” reminds Suarez. “It’s just adding a little bit to make each moment of your day a delight.”
Once you’ve adopted this perspective, you’ll find yourself smiling more. Use closeup Natural Smile Toothpaste to make your beaming face even brighter. This toothpaste has a natural solution that makes your breath fresher and your teeth whiter.
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Don’t Underestimate Sleep
Sleep—or the lack of it—is one of the biggest factors that affect temperament. The 2019 study “Relationship Between Sleep Quality and Mood: Ecological Momentary Assessment Study” published in the journal JMIR Publications concluded that bad sleep had a more significant effect on the next day’s mood compared to bad mood affecting the night’s sleep.
A power nap, says Suarez, can also be invigorating for times when you do have crummy slumber (it happens). A 45-minute nap within the day can give you a much-needed pick-me-up.
Another benefit to having an eight-hour sleep? That natural radiance you get after a good night’s rest. Complement that inner shine with POND’S Instabright Glow Up Cream Pink Crush. This hardworking product, which contains a blend of hyaluronic acids and brightening Vitamin B3+, works overtime as a moisturizer, primer, and highlighter and will emphasize your well-rested glow.
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Do Away with Your Phone
Checking your phone the second you wake up may have become automatic for you, but Suarez says this isn’t a good idea, “when the first thing you do in the morning is to check your phone, you are giving away your power to everyone to dictate your mood and agenda for the day.”
Instead, she recommends taking a few minutes for gratitude or prayer first. Or, you can make a to-do list so that you are in control of how the day goes. Don’t forget to add one fun thing to do, too, like playing a sport or working out.
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Make a Reverse Bucket List
Thinking positively won’t always come easily. Rather than looking towards the future with forced optimism, Suarez says it would be more practical to look at the past. Make a reverse bucket list or a list of your accomplishments. From there, come up with positive words that reflect who you are.
“For example, I am someone who makes things happen. I am creative. I am resilient. I am a loyal and loving friend. I can figure things out,” she says. “When you think negative thoughts about yourself, you can choose to shift to these positive thoughts that more accurately reflect who you truly are.”
Practicing good mental health doesn't happen overnight, but follow these tips consistently, and you’ll discover that acknowledging your feelings. sleeping better and appreciating your small wins will become more entrenched in your system over time.