7 Daily Mental Hygiene Habits
We take showers, wash our hands, and use deodorant, but a lot of us let stress, anxiety, and fear rule our lives because we do not take the time to keep our minds clean. If you are trying to keep yourself on a healthy and happy track it is crucial to have daily mental hygiene habits. It is far easier to put up protective barriers and prevent a negative spiral from happening than it is to crawl out of a negative spiral mid-storm. Here are 7 ways that you can assist your mental state by taking care of things before they escalate.
1. Worry on Paper – Our brains are fast to worry. They identify the issue, multiply the issue, and then multiply the multiples of the issue! What started out as a small worry quickly spirals into the red zone of worst-case scenario. In order to stop the spiral in its tracks, it is important to not let your brain worry itself into a pit in the first place. Next time you feel a worry rising in your mind, grab a notebook or your notes app on your phone and write it down. The act of writing forces you to slow down and look at the initial issue without all the amplified projections filling your head as well. If you are able to stop the worry from ballooning, you will be in a far clearer headspace.
2. Set Boundaries – A huge trigger affecting brain overload is constantly saying yes or going along with things that you do not want to do. When we do not speak our needs in a given moment we can quickly fall into resentment or frustration over a situation. These feelings are not helpful in achieving a relaxed state of mind, so do yourself a favor and set clear boundaries around your time.
3. Sleep Consistently – A fundamental piece of the puzzle, sleep quality dramatically affects your relationship with the world in every aspect from immune health to mood. In order to receive the best rest, aim to go to sleep and wake up at a consistent time each night, even on the weekends.
4. Flex Time – Take a few moments of your day, I like to do it at the end of the day but do it whenever works best for you, to sit with a journal and say whatever needs to come out. Some days I doodle, others I write poetry, and on others, prayers. Take a few minutes to give your brain space to decompress in whatever way it needs. If you are constantly going without stopping to check in on your thoughts, they have the potential of stewing and building into anxiety.
5. Work Out – I am a huge believer in the benefit of exercise. Whether you walk, lift, or do a HIIT workout, move some way every day. Exercise not only produces endorphins, which make you feel great, but it is a fantastic way to distance yourself from your worries. It is difficult to focus on any other problems when you are concentrating on the weights in your hands or on the next step of your trail.
6. Quiet Moments–Even if I do not have time for anything else in my usual morning routine, what I find most beneficial to my day is taking 5 or 10 minutes to pray or meditate first thing. I like taking these few minutes to reset and be grateful as it sets my mind on a better trajectory for the rest of the day.
7. Eat Good Food – If you are anything like me, food massively impacts your mood and disposition towards the world. “Hangry” is a common term in my vocabulary. To quell this, I always keep a healthy bar on me. Not only that but I try to eat a whole foods diet and avoid things I know do not leave me feeling great. As delicious as fries and a milkshake are, all I want to do is sleep after consuming them. They are not the ideal building block for a clear head. If you know certain foods trigger a negative reaction for you, or you become pessimistic if you go too long between meals, be proactive and prevent these situations from occurring.
The more safety’s you can put in place to protect from negativity causing situations, the better. Whether it is packing a protein bar in your purse or waking up at the same time each day, small changes can make a huge difference on how you feel mentally. Find what works for you and try to incorporate them daily to help keep your mental state in tip top shape!