Mental Health Matters: How to Boost Your Mood and Well-Being with a Healthy Lifestyle

by Darla McKamey

As a women's health nurse practitioner for over 20 years, I have seen firsthand how our mental health affects our overall well-being.

With everything that's been happening in the world in recent times, it's important to focus on our mental and emotional well-being more than ever.

We know that life can be challenging sometimes, and we may face situations that affect our mental health negatively. Stress, trauma, loss, relationship problems, financial difficulties, or physical illness can all take a toll on our mood and well-being. We may feel anxious, depressed, angry, or hopeless. We may lose interest in things we used to enjoy or have trouble sleeping, eating, or concentrating. We may isolate ourselves from others or engage in unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, drinking, or overeating.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or feelings, please know that you are not alone and that there is help available. You don't have to suffer in silence or feel ashamed of your mental health condition. You deserve compassion and support from yourself and others. You can reach out to a trusted health care professional, friend, family member, partner, or therapist and share your feelings and concerns. You can also call a helpline or join a support group online or offline where you can connect with people who understand what you are going through.

Connect with an Arizona Crisis Counselor here call 211.

National Suicide Prevention: simply dial 988 

In addition to seeking professional help if needed, there are also some things you can do on your own to improve your mental health and well-being.

This is where healthy lifestyle practices such as good nutrition, exercise, sunshine, having fun, journaling, and practicing appreciation for life come into play. At Ladybits143, we're here to guide you through these practices and more, so let's dive in.

When you're feeling down, it can be easy to reach for unhealthy snacks or skip your workout. However, the true path to improved mental health comes from taking care of your physical health and the food you put into your body. Fueling yourself with complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of lean protein can give you the energy and brainpower you need to stay focused and positive throughout the day. So, make sure to incorporate these foods into your diet and reduce the consumption of processed and sugary foods.

In addition, don't underestimate the power of exercise. When you move your body, whether it's through strength training, cardio, or yoga, you release endorphins that can naturally elevate your mood. The key is to find a workout that you enjoy and make it a regular part of your routine.

Aside from nutrition and exercise, getting some sunshine and fresh air is another important practice for improved mental health. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy brain function and can be found in sunlight. Take a walk outside, sit by a window, or find other ways to soak up some rays.

Having fun and practicing appreciation for life are also important components of improved mental health. Whether it's setting aside time for hobbies or simply taking a few minutes each day to reflect on what you're grateful for, these practices can help you maintain a positive mindset and a joyful outlook.

Another great habit to cultivate is journaling. Putting your thoughts and feelings on paper can help you process your emotions and gain clarity on what's bothering you. This can also be a useful tool for setting goals and tracking your progress.

Finally, maintaining healthy relationship connections is key for improved mental health. Surround yourself with people who support and uplift you, and make time for socializing and connecting with loved ones. At Ladybits143, we also invite you to our community, where you can connect with like-minded women and find support and encouragement on your mental health journey.

Improving your mental health doesn't have to be complicated or overwhelming. By incorporating healthy lifestyle practices such as good nutrition, exercise, sunshine, having fun, journaling, practicing appreciation for life, and maintaining healthy relationship connections, you can take significant steps towards feeling better mentally and emotionally. At Ladybits143, we're here to support you in this journey and invite you to join our community of women who are committed to living their best lives. Remember, no matter where you are on your mental health journey, you are beautiful, powerful, and worthy of love.

Love yourself, love your bits!

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