Guest post by Sharon Wagner

Improving your mental health can be a daunting task, especially if you’re living with anxiety, depression, or another mood disorder. Reducing stress and finding time for self-care isn’t always easy, but fortunately, there are some unique ways you can boost your mental health. By choosing the methods that work best for you, it’s possible to create a customized plan for taking control of your mental wellness so you can immediately reap the benefits. Not sure where to start? Here are a few unique ways you can start focusing on your mental wellness.

 1) Start Your Own Nonprofit and Help Others

It can be extremely beneficial to find ways to help others who are navigating similar circumstances to the ones you’ve been in. With your firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to go through mental health issues, you’re more qualified than anyone to help your community find ways to feel better. By starting a nonprofit organization, you’ll be lending credibility to the project, which will help you more easily obtain funding for your needs. Keep in mind that there are some requirements for nonprofits; you’ll need to create bylaws that detail how you’ll operate, how the corporation will be governed, how it will handle conflicts of interest, and how often it will hold board meetings.

2) Volunteer Your Time

If you’re not quite ready to start your own nonprofit but still want to help others, consider volunteering your time and energy within your community. You might:

● assist with creating a local community garden project
● sign up to help with clothing and food drives at a local organization
● clean up a local park
● become a substitute teacher

Volunteering your time to help others actually has benefits for you as well as them, helping to boost your self-esteem and giving you a sense of purpose and community. This is especially helpful for seniors or those who live alone because it combats isolation at the same time.

3) Unplug from Technology

For many who are living with mental health concerns, the isolation that brings can be devastating, so they turn to social media and other digital tools to help them feel more connected. While this can be beneficial in some ways, it’s important to learn to realize when technology is getting to be too much. If you’re spending a lot of time scrolling through your news feed, consider putting your phone away and adopting a pet instead. Studies have shown that spending time with animals can help with both mental and physical health issues, reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. Do some research on how to care for different animals before choosing one.

4) Change Your Eating and Drinking Habits

While unplugging from technology once in a while can have a major impact on your mood, it’s important not to forget the effect that little things can have on your mental well-being, as well. We typically think of our diet as something that affects our physical health, but the things you eat and drink can play a role in other areas, too. Not drinking enough water, drinking too much caffeine, partaking in too much alcohol, and not getting enough nutrients from your meals can all wreak havoc on your brain health. By making small changes such as these, you can affect your mental well-being in a good way:

drinking more water every day
● eating brain-healthy foods like fatty fish, broccoli, and nuts
● reducing negative habits, such as drinking too much alcohol or smoking

Focusing on your mental health can be difficult when you have so much going on in your life, but it’s important to make sure you’re in control. Consider starting a nonprofit, making changes to your lifestyle, or reducing the amount of technology in your life in order to see a major shift in your wellness.

Sharon Wagner runs the website with tips, tricks, and advice to stay active and engaged as you age. She is releasing a book titled “The Ultimate Guide to Senior-Friendly Workouts, Fitness Gear, Healthy Recipes, and More“.

Image Credit: Riccardo from Pexels