John P. Cordray, LPC, NCC – Board Certified Counselor
These are gonna, be even harder because if you’re already depressed, if you are anxious, or have some other mental health issues going on in your life, you’re, not gonna be motivated. You’re, not gonna want to do these things, but this is where I want to encourage you.
You have to get past the the the want or not wanting to do it. You have to work through it all good things come through work, and so there are five things that I want you to do, every single day to help either with your anxiety or with your depression, and it’s important that you do these five things every day they’re, not they’re not rocket science.
They’re, not some magic formula. There’s, it’s, not a magic pill, but it’s, hard work, just like anything good in life.
You have to put work into this. You have to put work into yourself, invest in yourself into your mental health. So the five things I really want to encourage you – and I’m gonna create a series on each of these five things coming up, but right now this is just an overview of the five daily things to help you improve your mental well-being.
1 Healthy Diet
Your nutrition is important. Stop eating all the carbs, stop going to the fast-food restaurant, stop getting things that are quick and easy to make, because usually the quicker they are to make them more convenient.
They are to make them less healthy. They are for you and if you’re struggling with them emotionally or with your moods eating a bunch of carbs and fatty trans fats and that’s, the opposite thing, you should be doing so number one daily work on your nutrition.
How much water are you actually getting? Are you drinking enough water – and I bet I bet most of you who are reading this are not getting enough water? How much is enough water? Well, most professionals, will say at least 64 ounces of water per day.
So you need to figure out how much is 64 ounces or you get a 64-ounce water bottle, and that’s what you really should be drinking.
3 Healthy Sleep
Adopt sleeping healthy, sleeping habits.
How much sleep are you getting? Are you getting enough? I think probably not. Most of you are not getting enough sleep. In fact, I think I’ve seen people celebrate or brag that they’re working too much and they’re, not getting enough sleep and that’s the opposite! That’s, not going to help you.
So how much is enough sleep? What it depends on your age? It depends on a lot of different factors, but if you’re, a teenager or a preteen, you’re gonna need a lot more sleep than probably an adult. I would really recommend at least 9 hours,
Adults need 7 to 8 hours. You get typically get less sleep, so maybe 6 or 7 – probably 7 hours. It’s, probably the sweet spot, but it’s consistent sleep.
It is enough sleep, a healthy sleep through the night not waking up and going to sleep again, and I get it. I understand some of you or a lot of you, probably have some sleeping issues going on and that’s, a different thing that’s, a different topic for a different time.
4 Get Enough Exercise
Are you getting enough exercise? Again, probably not. You have to get exercise even if it’s just going for a walk. You have to do this every day and I get it so there could be expenses associated with a gym membership.
Maybe you can’t afford it. Maybe you don’t have a bike. You don’t have good weather, or whatever there’s, a lot of different reasons. We can make excuses for not getting exercise, but really you can find the time can’t you?
Even if it’s terrible outside you can do something inside be active. I want you to figure out whatever it is. Whatever type of exercise could be walking could be push-ups could be whatever activity, but I want you to do it consistently for 30 minutes at least, preferably 30 to 45 minutes every day that’s, my recommendation, maybe you get a Fitbit or one of those tracking devices and you do a lot of walking In your day. Great! Do that every single day.
5 Be With People
This, perhaps, is probably the hardest of all the ones that I’ve talked about. If you’re depressed or have something that’s really affecting your mood, and that is maintaining healthy relationships, you have to be with people. You have to!
You can’t do this by yourself. Now I know what you’re thinking. I know that you’re thinking. If I’m depressed, the last thing I want to do is be with people. I get it or if I’m anxious, perhaps you have social anxiety and you don’t want to be with people, I get it, But here’s, the thing; if you struggle with some type of mental health issue, you’re gonna want to be with other people. It’s exactly what you need.
You need people in your life.
It may not be someone talking to you about what you should be doing or what you shouldn’t be doing, but it’s just spending time together being together, even if it’s in your apartment or in your home and just sitting down and that person is coming to visit you, you’ve, got to have some social interaction.
It doesn’t have to be a large group. It can be one person, it could be a phone call, a Skype call, or a Zoom call but it has to be maintaining a healthy relationship. Don’t keep people away. That’s what you’re, probably going to want to do, you’re gonna want to just keep people away.
Stay away from me! I don’t want to be around people!
But what happens that when you’re by yourself and you’re struggling emotionally? Isolation starts to come in and it makes it worse. So you need somebody in your life.
So those are the five things that daily things that I want you to work on.
If you want to improve your health, this is an investment. Your emotional and mental health is an investment just like anything in the bank. You have to work at it and you have to work hard. You have to be willing to put in the effort, even when you don’t feel like it that’s, the key to getting better.
Now, all if you do all these things every day is that gonna be a magic solution? No, it’s different for everybody, but you’ve got to start with these five things. Start with them, and keep working at it.
Work work, work. Put forth the effort. Remind yourself. Write notes to remind yourself to keep going, and I want to challenge you to do these five things for 30 days in a row, and if you’re, not feeling better after doing it every single day for 30 days, then I want you to maybe reach out for help – maybe a professional counselor, a therapist. But will you do these things for 30 days? I hope so, and I think you’re gonna feel better.
I think this is really really really gonna help you it’s, not rocket science, but it’s hard. It’s hard when you don’t feel like it, but I want to encourage you to continue working on your emotional health because that is what’s important you’ve got to work on it.
Your quality of life is extremely important, so don’t exclude people from your life.
Okay, try that those five things over and over and read this article over and over again to motivate you and to remind you and to encourage you.
I hope you can do that.