February 8, 2023

Mental health is important. The gen Z’s have caught on early and use this at every opportunity at work places, schools and even with people who tend to drain them mentally. Taking the time to do things that improve your mental health is vital as you are your own responsibility and the better you are mentally, the more productive you are at whatever you do.

Caring for your mental health should look like these;

Taking a walk: Depending on the time of day, I find walking to be very essential in getting a clear head. Doctors’ advice people to take walks at least five times a week to see an improvement in their state of being. It releases endorphins which is the body’s natural ‘happy drug’. Try walking your dog to spice it up.

Creating boundaries: These are clear rules set by you in situations that tend to cause stress, incite a negative emotion like anger or pain, or generally just make you uncomfortable. Boundaries should hold in every single relationship with colleagues, romantic partners, friends, parents, children, etc. Having clear set boundaries not only give you peace but reveals people and situations that do not serve you.

Take a break: This is almost similar to taking a walk but different by the action of removing yourself from an activity you have been at for a long while. Taking a break could present itself in so many forms; taking a walk, shutting off your phone/laptop, reading a book, etc. It could be short or long term. There is nothing worse than feeling drained and continuing the draining activity.

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More sleep: Lack of sleep is the number one cause of many brain (cognitive) and body (physical) disorders today. The more stress a person undergoes without sleep, the more they become prone to having mental health disorders that can affect overall quality of life. Sleep is important. Someone once said that without sleep, the brain eats itself. That’s maybe a violent way to put it, but it is not a lie.

Better diet: The second most important thing to improve mental health is your diet. Food make up for a large percentage of what the body feels and how it looks like. What a person feeds his body is exactly how the body acts. Some foods are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D and magnesium like nuts, fish and oats which help to boost serotonin levels in the brain. Also, try herbs like chamomile which enhances sleep.

Good company: The people you hang around constantly have the most influence over you. Even without knowing, they influence everything you do and/or say. So surround yourself with people who love the things that you love, who understand you and people who would care for you as much as you for them. Whether that be relationships, friendships or family, make sure that who you are with holds your best interest at heart.

Seek therapy/Counselling: Therapy is usually frowned at in Nigeria and mostly by black people. No one wants to pay money to sit with a stranger and divulge deep secret thoughts. But therapy helps people understand why they act the way they do and what could be done to help. For example, most people don’t know they need boundaries to stop feeling burnt out, a therapist exposes this and guides them into creating healthy boundaries in their lives.

Photo by  fizkes on iStockphoto

Mental health is too important to be left unattended. Choosing to protect your mental health is choosing happiness over everything.

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