10 Daily Habits for Mental Wellness
With the start of a New Year, many people are ready to make positive changes that will lead to a healthier lifestyle. One effective, but often overlooked, way to do this is by establishing a routine that prioritizes your mental wellness. Here are 10 simple but impactful steps you can take to create a daily routine that will set the stage for a healthier, happier year.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day of the week. This makes it easier both to fall asleep at night and to wake up in the morning. Adequate sleep can help you regulate your mood, stay focused, use healthy coping skills, and decrease stress hormones.
- Make time and space to blow off steam. What do you do to decrease stress? Whether it’s meditation, journaling, walking, or something else, make a daily habit of doing something proactively to manage your stress.
- Exercise is one of the best ways to take care of your mental health. It doesn’t need to be strenuous or lengthy.
- Take medications consistently. Taking medications at the same time each day keeps them working properly.
- Prioritize your to-do list. Do the things that are most important first, not what might be the easiest or quickest.
- Cultivate meaningful relationships. Make time for the people who matter to you. Family dinner, a regular date night with your spouse, or coffee with friends can be good routines to set. Social interactions provide emotional support and promote a sense of belonging and acceptance.
- Incorporate simple pleasures. Your routine should include things that make you happy – a cup of tea, a scented candle, background music. Little pleasures can relax you and improve your mood.
- Set boundaries. Clearly communicate your limits, both personally and professionally. Setting boundaries is important for maintaining a healthy life balance and preventing burnout.
- Appreciate what’s good in your life. Whether it’s when you wake up, in the shower, as you wait in the carpool line, or before you go to bed at night, note five things you are grateful for.
- Self-reflection. Make time to check in with yourself. If you notice signs of stress or feeling overwhelmed, consider adjusting your routine. Self-reflection can help you catch problems when they’re small and make proactive changes to address your needs.
This may seem like a big list of things to do! Know that creating a routine to support your mental wellness is a work in progress. You don’t have to add all of these things to your routine. Start where you are and add one healthy habit at a time. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s ok to seek out additional support. St. Luke’s Penn Foundation can help. Click here to learn more about our counseling services.