When was the last time you put time aside for your mental health? If you’re like most busy women, it has probably been some time since you last spoke to your doctor about mental well-being or took a mindfulness break during the day.
However, ignoring your mental health will only lead to worse consequences down the line. Left unchecked, excess stress and anxiety may lead to issues like burnout and relationship breakdown.
Instead of ignoring your mental health, make it a priority in your life. It may take some time and effort, but investing in your health and well-being will reap rewards in the long run.
Most women are bombarded by wellness tips and tricks. However, speaking to your doctor should be your first step toward improving your mental health. Speaking with your doctor is particularly important if you suspect you are living with a condition like anxiety or depression.
You may be surprised by how much your primary care provider has to offer. Many primary care providers are well-trained to support women who are struggling with a mental health condition for any reason.
Depending on the purpose of your visit, your primary care provider may prescribe medication for mental health. They will usually run some tests first to rule out common issues like Vitamin D deficiency or anemia. Depending on the outcome, they may refer you to a psychiatrist to receive more specific help with any challenges you may be facing.
There is a stigma about visiting a doctor or psychiatrist to improve your mental health. However, visiting a professional will only streamline your mental health care and ensure that you have the confidence and support you need to make lifestyle changes and engage in self-expression.
Self-expression is an important part of everyone’s health and mental well-being. When you feel confident and safe, it’s easy to express yourself and your identity.
It may sound strange but making changes to your wardrobe can help you express yourself and improve your mental health. Fashion can improve your mental health by giving you the space to express yourself and decorate your body. This promotes creativity and can be a meaningful boost to your confidence.
You can also take up new hobbies that hinge on self-expression. Hobbies like playing tabletop roleplaying games with friends or learning to paint can give you something to look forward to and help you break out of negative thought patterns. If you do find a hobby that suits you, try not to associate your identity with your performance. Whether you’re painting or playing soccer, your goal should be to have fun, meet interesting people, and express yourself.
Your diet and well-being are integrally tied. If you’re constantly eating sugary, processed foods, you may find it hard to focus and you quickly run out of energy during the day. Instead, try to eat a balanced diet that fuels your body and helps you prioritise your mental health.
You can adopt a mental-health-friendly diet by making small changes to your current meals. Try to eat more green vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. At the same time, do your best to avoid fried or fast food, as these can slow your progress down.
Remember that hydration is also important for your health and mental well-being. Women usually need around eight fluid cups of water a day. Staying hydrated is an important part of your mental health, as dehydration may lead to issues like a lack of focus and energy during the day.
Exercise is a great way to boost your mental health and physical fitness. Even light exercise, like walking during your lunch break, can give you the mental health boost you need to break out of negative thought patterns and feelings.
Fitness can also improve your sleep quality and boost your confidence. Folks who work up a sweat during the day find it easier to nod off at night and may even fall into a deeper sleep, which is better for recovery. Regular, high-quality sleep is tremendous for your mental health and ensures you can overcome the challenges you face.
Exercising regularly can also help regulate chronic stress. Getting in a great workout allows you to blow off some steam and allows you to change your outlook during the day. Just be sure you don’t overwork yourself, as physical fatigue can have a knock-on effect on your mental well-being.
Start prioritising your mental health by speaking to your primary healthcare provider about how you’re feeling. Your doctor will be able to recommend treatment options and run tests to find out the root cause of your stress or anxiety. You can also consider some lifestyle changes, like eating a healthier diet, engaging in activities that bring your joy, and finding a workout program that suits you and your fitness goals