Your mental health influences how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also affects your ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships, and recover from life’s setbacks and hardships.
Strong mental health isn’t just the absence of mental health problems. Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. Rather than the absence of mental illness, mental health refers to the presence of positive characteristics.
Looking to boost your mood, handle your emotions better, or build resilience? These life-changing strategies for improving mental health can help and can show you how. Here are 10 tips to improve your mental health this summer.
- Get outside! Studies have shown that spending more time outdoors has a measurable impact on your mood.
- Be active. Exercise in any form can decrease your experience of anxiety and depression symptoms, increase concentration and boost mood.
- Practice gratitude. A simple gratitude practice helps to increase optimism and allow you to focus on the good rather than the bad. Allowing you to improve your outlook on life.
- Eat well. The phrase you are what you eat is shockingly accurate. When we eat processed foods, we feel worse. Think fridge foods versus pantry foods.
- Get some sleep. When we sleep well consistently, we focus better, we are more motivated, we perform better. Try for 8 to 10 hours with consistent sleep and wake times.
- Connect with others. Make plans with people in your life. When we spend time with people we love, we boost positive emotions and have a more positive outlook.
- Do what you love. Engaging with hobbies (things you enjoy doing, not what you put on your resume to sound good) increases joy and pleasure within your day.
- Be kind to yourself. We are our own worst critics. We identify every way we fall short with ease, try to do the same with your strengths and what you do well. If that sounds too challenging, try to speak to yourself how you speak to your friends.
- Take a breath. Taking deep intentional breaths helps us to reset. It decreases our experience of stress and anxiety. Think belly breathing.
- Ask for help when you need it. We all have moments where the distress is high and we struggle to cope. Asking for help in those moments is a strength! Uwill is here for you when you need some support.
About Erin Andrews, LMHC
An expert in cognitive behavioral therapy, Erin manages Uwill’s work providing clinical support to therapists, while also managing high-risk and trauma-related events. She received her Master’s degree in mental health counseling and wellness from New York University.