It is advertised in magazines, on television, and social media that there is a multitude of ways to improve your physical health. Whether it involves a work out and diet plan or a magical caffeine supplement to get you through your 12 hour day, advertisements mainly focus on stamina as well as making yourself feel better, physically. However, there's a lot more to improving your overall persona than just the physical aspects of it.
When it comes to mental and physical health, they are equally important. Although it's easier to put off your mental health to focus on achieving goals, it's more important to find balance in your life. By having this balance, your mental health can get the attention it needs while still allowing you to work on becoming the person you want to be.
Focusing on mental health is more than just vegging out on the couch after a long day at work and binge watching Seinfeld. It involves energy and getting yourself to do things you want to do. When you find yourself struggling with balancing my physical and mental health, it helps to make a list of new hobbies you'd like to try to reference them. My list is as follows:
- Learn/practice playing a new instrument
- Go to the library and check out some books
- Look into collecting something
- Try a new recipe
- Work on a puzzle/drawing
Those are just examples of things that can easily fit into a day of running around completing errand and other demands. The most important thing to realize is that balancing mental and physical health doesn't need to be done in extremes. If anything, that is considered counterproductive. Although it sounds dreamy to work all week and then lay in bed for the entire day on your day off, it would be much better to spend time doing something that makes you happy. Sometimes laying in bed might be the answer, but not for 15 hours. If anything, that makes the next day at work seem daunting and overwhelming.
Other things that could help bring balance to a busy life involve simple changes that could make a routine much easier to get in the groove with.
Here are some more examples:
- Wake up 30 minutes earlier to make yourself a nice breakfast
- Stretch and take deep breaths before you even get out of bed, wake up slowly
- Shut your phone off after dinner to have the evening to focus on yourself
- Lay in bed listening to music for a couple of songs without doing anything else
- Take a short walk after dinner-- this is actually recommended by doctors
- Start a book to read at night instead of watching television
- Use your mornings to start planting a garden
- Make a lot of healthy food so meals are one less thing to think about
- Take up knitting to make a scarf while your favorite TV show is on
The point of this article is this-- don't let your mental health be the last thing you take care of. Canceling plans to curl up in bed with your pet and read is not a crime. It's definitely helpful to get your brain working and doing things that make you feel happy and accomplished, but there are definitely times where watching all of the Marvel movies in one sitting sounds too appealing to pass up. The whole fact of the matter is to make sure you're taking care of yourself and giving your brain a hug once in a while. It needs love too!
For more information on the mind/body connection, go here!