They helped me to take power back when all my power was taken away. Nexus empowered me.

10 Tips for Good Mental Health

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Most people know that eating fruits and vegetables, staying hydrated, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep are key ways we can maintain our physical health. Being mentally fit and healthy is equally as important. Mental health encompasses all the psychological aspects of your well-being, including how you manage feelings, deal with stressful situations, relate to other people and, most importantly, how you feel about yourself. Keep reading for 10 tips on how to achieve – and maintain – good mental health.

1. Get active: When you exercise, your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins that can help improve your mood and self-esteem.
2. Hang out with people who lift you up: You’ve probably heard the expression “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” Time is more precious than money, so cut out the toxic relationships in your life; instead, spend time with people who give you strength, support, a reason to laugh and make you feel good about yourself.
3. Kick bad habits like drinking excessively, drug use and smoking: Substance use of any kind can have a negative impact on your mood, body, and overall health and well-being. If you feel like you may be struggling with add+iction or substance abuse, jump right to #9 on this list.
4. Try new things and have fun: Doing something you’ve never done before stimulates your senses, helps you beat stress, builds your confidence and generally uplifts your mood. Plus it can be just plain fun! Who cares if you’re not an amazing Go-Kart driver right away? If it’s something you’ve always wanted to try, GO FOR IT!
5. Eat healthy food: Think of your body as a machine – food is fuel and you need to fill up on the premium good stuff! The occasional ice cream cone or bag of chips is okay now and then, but focus on eating healthy, real food most of the time. Learn more about how vitamins and minerals impact your health by reading our blog post “You Are What You Eat.”
6. Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation can cause irritability, carelessness and in serious instances, death. Getting enough sleep is not only important for good mental health, it’s critical for our survival! Learn more in our blog post “Sleep: Why We Need It and What Happens Without It.”
7. Help others: US President Barack Obama once said, “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” When you’re feeling down, try helping someone else. You may be surprised how quickly your own mood improves.
8. Quiet your mind: Countless studies have demonstrated that mindfulness and meditation are great tools for improving a person’s mental health. There is no “right way” to meditate.There are even free apps for your smartphone to help guide you through the process!
9. Ask for help when you need it: We all need help sometimes. Reach out to friends and family, or make an appointment for counselling. Today, you can even reach out online or via your cell phone to talk to a professional about something that is bothering you. Don’t try to hold it together on your own – asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength.
10. Be proud of yourself: Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, think about all the things you can do and all that you’ve accomplished so far in your life. Write out a list of everything that makes you proud to be YOU. If you have a hard time coming up with a list, ask a friend for help. There are many reasons to celebrate who you are! You’re awesome!

If you’re looking for help, Nexus Youth Services is here for you. You can contact us via our website or by calling 905-451-4655. If you aren’t interested in counselling, we also have a drop-in centre located on the 2nd floor of the Mississauga Central Library. You can also get your daily dose of Nexus by following us on Twitter and Facebook, and don’t forget to check out our videos on YouTube!

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