In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are highlighting tips you should follow for a healthier, happier you.
Relax, Relate, Release! 10 Ways To Improve Your Mental Health was originally published on blackamericaweb.com
1. Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health
When we talk about “being healthy” it is typically just about physical health. But rarely do we think of our mental health when we’re having that conversation—and Black women, we have to stop doing that. Studies show that we have higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression than most other people. For Mental Health Awareness Month, here are some tried and tested ways to help get your mind and spirit right.
2. Stop Putting Yourself Down
Given the anti-Black women sentiment circling out there, it’s not too hard to internalize the negativity. But remember: Every time you tell yourself that you’re not good enough, skinny enough, talented enough or pretty enough, you’re slowly killing your spirit. Stop being your own worst enemy and start loving you.
Most important: Never lose sight that you truly are magic!
3. Remove Toxic People From Your World
Whether it’s online or in person, toxic people bring nothing to your life except self-doubt, anger, anxiety and sadness—all the opposite of healthy and happy. So go ahead and live your best life by cutting miserable folks out of your life.
Relationships are complicated, especially if the toxic people are family members. Instead of going cold turkey, start slowly and reduce the time you spend around their nonsense
4. Hit The Gym
Getting your sweat on does more than weight loss and strengthening your heart—it’s also good for your mind. Because working out releases endorphins (feel good hormones) they also help improve your mood and lower stress levels. Even better: Studies suggest that exercise can also sharpen your memory, build your confidence and help you catch more ZZZs at night.
Go hit up that treadmill or dance class STAT!
5. Learn To Say “No”
Black women have been socialized to give everything of ourselves to others—work, kids, and partners—and very little to ourselves. While helping others can bring you joy, it can also run you physically and emotionally ragged. So for the sake of self-preservation, start saying “no” to folks more often and “yes” to yourself.
6. Take A Break From Social Media
Facebook and Twitter can be fun especially when Black Twitter is involved. But whether it’s fighting abusive trolls to Trump news overload, social media can seriously impact your mental health. Studies also suggest that constantly comparing yourself to others on the Gram can negatively affect your self-esteem. So go ahead and take a break from the computer or smartphone and live in the moment.
7. Give Back To Others
One way to feel better is to put things into perspective—and volunteering can help. Studies have shown that giving back to others can help you feel more socially connected and ward off loneliness and depression. It can also relieve stress and help reduce high blood pressure.
Take the time to sign up to feed the homeless, read to the elderly or whatever else can make a difference in your community.
8. Get Your Om On!
The proof is in the pudding: Meditation can help you stay centered and focused, invoke heightened self-awareness, help your heart health, increase your happiness and encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle. And no, it doesn’t conflict with your religion or relationship with God.
Even better: It’s free! All you need is a space to sit where you can breathe deeply and clear your mind.