Mental health is “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”, according to the World Health Organization. When we neglect our mental health, stress, and burnout increases, and unhappiness and anxiety can become more prevalent. It is critical to make your mental health a priority. Here are some tips to boost yours.

Connect with Family and Friends

Maintaining relationships with the people most important to you can significantly improve your mental health. When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, isolation can be an initial reaction. However, reaching out and surrounding yourself with good people can boost your mood, distract your mind, encourage you to be thankful for the support in your life, and improve your outlook.

Communicate More

Tying in with the previous point, the first instinct of stress or overwhelm can be to isolate from your support systems. However, keeping emotions, stress, concerns, etc. to yourself can build stress and have an even stronger negative impact. Make a conscious effort to communicate as often as you can. The more you discuss your thoughts, feelings, emotions the easier it is to find the support, get advice, and problem-solve.

Allow for Adjustment Periods

If you are going through a transitional period, allow yourself time to adjust. Whether that situation or life change is positive or negative, the overwhelm of change can cause burnout or fatigue. Encourage yourself to handle these situations at your own pace.

Take Breaks

If you’re feeling like your mental health is starting to take a backseat to the chaos of everyday life – take a break. By slowing down, you give your body and mind a chance to recharge. Commit to your free time, and find ways to relax and de-stress however works best for you.

Get Active

Exercise is a great way to keep your mental health in check.  Physical activity is not just for the physical attributes, “regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood.” Additional benefits of exercise are more energy, better sleep, higher self-esteem, sharper memory and thinking, and stronger resilience.

Remove Bad Habits

Anything that you are spending your time doing that is detrimental to your well-being and self-care is most likely damaging to your mental health. These bad habits may provide short-term gratification – but they can pose negative long-term effects. Make a conscious effort to attempt to remove bad habits from your daily life.

Be Conscious of Your Sleep

Sleep plays a huge role in your mental health whether you are aware of it or not. Lack of sleep can lower your response rate, make you more ill-tempered, and feel sluggish. Sleep is critical to stress reduction, especially when you’re feeling burnt out. So be sure you are making sleep a priority as well.