With our daily lives focusing around work and school, it’s easy to ignore your mental health. Most of us can function perfectly fine without taking a moment to breath and to consider what’s going on “up there.” But that shouldn’t be the case! Though it may be the “norm” to pull all-nighters and to push yourself to the breaking point - that might not be the healthiest way to handle things. Drinking ten cups of coffee and then passing out on the couch is a somewhat glamorized image and perhaps even an aspiration of students. But... but, maybe it’s not the best way to handle things.
Here are five easy ways you can keep on top of your mental health - whether you’re working 9-5 or are a student going through a demanding exam period.
Get a Move on
One of the easiest ways you can give your brain a second to take a break is through movement. Dance in your apartment or go to the gym, walk outside or bike - it doesn’t matter as long as you move. Each of us enjoy engaging in different kinds of activities, but physical activity especially allows for your brain to take a breather while you also get your sweat on.
Drink Lots of Water
Your brain is just like any other part of your body - it needs water to survive. So whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re doing it while drinking some water. It only takes five minutes to fill up a glass of water so that you unconsciously drink it later. Bonus points: it isn’t just good for your mental health - it will also make you feel better almost immediately if you’re dehydrated.
Take a Break
Yes, you read that right. Taking a pause can sometimes be really difficult for some to manage, especially when you are pressed for time, but for your mental health’s sake - it’s necessary. Studies even show that students who study with more breaks tend to retain their information for longer periods of time. If your body is screaming for a break after working for five hours non-stop, walk to the coffee machine and take a second away from your computer screen. Your eyes are likely tired and will thank you for the break from the strain.
Chances are if you’re stressing out to the point where you’re concerned about your mental health - you’ve been working too hard. It’s easy to forget that your body is also on overdrive when you’re studying or putting in long hours at work to meet a deadline. One of the best ways to counteract this is to take time to thank yourself with a treat - something just for you. Maybe you love chocolate or there’s a new movie you want to see? Take yourself out and reward yourself for doing such hard work.
Remember to Breathe and Smile
A simple smile can improve your mood. So remember to take a moment to smile and to remind yourself to breathe slowly and calmly throughout the day. Working isn’t generally a cardio exercise, so take advantage of this time to manage your stress by focusing on your breath and by utilizing the muscles on your face.
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