If you’re anything like me, one of your New Years resolutions is to take better care of your mental health. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, there are a lot of small steps you can take to help you reach this goal in no time. To help you (and myself) out, here are some tips to help improve your mental health and conquer the new year.
7 Ways To Better Your Mental Health for the New Year
Humans are social creatures. Even if you’re typically an introvert, it’s important to not seclude yourself from the world for too long. Make time to recharge with your favorite friends, go out on the weekend, meet new people and try new experiences. As an introvert myself, I understand how hard this can be sometimes. However, sitting down with a friend, talking about your feelings and just being around others in general is a form of therapy in itself. You’ll be happy you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone.
Get More Sleep
“Sufficient sleep, especially REM sleep, facilitates the brain’s processing of emotional information. During sleep, the brain works to evaluate and remember thoughts and memories, and it appears that a lack of sleep is especially harmful to the consolidation of positive emotional content.” says the professionals over at Sleep Foundation.
Studies have shown that lack of sleep directly increases the risk of developing a mood disorder like depression or anxiety. If you already struggle with these, it’s even more important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to combat these on the daily. A good nights rest can boost your immune system, improve productivity, strengthen your memory and so much more. Make some chamomile tea, put your phone down, and make going to bed early a routine. Your body and mind will thank you.
Go Outside & Get Moving
Staying active and getting fresh air are some of the best ways to get a quick pick me up when you’re feeling particularly down. Making it a habit to go on an afternoon walk every day is a great way to improve your overall well-being. Why? Sufficient oxygen intake is essential in maintaining healthy brain function, growth, and healing. Our brains are very sensitive to decreases in oxygen levels, so spending too much time inside negatively effects our brain function significantly. When we go out in the sun, we get that essential vitamin D we all need to regulate these functions. Even 20 minutes is better than nothing!
🧠 Feed yo’ brain…
Switch Up Your Diet
There are many natural vitamins that contribute to healthy brain function and mood stabilization. Omega-3’s in fish, avocados, leafy greens, almonds and antioxidant rich fruits like blueberries are all great sources of vitamin K, C, D, and more. All of which are powerhouses for brain support.
Try These Mental Wellness Apps
Whether you need help right now or are just interested in learning more about mental wellness and health, there are tons of apps you can download right on your phone to guide the way. From meditation apps like Calm to online therapy apps like Talkspace, check out “7 Best Apps To Help Improve Your Mental Health” to see some of our other favorites here in the office.
Learn To Meditate
Speaking of meditation… it’s a healthy, effective (and often overlooked), way to balance your thoughts and work through them accordingly.
Meditation forces you to sit down, close your eyes, and take the moment to recognize that whatever negative feelings you’re feeling are normal and manageable. It gives you a chance to relax your mind and take note of exactly what it is that’s causing you to feel this way. Once you accept this feeling, you can grab a hold of it, assess what you can do about it, and move past it and forward with an actionable plan.
✨ NOTE: Used by some of our staff here at Symphonic, Meditation Oak is a great meditation app for beginners and veterans alike.
Be Nice To Yourself
At the end of the day, you are your own worst critic. As creatives, we are particularly hard on ourselves to constantly improve, hustle harder, work smarter, and everything in between. The least you can do is be kind to your mind. When you fall down, don’t beat yourself up. When you find yourself thinking negatively towards yourself, take a step back to congratulate yourself for making it this far in the first place.
Negative thinking patterns can be hard to escape from once they start, and it can be debilitating for not only your creative flow, but your mental health as a whole. And to tell you a secret… your anxiety is lying to you. Your negative thoughts do not define you or your worth. If you find yourself stuck in a negative rut, this post offers some ways to get yourself back on your feet.
Remember that you are not alone! We all could use a helping hand. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and family when you’re having a tough time. No matter how big or small your issue, nothing is too small to talk about. Life is f*****g hard, but it’s not as hard when we go through it together.
Through de-stigmatizing the way we talk about mental health, we reassure those suffering from it that they can feel comfortable asking for help when they need it. Everyone should have the resources to reach out without judgement and move forward with confidence.
Never be afraid to ask for help. If you need it, we’re here to give it. // To access some of our favorite mental health resources for musicians, click here.
You got this!