7 Ways To Improve Your Mental Health At Work And Beyond

You might have heard the phrase “mind over matter.” It means we can use our willpower to overcome physical problems in our lives—that is, if we have willpower to begin with.

There’s always that one colleague you could live without. Yep — you know just who it is. Maybe it’s someone who’s just insensitive, or perhaps you have a boss who’s just downright harsh. It’s unbearable!

Good news: Healthy self-esteem can change the game, no matter how annoying your work acquaintances can be. There are a lot of negative, abrasive people around you, so you don’t need any more pessimistic self-talk in your head. Plus, being confident will give you the smarts to know when to ignore a comment, or dismiss it altogether. Just because someone says it about you doesn’t make it true.

Lack of confidence and low self-esteem are some of the most common side effects of poor mental health. People who struggle with anxiety, stress management and depression usually also struggle with poor self-image and negative self-talk. They may also be susceptible to “catastrophic thinking” — a mental state where people blow small problems out of proportion.

You’re only human, and making mistakes is completely natural. Your ability to move on and forgive yourself will determine how much you can get done that day, and if you can even return the next. Confidence and healthy self-esteem give you that ability.

Since there is such a strong correlation between good self-esteem and success, we’ve made a list of techniques that can help improve your mental state and get you on the right path for success.

1. Personalize your workspace. Our workspace is where we spend the vast majority of our days. So what does yours look like? Create an inviting, inspiring environment for yourself. Invest in an air-purifying plant to beautify your desk, or an essential-oils diffuser to add an element of tranquility to your workspace. If the image of a loved one or pet gives you peace, print out a few pictures to help you remember the things that make you smile!

2. Use your vacation days! There truly is nothing like a vacation to hit the reset button. If you’ve been feeling down in the dumps, plan a trip away to recharge and come back reenergized.

The common belief that a bit of salt and sand can do wonders for your health is true. Take your daily dose of Vitamin D up a notch with one of the best beaches in the world. The ocean is both humbling and invigorating, and the sound of the waves just might help you get better sleep, too.

3. Keep a journal. You might have written more in elementary school than you do now, but today is the day to reconsider. Journaling is scientifically proven to aid in processing negative emotions, and provides an opportunity for positive self-talk.

Writing down what happened during your day and what’s weighing on your mind helps you prioritize your problems and cope with anxiety and depression. You can even track your symptoms and identify things that trigger your negative emotions.

4. Take a break from social media. Social media, while keeping us in contact with our family and friends, has contributed to America’s anxiety epidemic. Social networks contribute to loneliness and anxiety, and actually encourage obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

There’s no better way to reset your behavior than to take a break from your online feed. Even if it’s just for a week, try unplugging from social media and instead focusing on the present moment. You’ll find you’re more attentive and interested in your work tasks — without the extra distractions!

5. Develop a healthy sleep schedule. It’s common knowledge that good sleep means a good mood. And to get good sleep, it’s a good idea to develop a schedule for waking and rising. This will tell your body’s internal clock when it’s time for your body to relax, and it will become easier for you to get to sleep.

Practice a good bedtime routine, too, by allowing your mind and eyes to relax before you fall asleep. Try reading a book instead of doing something more engaging, like texting, before it’s time for bed.

6. Prep your lunches in advance. Having something good to eat throughout your workday will do loads for your mood! You never want to compromise having a healthy meal, and because mornings can be under a time crunch, it’s a good idea to prepare your meals beforehand. Check out these healthy meal plan ideas to get you inspired.

7. Get your sweat on. Regular exercise boosts your mood by releasing endorphins into your bloodstream. Not only are cardio and lifting weights chemically good for your body, but feeling good about your strength and appearance is a no-brainer for boosting your self-confidence. Even just walking helps keep your body’s cardiovascular system healthy!

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