We’ve all heard it and experienced it. Women tend to bear more stress than men, overall. They overthink, overdo and thus, overdrive themselves to levels of mental breakdowns. Not all hope is lost, you know. There are many options out there for women who suffer from poor mental health. Before you opt for a quick fix with medication, try some of these natural, gradual lifestyle changes and begin to witness a new and improved you.
1. Log Some Zzz’s
Sleep is the most underutilized resource. Our minds are so wired with to-do lists and outings with the family that we forget to hit the hay for at least 6 ½ to 8 hours a night. Logging recommended hours of sleep a night guarantees that your body will replenish and rejuvenate. Sometimes, we have to shut down our smartphones and computers to “reboot” their systems. Our bodies and our minds are like these machines. When given the chance to sleep and rebuild, we build a stronger mental capacity and well-being.
2. Get Moving
It’s a no-brainer that exercise is not only good for the heart and body, but it is extremely good for the mind. In fact, when you exercise, your body releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy. How’s that for a positive mental state? Now of course, you want to enlist in the right regimen depending on your level of physical activity. You can start with something simple like a standing pull up bar and gradually shift to more strenuous workouts.
Consult with a doctor to make sure you partake in a routine that best fits your level. Also, do some research into getting the right gear. Wear the right shoes when weight training (those with flat soles) and get some aerobic shoes when cross-training (high soles for more support).
3. Eat Better
The phrase, “You are what you eat,” has more bite to it than many think. If you eat horribly, your body won’t be the only thing that suffers. Processed foods and those high in sugar can leave you feeling fatigued and unfocused. Opt for foods high in protein, whole grains and good fats to keep your brain working at its highest productivity. Plus, when you eat well, you feel good.
Creating a pattern of healthy eating will help you feel more empowered about your own eating habits.
4. Clutter, Be Gone
Whether it is the stack of files you need to tuck away or the pile of clothes needing to be sent to donations, getting rid of clutter can be great for physical and mental organization. Everytime you pass that amount of stuff you “will eventually get to,” your mind is taking up more space thinking you haven’t accomplished it yet. So, make it a habit to clean up those messes once a week and you’ll see the mess in your head clear up alongside it.
5. Invest in “Me” Time
No one in this world is more important than, you guessed it, YOU. After coming home from a long day of work, allot anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour for just you. Whether you like to read, cook or take your dogs out for a walk, investing in your own personal time is as good as it gets. So give yourself time to decompress from the day and you don’t have to feel one ounce of guilt about it.
6. Have a Standing Dinner Date with Your Best Friend(s)
Women are social creatures and the best way to show yourself a good time is with a little help from your gal pals. People get busy with their personal lives so designating days in the month will give you all a night to look forward to. Laugh, cry, do what you will. At least, it will be with people you have the most fun and can be yourself with.
For those moments where you just want to let out your emotions, but not necessarily to another human, try journaling. The physical act of writing thoughts down to paper will immediately release the chaos going on in your mind. You might even find that putting it on paper makes that bad day you had a little less daunting when you see it written in your own words.
8. Learn to Say NO
This concept goes back to taking “me” time. Your social life, your work life, your family life…they all intertwine and you try to find balance before feeling like you’re sinking in quicksand. It’s okay to not please your neighbors when they invite you to a birthday party. It’s okay to decline when all you want to do is lay on your couch and Netflix all night. Balance means prioritizing and that sometimes looks like “no” to things you just aren’t necessarily in the mood for. No need to apologize for it either.
9. Find the Silver Lining
Your outlook on life will change significantly once you start thinking positively. When you take a step back, even in the worst of situations, and try to look for the silver lining, it helps you move forward from negative thinking. You may not pinpoint the reason immediately, but you will have at least learned to let go of things easier and not let them consume your mind. Each night before bed, try thinking about 3 things that went “right” for the day. Whether they are small or big, you will learn to appreciate things a little more.
10. Explore More
Catch a flight to Greece, hike the nearest trail or sign up for a paint night with your family. Either way, step out of your comfort area and explore the things around you. No matter your age, experiences and explorations are available in abundant amounts. Plus, you’ll get to meet new people and see things you can’t catch on TV or the computer. New experiences = new knowledge. This is one formula you can’t forget.
This traditional method has been tried and proven successful for many. It doesn’t involve having to practice it at a temple or some far east Asian country. Wake up in the morning and lie in bed or sit on the floor. For 15 to 20 minutes, inhale and exhale deeply while maintaining good thoughts about the day. Starting your morning off right will set the tone for the remainder of your day. Find peace with your body, mind and soul with this effective method.
Habits become positive when you see the results they bear. So, it’s essential to keep in mind all of these different lifestyle changes to help you build a positive mental state. Your body and mind are temples. Understanding them and caring for them will be the best you can ever do for yourself.