Healthy Habits for Mental Health in 2021

The new year is in full swing and brings the opportunity to create healthy habits in 2021, while also reflecting on what we have learned in 2020. When considering mental health, last year was difficult for many. This being said, it’s important to use what we have learned to help us further our efforts in creating healthy habits that will benefit our overall mental health this year.

By reflecting on 2020, we can take a closer look at the positive habits we formed, even if we did not realize it at the time (daily routines, meal prepping, exercising, etc.). Studies have shown that the best way to change behavior and form new habits is to bundle it with existing behavior, often called “stacking.” This year, we can “stack” and build on the good habits that we started in 2020.

Instead of dwelling on the uncertainty surrounding these times, remember to focus on making the most of the present moment. To help you do this, we’ve put together some tips to help maintain good mental health in 2021.

1. Develop a structured schedule

A disorganized lifestyle can hinder productivity and one’s mental health. By developing a daily and weekly schedule, it will become easier to achieve goals and develop healthy habits. Keep a planner to manage appointments, meetings, work projects, exercise routines, and more.

2. Eat healthier

In order for your brain to function properly and to stay healthy, it’s important to eat well. This year, make an effort to eat a balanced diet and get a variety of fruits and vegetables. This will help benefit your physical and mental health. Another great way to stick to a healthy diet is to meal prep. Choose a day of the week to grocery shop and prepare meals ahead of time; this way, when things get busy, you won’t neglect your healthy eating habits.

3. Get more sleep

It’s critical to get proper sleep each night, as sleep helps to regulate the chemicals in our brain that manage our moods and emotions. Additionally, lack of sleep can lead to increased anxiety and depression, as well as other negative consequences.

4. Exercise consistently

It’s important to stick to a consistent exercise routine, as exercise can increase your concentration and energy, better your sleep, boost self-esteem, and keep your brain and vital organs healthy. Staying active and exercising regularly has many positive health outcomes and can greatly benefit your overall mental health.

5. Practice mindfulness

The practice of mindfulness, or the ability to be fully present in the moment, can have many health benefits. Including the practice of mindfulness into your daily routine can decrease stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as increase levels of focus, happiness, and better sleep. There are various techniques that can be utilized, but all will greatly benefit your mental health. If you’re interested in learning more on the subject, you can check out our previous blog post here.

6. Minimize social media use

Excessive social media use can have detrimental consequences on mental health. It’s important to take some time each week to disconnect from social media and “unplug” from electronics. There has been an increase in anxiety and depression among social media users, as a result of being constantly connected. Learn more on the topic here.

7. Read more books

There are many health benefits from reading books regularly. Studies have found that just 30 minutes of reading lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of stress. Reading has also been found to increase a person’s ability to empathize, heightening the ability to understand the feelings and beliefs of others. Reading books can also help alleviate symptoms of depression, prepare you for a good night of sleep, and help to prevent age-related cognitive decline.

8. Explore a new hobby

This year, step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. Whether that means taking a virtual cooking lesson, fitness class, art class, or joining a book club, there are many possibilities to explore. Seize the day and make the most of your time at home!

9. Get outside

Even if it’s just for 10 minutes per day, getting outside for some fresh air can greatly help your mental health. By taking a quick break, you can overcome “mental fatigue” and refocus to get through the rest of the day. The fresh air and walk can help you stretch your limbs and reduce inflammation in the body, help you sleep better, improve your focus and memory, and get your daily dose of Vitamin D.

10. Keep a gratitude journal

By keeping a gratitude journal and writing at least three things you are thankful for each day, you will be able to gain a new perspective on what is truly important to you. Studies have found that keeping a gratitude journal can lower stress levels, improve sleep, and help you focus on what really matters.

Overall, we hope these tips help you create healthy habits and maintain good mental health in 2021. If you feel like you are struggling and in need of professional help, or if you need guidance from a life coach, our team at Feinberg Consulting is here to help. Contact us today at 877.538.5425.

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