Whenever we talk about being healthy our thoughts immediately go toward eating better and exercising. Health is multifaceted and not limited to diet and exercise. Something that is usually overlooked but is a big part of living a healthy life is mental health. Our mental wellbeing effects everything from our mood to how we interact with others.
I often feel like I’m living life in the fast lane and just can’t slow down. There is always so much going on, so much on my plate and the responsibilities keep multiplying. Very often I find myself mentally over loaded with deadlines that need to be met at work, family obligations and life in general. I just want to turn everything off and do nothing. It has taken some time but I have learned that a peace of mind is important to leading a well balanced life.
- Don’t forget to make time for yourself- You are just as important as everything around you and when you are feeling your best you’re able to put your best foot forward. Taking time for you means blocking off however much you can comfortably do without neglecting other obligations even if it’s just 30 minutes a day. In that time do whatever makes you happy, unwind and relax. I like to use this time to read a book, take a bath or paint. I don’t like to spend it watching television because I don’t feel like its a good use of "me time".
- Make lists- it’s difficult trying to remember everything I have to do all the time and inevitably things fall through the cracks. I keep a monthly planner and write down all the important things going on in the monthly view. There is a separate section for each day of the week in which I will make lists of tasks I need to get done and this will include everything from a grocery list to when I have to get the oil changed in my car. At work I do the same thing and write down all the things that need to be done that week. There is something satisfying about going through the list and crossing off tasks as they are completed. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and productively managing my time. I also love using the notes app on my iPhone and since it syncs with the notes on my laptop I am able to jot down anything and everything whenever I remember it.
- Plan ahead- This was something I never did. I would leave things for the last minute and the days leading up to deadlines or travel plans, etc I would start getting very anxious. I can’t count the number of times I waited until the last day or the last hour to do something and ran into some kind of road block. Now no matter what I have going on I plan for it in advance and it has been a huge life saver. It takes away the burden of “what ifs”, saves time and I’m worry free. If I have a trip coming up I will start making a list of everything I need to pack and start working on an itinerary. If I have to go out to dinner I will pick out something to wear in advance and give myself ample time to get ready.
- Get some fresh air- now that the weather is finally warming up it’s time to come out of hibernation. I have spent an entire winter being stuck indoors and want to soak in the sunlight. Spending time outdoors has many proven health benefits and can have an amazing impact on your mental wellbeing. Take time to go for a hike, a stroll down your street, for a picnic, dine al fresco or lay out on a hammock.
It is the little changes that we can easily make that will lead to the big improvements in our lives and our mental health. Being happier, content and having a peace of mind can go a long way in helping you live your best life.
the Doctors @ Aepios