3 key areas for springing into better mental health

The first official day of spring is just behind us. Combined with the recent Easter weekend, now seems to be a prefect time to meditate on the things we’re thankful for and renew our commitment to good health.

Our health affects our mood, and focusing on 3 key areas can make a big difference in our mental health.

1. Nutrition

As we’ve discussed in the past, there’s a strong connection between nutrition and mental health. So, when you’re filling up on plates of great food, do your best to eat foods that improves your mental health and reduces symptoms of mental illness.

Here’s a list of 14 foods that help maintain good mental health:

  1. Fresh fruit
  2. Salads
  3. Vegetables
  4. Nuts
  5. Legumes
  6. Olive oil
  7. Fish
  8. Whole grains
  9. Poultry
  10. Low-fat cheese
  11. Rice
  12. Some soya products

If you want to read more about the research behind how these foods help, check out our post 6 studies around the world linking fruit & veggies with mental health.

2. Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In fact, not getting enough sleep can be harmful to your health. Try these 7 tips to improve your sleep.

  1. Get up at the same time each morning. Don’t sleep in. Even if you have a bad night’s sleep, you’ll be sleepy at bedtime Sunday night and it’ll be easier to get to sleep.
  2. Don’t worry. Don’t watch TV, read scary books, or do other things in bed besides sleeping. If you worry, read thrillers, or watch TV, don’t do it in the bedroom or in a bed.
  3. Keep your room dark. Keep electronic devices out of your room and make sure your window coverings completely cover your window. A dark room will help you sleep better.
  4. Avoid screen time. Put away your phone, tablet, laptop, or other electronic device early enough to give your body time to wind down. The blue light emitted by these devices stimulates your mind, which can interfere with sleep. Consider winding down with a relaxing book instead.
  5. Do not drink or eat anything caffeinated within 6 hours of bedtime.
  6. Avoid alcohol. Although it may relax you at first, you’ll wake up when it clears your system — and this can happen in the middle of the night.
  7. Spend time outdoors during the day. People exposed to daylight or bright light therapy sleep better.

3. Exercise

Exercising regularly can have positively impact your mental health, including relieving signs of depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It also relieves stress, improves memory, improves sleep, and boosts mood. Plus, you can see a difference with even modest amounts of exercise.

So, if you’re renewing your commitment to good health this spring, remember to eat wholesome foods, sleep well, and get regular exercise.

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