There are many daily habits we all have – but we likely take many of them for granted perhaps because we do them every day. First let me recommend that you take stock of all your daily habits, even write them down for a day or two, to get you thinking about them.
The next step will be to congratulate yourself on the ones that are healthy! Really – take credit for what you do that adds to your own health, and for those who use you as a role model.
Now let’s look at what could use some improvement, like the foods you eat, whether you smoke or not, how much coffee, sodas with sugar or artificial sweeteners you drink, whether you get enough exercise, etc.
If you think you could stand some improvement in some of these areas, please understand that it is possible, with just a little tweaking, to make them all healthy, which then contributes in a strongly positive way to your mental health.
List of Habits
Here are some habits you can get yourself into. Please remember that nutrition related ones, when eating/drinking healthier versions, usually taste better. And also remember that foods like refined grains, sugars, and chemicals can cause you to actually have a physiologically addictive response, so tweaking these habits may be a little more difficult. But you can do it – I believe in you!
*Get plenty of restful, healthy sleep. Keep out all light, program your television to go off at a specific time, turn in at a specific time each night, etc.
*Get plenty of sunshine. Spend some time outdoors in the sun whenever possible. The vitamin D you get from the sun will help elevate your emotions!
*Drink alcoholic beverages moderately if at all. For many people, drinking in moderation is okay, but can easily spiral out of control for just about anyone. Be careful! Excessive alcohol intake makes you at higher risk for heart issues, cancers, cirrhosis of the liver, etc.
*If you’re a smoker, please quit! Even if you must step it down at first, you will see your health getting a little better just by smoking less. However, understand that you probably already have some level of damage, so getting off cigarettes is highly important. You will see improvements in your immune system, circulation, energy, etc.
*Eat healthy! Make sure you start adding fresh, raw vegetables (think interesting salads), eat a variety of colorful veggies, (a little fruit is okay, but it does contain sugar), and consume fewer grains (focus on whole grains if you want to eat them), almost no products with table sugar, and never, ever, ever eat white bread/pasta! Remember that everyone’s body is different, so work with a health care practitioner on what style of eating is best for you. If you want chocolate, the darker varieties are of course healthier.
*Don’t skip meals. Although a healthy way to live is incorporating some intermittent fasting into your lifestyle (but realize that at night when we sleep, we are already fasting), if you try to skip meals as a lifestyle habit, that could put you into a state of nutrient deficiency. This can negatively affect your moods. Remember the food-mood connection … it’s very real and very succinct.
*If you’re having trouble with your mental health, by all means reach out to a competent health-care practitioner. Don’t let your mental health get away from you. If you’ve worked with practitioners but didn’t get the results you were hoping for, try a different type of practitioner. I would hate to see you start to think and feel that life is not worth living…. Take care of it before you get to that point.
One easy tip is to substitute water or unsweetened tea or coffee for some of your beverages. I found that after giving up soda (I was a diet soda addict) and artificial sweeteners, I actually came to prefer drinking water and unsweetened tea and coffee. Get some sparkling water and put a slice of lemon or lime or another fruit in it. Remember that all fruit juices contain a large amount of sugar so beware!
Also, make sure you include raw and lightly steamed veggies with at least two meals per day. These will add all kinds of needed nutrients your body needs to support your mental health properly.
By watching what and how much you eat, you are probably going to realize an improvement in your overall mood. It is scientifically documented that the food you consume affects your mood. What’s in your food? Does it contain lots of chemicals? How much sugar and refined grains are you eating?
If you switch to fresh, whole foods, you may have a better ability to focus, experience less “down” moodiness, and increased energy. Certain foods can actually be the cause of mood swings. These are, of course, high levels of sugar, processed foods, and refined carb foods, like donuts, cakes, cookies, white bread, etc. The more refined varieties of things we like to call food, due to their lower levels of vitamins and minerals, can cause blood glucose fluctuations and trigger mood swings. But most of us know that by now, right?!
A few well-placed supplements will also be helpful, especially if you are in a deficit state and trying to build back up. Again, work with a competent health care practitioner.
I say, let’s err on the side of caution, and start getting those bad habits out of our daily routines. If you’re in therapy, feel free to continue on as you improve your lifestyle habits, because that will only enhance your therapeutic outcomes! A healthy body helps support a healthy mind, soul, spirit, the ability to think more clearly, and to feel your feelings in a healthier manner.
And as always, please have a happy, holistically healthy day!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.