Mindfulness for yourself: Improving mental health step by step

In times of crisis, it is especially important to take care of your mental health.

Mindfulness for yourself: Improving mental health step by step

In times of crisis, it is especially important to take care of your mental health. How can you strengthen your inner well-being? Mental health can be improved in the long term with these tips.

Year after year of crises not only shakes entire societies, but also leaves traces in personal everyday life - mental health suffers. But long before Covid-19, the Ukraine war and the devastating natural disasters of recent years, buzzwords such as burnout and mindfulness dominated the headlines of specialist journals in the health sector.

The fact that mental health is influenced by personal and external living conditions is now scientifically undisputed and is slowly being heard in the world of work. Many people are aware of this on an intellectual level. However, actually focusing on promoting your own mental health is often difficult. Professional deadlines, family, childcare and social obligations often make us forget our individual, inner well-being. These tips help to improve mental health step by step in the long term.

Burnout: Recognizing physical signs

Although burnout is not an official medical diagnosis, the symptoms associated with it should be taken seriously. The spectrum of physical signs of burnout ranges from insomnia to headaches and stomachaches to loss of appetite and numerous other complaints. Relaxing herbal teas and meditation exercises, while a good start to promote mental health, cannot address the root cause of the problem. At the first sign of burnout, psychological help should be sought immediately.

accept problems and conflicts

Repressing problems and conflicts in the social and professional environment usually aggravates the situation and can become a real burden. If necessary, you can also contact counseling centers. This is not a sign of weakness but of emotional strength and honesty.

Movement is fun and helps to stay mentally healthy

The saying "exercise is fun" may sound banal to many people because they usually associate it with sweaty and exhausting workouts. However, exercise for the benefit of mental health does not always have to be accompanied by great physical exertion. Rather, it is about giving body and mind the opportunity to release happiness hormones. Health psychologist and Stanford University lecturer Kelly McGonigal put together a "Joy Workout" that includes six movements designed to inspire happiness regardless of age or ability.

Healthy nutrition for inner well-being

A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet have a positive effect on mental health. For example, salty foods and chocolate can promote depression in women, according to a 2019 Canadian study. The same applies to diets that contain very little fruit and vegetables. Vitamins from vegetables, fruit and whole grain products as well as omega-3 fatty acids should therefore not be missing from the individual menu for inner well-being.

Pay attention to your own needs

Showing mindfulness towards yourself may sound selfish to some people. But in order to remain mentally healthy in the long term, it is important to know one's own needs and to communicate with others when living together - but this does not rule out consideration for fellow human beings in private and professional life.

(This article was first published on Saturday, March 04, 2023.)