Learning how to care for your mental health is important. Good mental health begins by having the right resources and tools to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and find the help you need.
This annual mental health to-do list will help you stay on track with your health and well-being:
- Schedule a check-up with your psychologist or psychiatrist
- Renew your prescriptions
- Set up recurring monthly appointments with your therapist
- Aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night
- Add 2-3 hours of exercise each week to your calendar
- Create a meal plan that includes healthy and nutritious meals
- Make a list of ways you enjoy practicing self-care
- End each night or begin each day with simple self-care like taking a warm bath, stretching, or writing in a journal
- Find a day each month to practice self-care like taking a spa-day or going on a hike in nature
- Keep a daily gratitude journal
Schedule an annual check-up
Along with your annual check-up with your general practitioner, schedule an annual check-up with your psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor. During your appointment, you can renew your prescriptions and review your symptoms to make sure your current treatment plan is still working for you.
Set up recurring appointments
Be sure to set up a recurring monthly appointment with your therapist. Your therapist may suggest more frequent appointments if you have a mental health condition like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, substance use disorder, or if you’ve been recently hospitalized under the Baker Act.
By scheduling recurring appointments, you’ll have one less thing on your to-do list each month.
Get enough sleep
Set a goal to get enough restful sleep each night. Poor quality sleep can impair thinking and emotional regulation, as well as increase your risk for psychotic episodes, paranoia, anxiety, and depression.
Did you know that exercise can improve your mental health? That’s because exercise releases endorphins, a neurotransmitter that produces euphoric feelings. Regular exercise can help you manage stress and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, phobias, and schizophrenia. Regardless of age, exercise is an important part of maintaining your mental and physical health.
Prepare healthy meals
The foods you eat fuel your mind and body. Food gives your body energy and provides you with the necessary nutrients to keep you healthy. Consuming the healthy and nutritious foods your mind and body needs is crucial to maintaining good physical and mental health.
What you eat makes a difference. According to Harvard Health Publishing, eating a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, unprocessed grains, fish, seafood, lean meats, and a limited amount of dairy showed a 25% decrease in depression.
Whether you spend time in nature, indulge in a spa day, or read your favorite book, make sure you are taking time to care for yourself and do the things you enjoy. Self-care improves your mental health by recharging your brain, promoting relaxation, and giving your mind an opportunity to rest. Making time for self-care will have a positive impact on your mental health.
Keep a gratitude journal
Practicing daily gratitude can improve your mental health. Research shows that gratitude makes you happier and can improve your self-esteem. In fact, fifteen minutes of writing in a gratitude journal before bed results in more restful sleep.
Keep these mental health tips in mind when you are looking for ways to improve your mental health. Remember, everyone’s mental health journey is different. The tools and resources above are a good launching point and can support your current treatment.
If you need help or guidance when it comes to improving your mental health, our counselors are here to help. Schedule an appointment online. We can’t wait to hear from you.