It’s a new year and with it comes a fresh start and a second chance to begin living your life to the fullest. One of the best favors that you can do for yourself as you embark upon 2022 is to invest in your mental health. Stress affects all of us from time to time, whether it is associated with financial problems, relationship strain, work problems, or some other cause, it can take a toll on both our mental and physical health. Especially with the way the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the last several years of our lives, many people’s stress levels are now higher than ever. Luckily, there are some steps that you can be taking daily that can help dramatically lower your stress levels and start feeling better both mentally and physically.
The Benefits of Investing in Your Mental Health
Not only can stress shorten your lifespan, but it can lead to a lot of other health problems as well. Some examples include:
- Trouble eating
- Sleep problems
- Digestive issues
- Low energy
- High blood pressure
- An increased risk of heart problems
- An increased risk of diabetes
- An increased risk of developing a substance use disorder
Stress, when it is not addressed, can also lead to an increased risk of developing a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression. When you invest in your mental health, you’ll be lowering your chance of having to deal with these health problems.
Stress can make us irritable. When you are irritable you are often more likely to say and do things you don’t mean. For some people, this may mean snapping at their children, significant others, co-workers, or even the cashier at the grocery store. By learning how to deal with stress in healthy, effective ways, you can strengthen the relationships you have with those around you and lead to greater harmony.
How to Invest in Your Mental Health
- Speaking with a therapist: If you want to invest in your mental health but don’t know where to start, you might consider speaking with a therapist. For many years, therapy has had a bad reputation. It was viewed as something you only did if you had a serious mental health problem. However, in reality, many people choose to go to therapy on a regular basis because it allows them an opportunity to talk through their problems and learn ways to manage their stress. Speaking with a therapist can be a great way to help you identify where the stress is coming from in your life and how to manage it.
- Start exercising more frequently: Exercise has been proven to reduce stress levels. If you can get to a gym, that’s great, but if not there are other ways you can include exercise in your daily life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, find a quick workout video online to follow, do some sit-ups before bed.
- Make sure you’re eating nutritious meals: Set aside the time in the day to make healthy, well-balanced meals that will fuel your body. When you take care of yourself physically, you’ll be more likely to feel better mentally.
- Cut out any negative influences: Is there someone in your life that consistently causes you unnecessary stress? If possible, consider limiting your time with them out of respect for your own mental health.
- Limit your screen time: Too much time in front of a screen, whether it be scrolling through social media, playing a game, or watching a show, can exasperate stress. Instead, consider reading a book, taking a walk, or listening to music.
- Get out into nature: Getting outside and being amongst nature can really improve one’s sense of wellbeing. Consider taking a hike, going for a bike ride, or simply lounging in a hammock while appreciating the beauty and serenity of the great outdoors.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep: When you’re not well-rested, you’re not going to be as capable of managing symptoms of stress. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule and aim for about 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Practice journaling: Keeping a journal is a great way to work through the jumble of thoughts inside your head and reflect upon your life.
- Look into meditation: The purpose of meditation is to help better connect your mind and your body as well as to reduce stress and increase your inner peace.
- Stay connected to the people that matter the most: Having a support system is critical in dealing with stress. Make sure that you’re checking in with your family and friends regularly.
Stress is a normal part of life that affects everyone from time to time. However, when it becomes a regular struggle it can cause a lot of other problems in our lives. It can wreak havoc on our bodies, increase our chances of developing a mental health problem, make it difficult to sleep, and cause strain in our relationships. If stress is a problem in your life, it’s time to invest in your mental health by looking into ways to reduce your stress levels. Consider speaking with a therapist, trying out meditation, getting more sleep, and exercising regularly. At Achieve Concierge, we want to help you live to your fullest potential. This includes ensuring that your mental health is as strong as possible. If you’re struggling with a mental health problem, our team is here to help. Call (619) 393-5871 today to learn more about the types of services we provide.