When people have mental health troubles their self-care often falls by the wayside. A number of problems, including depression, can sap your motivation to perform daily tasks. When you don’t clean, exercise or cook reasonable meals for yourself your moods and health can further spiral, exacerbating the problem.
If you are having trouble mustering up the energy to do any more than the bare minimum, there are still a few easy things that you can do to lift up your mood and take care of yourself. Cooking healthy meals, dusting your surfaces and going for a short walk are all things that don’t require much time or energy, but can be a good place to start taking care of yourself better.
Cooking healthier meals
While it is very easy to eat unhealthy food in the modern world, people often don’t realise that it is equally easy to stock your fridge with healthy ingredients. A pizza might be just a few clicks of a button away, but you can also get fresh ingredients delivered to your house – and they can even come with easy recipes to cook.
Cooking a nutritious meal is an activity that takes little energy, but can lift up your mood simply because you are doing something productive. You will also feel good after you eat it, both because of the nutrients and because cooking yourself a healthy meal can create a sense of virtue.
While fully cleaning your house can seem like a big task, just dusting your surfaces is a much lower-energy task that can still make a big difference. Dusting will help to improve the air quality inside your home, which will help to improve your general mood.
Dusting all the surfaces in your home will also give you a sense of achievement, for not a lot of time and effort expended. This can help to stop you spiralling due to anxious or depressive disorders. As a side benefit, dusting will help you to feel generally healthier, as you won’t be breathing in dust every day.
Go for a walk
Going for a walk is a lot less intimidating than joining a gym or going running, and at least it gets you outside and moving. Even a short walk – say, to the supermarket to pick up ingredients for a healthy meal – can have a positive impact on your mood, as you are out in the sun, breathing fresh air and getting some exercise.
This can also be a good way to gradually build up to undertaking more strenuous exercise (if that’s one of your objectives). Getting some fresh air and exercise will not only boost your mood, it will also improve your general health – particularly if you have struggled to even walk out the door recently.
These three simple activities do not take a lot of time, or a great deal of energy. What they can do, however, is give you an achievable and useful goal, and a sense of accomplishment when you achieve it. They can all improve your general health as well, and give you a mood boost purely through performing a useful action.
None of the three suggestions here are hard to do, but they can all lead to further activities in the future to keep improving your mental health. For example, if you cook yourself a simple meal each night and enjoy it, then you might start trying harder or attempt to make more complicated dishes – which will give you more to do in the food preparation phase, as well as in the cooking itself.
Self-care can have a big impact on your mental health, so it is important not to give it up completely – no matter how stressed or anxious you feel. Just doing some simple cooking and cleaning, and getting outside for a little while, can give your quality of life and mood a huge boost.