Friday, April 22, 2016

9 Things I've Done to Improve my Mental Health

2016 is my year to work on myself, physically and mentally. Finding a balance is very important. Physically, it's so easy to jump right into a workout program or join a gym, which I started back in November. 

Mentally, there are a few things that I've been doing to help me get into a more positive state of mind. I don't have a diagnosed mental problem, but sometimes I let things get into my head and it's hard to let go. I'm working on fixing that.

Here are some of the things I have been working on...

Lay in bed for 10 more minutes.
I'm not saying to hit the snooze button (although sometimes another alarm wouldn't hurt.) I set my alarms for roughly 30 minutes before I actually need to be awake. That way, I am able to turn off my alarm, turn on the lights in my room, and allow myself to wake up fully. Sometimes I use the extra time to stretch or shower, but most of the time, it's just a time for me to meditate on what I need to accomplish during the day. HuffPost Healthy Living has 20 reasons why meditation is good for you.

Delete the Facebook app.
This all started at the beginning of Lent when I gave up Facebook. I found that Facebook could be a very negative space... with people gossiping in groups and sharing unpopular opinions in a very accusatory way. Deleting Facebook all-together would be ideal but sadly it is the only way I can communicate with certain people. Not having the app on my phone prevents me from aimlessly scrolling and being influenced by the negativity, especially during the first couple hours in the morning.

Get a gym membership.
I got my gym membership back in October and it's probably the smartest thing I've done in a while. The gym gives me a place to work on bettering myself physically without being judged. (If you go to a gym where people judge you, you should leave.) Working out gets my blood pumping and can increase my productivity or help me relax at the end of the day. (I swear, sometimes I come home from the gym and pass out immediately.) Here's another HuffPost Healthy Living article about mental health and exercise.

Move the TV out of my bedroom.
Being an adult, I can put my TV wherever I want. But is it smart to have it in my bedroom? I've recently decided that it's better to keep my TV in my living room. (Here's three reasons why.) My bedroom is for my bed. Sometimes I'll stay up and watch TV in my living room but I eventually have to make the transition to my bedroom, which puts me in a different state of mind, ready to shut down for the day.

Increase savings, decrease spending.
Maybe you already do this, maybe you don't, but I've found that knowing I have money saved relieves a lot of stress. Every time I have a paycheck, I have it deposited into two different accounts. $200 of it goes into my spending and the rest goes into my checking. I only ever spend the money I've allotted for spending (the money in my checking is for bills/rent/utilities/student loans/car payments... AKA stuff I don't control.) Some months, I don't spend all $200, which is nice because the next month I have a little more to spend if I want. At least I know I'll never be poor.

Go to church and volunteer.
(I'm super religious, so take this point as you will:) Going to church is something that I've been doing my entire life. It's one hour a week where I can reflect on what I've done right and wrong and how I can improve my lifestyle to make me a better person. My calling was to help the youth of the community find their way with Jesus. Being around these high schoolers has really helped me mentally. I'm a leader and an adult figure, I want to inspire them, and I can't do that by bringing in my personal problems.

Stop listening to Top 40 radio.
This is seriously a personal preference but I'm at the point where I'm starting to HATE Top 40 radio. Why? Because they play the same 40 songs... all day. As awesome as it is to be in the loop with what music is "cool" I'd rather listen to music that makes me feel good. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez do not make me feel good. Also, it hit me that I don't care about celebrity's just another thing that  ruins my 40-minute morning commute. Absolutely love listening to KLOVE and Mix 94.9 (They play annoying songs every so often, but the songs I like outweigh the songs I hate. And the morning talk radio is better.)

Hang out with positive people.
Everyone has that "friend" that constantly brings them down... maybe you need to find a new friend. Surrounding yourself with positivity will influence you to be a positive person. You want people in your life that believe in you, want the best for you, encourage you, and applaud you for your victories.

Turn on "Do Not Disturb" settings.
The option is there for a reason. Sometimes, you just don't want to be contacted. Personally, I really don't think I'm going to answer the phone between 11PM and 6AM (Most likely I'm asleep, even on weekends.) If someone absolutely needs to contact me, Do Not Disturb allows calls from certain people if they try calling more than once, which would be the case if it was super important. Having this setting on is great because my phone does not make any noises in the middle of the night. Here's how you can turn these settings on (or off).

I challenge you, my reader, to attempt one or two of the things off my list and let me know if or how it has affected your mental health. Also, let me know what you do to improve your mental health! Feel free to leave a comment below.


  1. I do a lot of these things too! Taking care of finances makes such a difference for mental health!

    1. It really does. Just knowing what I am allowed to spend and calms a lot of nerves. And then I feel better when I don't spend as much as I allot!

  2. These are such great tips. I am going to try and do better with several of them especially about going back to church. I totally agree about it putting me in a better space mentally