n case you’re not aware, May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. In the UK, Mental Health Awareness Week kicked off on Monday, 13 May and its theme this year is “Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies”. To round up the timeline, 10 October is World Mental Health Day, which was initiated by the World Health Organization.
So, what have you done this month for your mental health? How do you keep yourself “mentally fit”? Don’t despair, you still have some time and mental fitness should be part of your daily routine anyway so it’s always a good time to start. And if you still aren’t convinced, please know that even William, Kate, Harry and Meghan speak up for this cause.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Let’s start at the beginning of the day, or at the end of the night. Sleep is crucial for your immune system to function well, for your mental health and even for your country. According to a study carried out by RAND, the U.S. loses up to $ 411 billion a year because of the consequences of sleep deprivation. You should sleep between 6-8 hours per night, and even 15 minutes less can make a huge difference. The World Economic Forum also made a very informative and concise video about the importance of sleep if you want to quickly learn more.
2. Fuel Your Brain
The so-called “brain food” or “superfoods” help you to keep your mental fitness up. You need the right fuel for your brain so to say – you wouldn’t save on the right fuel for your car, would you? The next time you’re grocery shopping, grab some nuts like walnuts or almonds instead of the candy and look out for green vegetables and fatty fish. If you’re looking for some facts then the UK Household Longitudinal Study could be the right one to look at. It reveals that adding one portion of vegetables and fruit to your daily diet increases your mental well-being and life satisfaction . The best part about eating vegetables and fruit is that you don’t feel guilty or heavy afterwards.
3. Stress Less, Laugh More
Let’s assume that we all know that (too much) stress isn’t good for your health, including your mental health. The question is now, what to do when you enter a period of stress (because you will sooner or later) and you feel sad, angry and desperate at the same time? You hit pause. This means that you stop what you’re doing, even if it’s only for five minutes, and you get out your “joy list”. Bear with me.