Mental health is just as important as physical health, but many people don’t take the time to care for their mental well-being. Just like you would exercise or eat healthy foods to keep your body in good shape, you should also take some time to improve your mental health. Here are six tips to get started.

1. Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for your mental health. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to be irritable and have a shorter temper. You’re also more likely to feel stressed and anxious. Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep each night.

If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try some of these tips:

  • Establish a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.

  • Avoid working or using electronic devices in bed.

  • Practice relaxation techniques before bed, such as deep breathing or meditation.

If you continue having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about possible solutions.

2. Exercise

Did you know that running for 15 minutes daily can lower your risk of depression by 26%? Exercise is a great way to improve your mental health, and it has tons of other benefits. It can help you lose weight, reduce stress, boost your energy, and improve your mood and general wellness.

If you’re not currently active, start small by adding just five or ten minutes of exercise to your day. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend exercising until you reach 30 minutes per day. If you find it difficult to fit in a full workout, try combining several short workouts into one longer session.

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or uncomfortable. There are plenty of fun activities that get your heart rate up, such as hiking, biking, dancing, and swimming. Just find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your routine.

3. Take a Mindfulness Meditation Class

Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation that focuses on being present in the moment. When you’re mindful, you focus on your thoughts and feelings without judging them. This can help you learn to accept yourself and your emotions, leading to better mental health.

There are many mindfulness meditation classes available in most communities. If there aren’t any classes available near you, consider looking for an online course or downloading an app. You can also take advantage of the resources provided by your employer. In 2018, 52% of organizations offered mindfulness classes or training to their workers, meaning that it’s likely that there are resources available to you.

4. Connect With Others

Human beings are social animals, and we need social interaction to be healthy. When you’re feeling down, it can be helpful to reach out to your friends and family. Talk about your feelings and listen to theirs. Spending time with people who care about you can help improve your mood and make you feel supported.

If you don’t have any close friends or family, consider joining a social group or club. There are many groups available for people with shared interests, such as hiking, book clubs, and cooking classes. Volunteering can also be a great way to connect with others and make new friends.

When you’re feeling lonely or isolated, reach out to someone. You’ll be surprised at how willing people are to help.

5. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

It can be difficult to admit that you need help, but it’s important to do so. If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a friend, family member, or professional.

If you are a student, you can also ask for help from your school’s counseling center. For private school students, you can also reach out to your teachers as most of them, 60% to 80%, have an advanced degree and can offer great advice.

There are also many online resources available, such as mental health forums and support groups. Don’t be afraid to use them.

There are many things you can do to improve your mental wellness. These are just a few suggestions, and you may need to try several before finding what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. You aren’t alone in your struggle.