Mental health refers to the psychological and emotional side of a person. It’s called an absence of mental illness. A sound mind is important for your social relationship and the way you feel, act and think. It drives how you handle stress, makes choices, finishes your work’s tasks. Most of all you’re acquainted with how to eat the right foods and all sorts of tangible things. But there are things that can affect your mental health negatively. Here are ways to reduce your exposure to them.
Why mental health?
- It helps you to cope with stress
- Work efficiently
- Discover your hidden potential
- Find a purpose in life
- Build good relationships
- Improve physical health
Connect with Your Family
Your family - parents, siblings, children - are always there during the time of loneliness and stressful situations. Your parents will always lend you a helping hand no matter what happens. Keeping in touch with your family, seeing them through video call or in-person or hearing their voices can help you reduce boredom and loneliness.
Doing hobbies could be creative activities that can boost your creativity, habits and fight boredom.
- Candle making
- Painting via tablet or the physical canvas
- Making art by arranging beans, seeds and grains.
- Watching online videos
- Learning new things
- Doing cross stitch
- Practising digital painting through tablet
- Listen to podcast
- Playing board games: Chess, Game of the Generals, Snakes and Ladders, etc.
Eat Healthy Foods
You can never be mentally sound without eating healthy food. The best foods are those that are closer to nature. Such foods should be rich in vitamins and minerals and less in preservatives.
- Healthy foods include leafy greens, fruits, nuts and seeds.
- Specific foods for brain health include avocado, turmeric and oily fishes (sardines and tuna).
Some foods are considered bad for the brain
- Foods high in trans-fat
- Sugary drinks such as soft drinks with High-Fructose Syrup
- Highly-processed foods
- Refined carbohydrates such as white flour, highly processed grains and sugar.
- Commercial muffins
- Cured meats
- Processed fruit juice
You can include healthy foods in your breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.
Get the Right Exercise
You have probably noticed that staying in your house for the whole day or not having a sweat can make you feel fatigued or lethargic. Without daily exercise, your muscles and joints grow weaker; your body accumulates fat as not all calories are burnt. Too much exercise is also not good for your body and mental health.
- Jump rope
- Jumping jacks
- Following youtube exercises
- Saunter (30 mins to burn calories)
- Suspension training
Get the Right Sleep
Your body needs the right amount of sleep to repair damaged cells and tissues from daily errands and workout. Undersleeping or depriving yourself with sleep can lead to weight gain, headaches, erratic mood and possible type 2 diabetes. Oversleeping can result in high risks of obesity, heart disease, headache and impaired infertility. How much you sleep depends on your age.
Babies (0 to 2 months old) - 12 - 18 hours
Infants (3 to 11 months old) - 14 - 15 hours
Children (3 to 5 years) - 11 to 14 hours per day
Children (6 to 12 years) - 9 to 12 hours per day
Teens (13 to 18 years) - 8 to 10 hours per day
Adults (18 years above) - 7 to 8 hours per day
Limit News Exposure
News is a great source of knowledge - from science to current affairs. But what if most of what you see in news app or TV are all about tragedies - explosions, shootings and the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic? According to the American Psychological Association, constant watching of negative news may be bad for your health. Similarly, being bombarded by upsetting news and natural disasters may increase the loop of distress and personal worries.
How to minimize exposure to negativities
- Move news and social media apps off the home screen.
- Set a timer to limit your time spent on news and apps.
- Read and watch uplifting news such as cute pets, humour and uplifting stories.
- A landlord offers his/her apartment for free for the entire duration of COVID-19 lockdown.
- Millionaires spend part of their income to open a soup kitchen for the displaced workers.
- Pet cat/dog rescues his/her owner from a heart attack.
- Actors and actresses sent truckloads of rice, coffee, noodles and canned goods to suffering jeepney drivers.
- A man who is broke and subsisting on grated coconut got relief goods and employment from PESO.
- Man feeds dogs and cats.
While it seems smoking is relaxing, research shows that smoking can increase anxiety, depression and addiction. Smoking is an addictive habit that can lead to heart disease, cancers, regular flu, and shortness of breath that can impact your concentration and eventually your mental health.
Limit or Avoid Drinking Alcohol Drinks
Alcohol is known to slow down brain response and affect nerve signals in the brain. According to this resource, extreme drinking can lead to psychosis, delusions and hallucinations - mental conditions that can impact your mental health.
Play Video Games
Video games, whether it’s a strategy, shooting or puzzle, can make you forget the passage of time and fight boredom. Various articles described the benefits of playing video games. One is from the apa.org that published a 13-page study. Gamedesigning.org listed 10 reasons why video games are good for you. Anything in excess is harmful and this is true in video gaming.
Another benefit is you can enhance your skills in problem-solving. Games such as puzzles, arcade, RPG, strategy and first-person shooter games use puzzles as a test for the player before he/she progresses into another stage.
Spend Time with Pets
Dogs, cats, parrots and goldfishes are some of the popular pets in the Philippines. Going home with your cat or dog waiting at your door can be stress relieving. Look at numerous Youtube videos when feline friends wake up their human friends, a raven mimics a human voice and a dog acts like a human. Another idea is to buy a fishbowl aquarium, goldfish and gourami. Add filtered water, aquatic plants, sand and corals. Install a water filter to prevent dirt buildup. You can keep this on the sturdy table.
Owning a pet is beneficial to your health, according to a study made at SUNY Buffalo. Owning pets can improve heart health. Aside from that, your pet can be your lifesaver during times of solitary life