For anyone who has ever struggled with any sort of mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, or addiction, they know that when your mental health is lacking, often, your physical health is as well. It can feel impossible to put any effort into your physical health, when you are struggling so much with your mental health. The thing is, though, when you are taking care of your physical body, it has an incredible positive impact on your mental health.
Getting regular exercise doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym every single day. It can mean going on a walk or a jog around your neighborhood with your dog, or asking a friend to accompany you to the gym a few days a week. When you exercise, your brain releases serotonin, which is a necessary chemical to keep you happy and healthy. It may be difficult to get yourself out of the house to exercise, but it is so worth it. And luckily, it gets easier the longer you do it. So it may be difficult today, but next week, but it will be a little easier.
Getting in your greens
Proper nutrition not only fuels your body, but it fuels your body. You may not like eating broccoli, but the truth is, so many health problems are made so much worse because of a lack of nutrition. Add an extra fruit or vegetable to every single meal you eat this week. Instead of reaching for chips when you’re feeling snacky, grab an apple or banana instead. It will take time to get used to, as all lifestyle changes do, but proper nutrition is so important to your mental health.
Spending time outside
Some days, it is impossible to leave your house. We know that. So don’t do it today. But do it tomorrow. Make a plan that requires you to leave the house. Even if you just sit on your porch to scroll through twitter, instead of sitting on your couch. Baby steps are still steps.
Humans are social creatures, by nature. Spending time around other people is often necessary to your overall health. Call up a friend, and have a quick conversation. Ask someone to meet you for coffee, or lunch. Maybe ask your neighbor to go on a walk with you, or ask your roommate to run errands with you. What is important here is the aspect of social interaction. Often, when you’re in a dark place, mentally, you isolate yourself. This is the last thing your body needs, and when you find yourself slipping into this, call up a friend.