Five practical steps for maintaining positive mental health

Five practical steps for maintaining positive mental healthTaking care of your mind health is just a click away

Taking a proactive approach to emotional wellness is far better than a reactive approach. After all, it's easier to maintain positive mental health than it is to repair mental health problems once they’ve set in.

Until people lack practical intrapersonal skills and train their mental wellness systematically it is difficult to prevent mental health issues. However, some easy-to-apply best practices can help you and your team to optimize our emotional wellbeing and manage stress effectively.

From finding positive ways to manage your stress to prioritizing self-care, here are five practical things you can do to maintain good mental health.

1. Take care of your physical health to support your good mental health

There's a strong connection between mental health and physical health.

Up to 30% of people with long-term physical health issues also have a mental health condition, and people with severe mental illness almost always have some physical health issues or even suffer from physical illness. Taking care of your mental health can therefore help you to protect your physical health, and while vice versa is often talked about it isn’t true. Many athletes suffer from mental health issues.

Protecting and securing good physical health involves eating a balanced diet, attending regular healthcare check-ups, and seeking treatment as soon as possible if you notice worrying symptoms.

Exercise is also very important for physical health, and it can play an important role in alleviating stress, anxiety and low mood in both short-term and long-term contexts.

2. Schedule routine mental health days to restore your body and mind

A mental health day is far more than just a day free from commitments to spend as you like. It's also not a day filled with indulgent activities like going to the beauty salon or having fun out with friends in the afternoon. Instead, it's about focusing on restorative practices that help you get back to fit.

Mental health days also shouldn't be taken on a whim, but scheduled in advance so that you can plan the day carefully to ensure you make the most of it. The activities you do on a routine mental health day will vary depending on what you personally find fulfilling and restorative. Activities like yoga, walking, cycling, meditation and journaling are common and can bring many people enhanced feelings of relaxation and wellbeing.

For some, it might be important to schedule meetings with friends or family to feel reconnected with loved ones. For others, it's more rejuvenating to schedule a day of solitude where they can focus solely on themselves.

Although it's perfectly fine to spend a mental health day at home if that's where you feel the most calm and peaceful, many people find mental health benefits to spending time outdoors. Natural environments have been proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and mood disorders.

3. Continually evaluate work-life balance to maintain good mental health at work

Work-related tasks and work environments are common stress for many and lacking skills to remove your inner reactivity is a major contributor to poor mental health. When we work too much or find we can't stop thinking about work, even when we're off the clock, we have less time to socialize, enjoy fulfilling hobbies, and take care of our physical and mental health.

For many, it’s important to experience work as fulfilling and working hard to progress in their career is possible only as long as people are maintaining good mental health. It's paramount to find healthy ways to integrate life and work in a way that is considered in every aspect of your personal and personal life.

Frequently checking in with yourself on how you’re feeling about your workload, goals and stress levels is a vital part of maintaining a good balance and avoiding burnout.

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4. Get good quality sleep every night to give your mind a rest

Good quality sleep and positive mental health go hand in hand. When we're well-rested, we have more energy to cope with stressful situations. Plus, a good night of sleep often serves as a reset button for our brain after a difficult day. If you want to maintain good mental wellbeing, you should make getting enough good quality sleep a priority.

Most people benefit by going to bed and getting up at the same time each day to help their bodies maintain a consistent sleep rhythm. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, avoiding caffeine for several hours before you go to bed and adopting a relaxing evening routine can help you wind down.

It’s also important to avoid looking at screens both an hour before going to bed and when you're in bed because the blue light produced by phones and tablets inhibits the production of a hormone called melatonin, which is our body's natural sleep signal.

5. Create a mental health first aid plan to manage bad days

Sometimes, no matter how much we strive to protect our mental health, we can find ourselves having bad day. This often occurs when we face unforeseen stressful events which take a toll on us emotionally and interrupt our healthy daily routines.

It's wise to have a first-aid strategy in place for days when you experience undue stress, anxiety or low mood.

If you don't take care of yourself properly on the more difficult days, your mental wellbeing is likely to further decline. Simply having a plan in place can help you feel less worried about your mental health. Your mental health first aid plan should include a list of health-restoring and relaxation activities.

Spotting the early warning signs and seeking help immediately is better than waiting. All workplaces should have mental health first-aiders who know what to recommend.

Besides training your mind, using professional help when needed matters.

To secure your mental wellness, make sure you possess intrapersonal skills which would help you to keep calm and grounded in the present moment and allow you to reduce your anxiousness or stress before those turn into more serious mental health issues, like burnout or illnesses like depression or anxiety.

We kindly remind you, all work-related mental health issues are preventable and you find such proactive mental wellness solutions on our website.

Be sure to also reach out to the people in your life you can confide in or spend time with to help you safely navigate difficult moments on those more challenging days.

Conclusion – prioritize your emotional wellbeing to achieve positive mental health

Taking care of your mental health should be just as much of a priority as taking care of your physical health.

By training your mind and learning practical intrapersonal skills and prioritizing your mental wellbeing you can keep your mental health in excellent shape and better manage stress and overcome low moods.

Nature walk is good for mental health

This quest blog post is written by James Tower; an advocate for supporting mental health in and out of the workplace.