Taking Steps To Become Physically and Mentally Healthy
Physical and mental health may seem like two very different things, but they are not entirely separate. A balance of both is necessary to a balanced, healthy, fulfilling and productive lifestyle. It can be difficult to navigate both areas at the same time, but a combination of both mental and physical health is achievable for most of us.
Understand The Link Between Mental and Physical Health to be Healthy
According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental and physical health are intrinsically linked because factors that affect one often impact the other. For instance, depressed people are less likely to seek treatment for physical ailments and may have difficulty exercising. Similarly, physically unfit people may have issues with confidence and isolation, which could lead to mental health problems.
Everyone should have a basic fitness routine, a series of diet and exercise activities and behaviors to ensure they remain physically healthy. Similarly, it is important for everyone, not just those who have been diagnosed with mental illness to design a routine of self-care. This is defined as any series of actions taken to improve overall well-being and wellness that will help you achieve your goals.
Focus on Relaxation
Learning how to relax and minimize stress is essential to both physical and mental health. Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the U.S, affecting over 18% of the population every year. Meanwhile, stress can impact your body in a multitude of ways, from increasing your chance of heart attacks and type 2 diabetes to digestive problems and muscular pains.
One thing you can try is meditation and mindfulness, which can have a greatly positive effect on both mind and body. Find a quiet, comfortable, and distraction-free space in your home that you can dedicate to meditation. This can be as simple as setting a timer for 10 minutes and sitting in complete silence for that time, focusing on your breathing and visualizing the air entering and leaving your body.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Create an effective relaxation regimen that works for you. This should include getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Foster an environment that encourages deep sleep at night, including a fully dark room (no blinking electronics!) and a comfortable mattress and pillows. You could also consider a noise machine, or banning any smartphone and electronics from your bedside table.
Journaling is having a bit of a resurgence with bullet journaling becoming a specific trend in self-care. According to Psych Central, keeping a journal can be extremely beneficial to both your physical and mental well-being. Also, it is a good way to combine the two and organize your healthy habits.
Your journal can help you plan your physical fitness routine, including what exercises to do and when. If you write these things down in as much detail as possible, you will be more likely to follow through. You can also create a fitness tracker, where you can record your progress as you go in a satisfyingly visual way.
Journaling is also a great self-care tool, as writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you process them. You can also keep track of your mental health progress by noting what days were worse than others, and what made some days better. Another great tool is keeping a gratitude log, where you commit to writing down one thing every day that you are thankful for.
Some people have trouble addressing physical and mental health needs at the same time, but the best way is to approach your health in a holistic way and understand that fitness is self-care, because it makes you healthier. Self-care involves being kind to oneself: sometimes, this means having a nap and sometimes it means forcing yourself to get up and exercise. Focus on balance, know how to relax and keep track of your goals, and you will be well on your way to physical and mental healthy.
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