If you feel like you’re struggling with your mental health but talking to family, friends, and counsellors isn’t helping, you may need to focus instead on your physical health. How we go about our days, do our work, and sleep at night can all cause mental struggles, and a change may be necessary. Here are some simple tips to help you stay in good physical shape to think clearer and be happier.
Manage Your Workday
Many people are anxious at work, but if it’s getting out of hand, you must make a change. Often the problem is you aren’t moving enough. You will inevitably feel mentally squeezed in that stressful office for eight hours.
Fit physical fitness into your workday. Don’t just sit in your car or the breakroom at lunch. Get outside and take a walk. Being out in nature can bring you back to a more natural place where your stress can melt away. Exercise can help with many mental needs, including PTSD, because the movement can improve your cognitive functions and provide the needed routine and structure.
Plus, you can burn calories and breathe fresh air, so you’ll return to work feeling refreshed.
It’s also important not to overburden yourself at work and stretch yourself too thin through constant multitasking. Don’t do too much. You’ll get stressed. Live in the present, take on one task at a time, and do it to perfection before you move on to something else.
What You Eat Can Affect Your Mental Health
Some people who sit at a desk all day aren’t getting the proper exercise or nutrition. You need to stay physically and mentally fit. Instead of staying in the breakroom at work or ordering in, pack a healthy lunch with fruit and food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon. This food is tasty and low in unhealthy fats, and the omega-3s fight depression and bipolar disorder.
There are also unhealthy foods that cause stress, including processed meat. We all know that fast food isn’t good for us, but it’s also associated with stress. When you eat burgers or high-sugar foods, it raises your cortisol levels, which may make you feel anxious. In addition to the chemical issue, there are also the negative feelings you have when you eat bad food when you know you shouldn’t.
Coworkers may have told you in the past that caffeine and sugar can cause anxiety, but when used in moderation, they will have little effect. However, if you drink too much coffee, then there’s a good chance you could experience the feelings associated with anxiety, like jumpiness and shakiness. They say that four cups or less per day won’t cause an issue, but it’s wise to stick to moderation if you are prone to anxiety.
A Good Nighttime Routine Can Help
A final note about stress at your job is that you must have a proper work/life balance. Schedule your day so you get home early enough to relax, do something you enjoy, and get a restful night of sleep. Healthy hobbies are essential to your well-being, and they give you purpose. When you get home, play a sport or walk to your favourite soundtrack. Both activities get you up and moving, and you can clear your mind.
You also need to have a good bedtime routine to ease the nerves. Sleep deprivation is linked to poor mental health. If you don’t have a proper routine, you could toss and turn all night and become more irritable and anxious. So, before you go to sleep, consider journaling. Write out the details of your day and what bothered you. By getting it out of your system, you could fall asleep faster.
If you still have trouble sleeping, you should get your circadian rhythm back in order. Hit the sack and wake up simultaneously every day, even on weekends, so your body knows the routine. You can also try other healthy habits like brushing your teeth before bed, which tells your body it’s time to get drowsy.
These are the routines and habits that you can try to feel better physically and mentally every day. Little tweaks make all the difference.
This article was kindly submitted by Writer Katie Brenneman.