If you're someone who struggles with mental health, you might be wondering what habits are affecting your mental state. After all, it can be easy to fall into certain patterns that end up doing more harm than good.
As entrepreneurs, we often pride ourselves on our ability to hustle and grind. We wear busyness as a badge of honor and think that taking care of our mental health is a sign of weakness. But the truth is, if we're not taking care of our mental health, everything else in our lives suffers as a result.
Here are three habits that might be affecting your mental health and what you can do to change them:
1. Not Practicing Self-Care
Whether you're busy with work or social commitments, it can be easy to forget about practicing self-care. However, doing so is a crucial part of maintaining your mental health. Try setting aside some time each day to do something that makes you feel good and relaxed, like taking a bath or meditating.
Exercising Too Much or Not Enough
Exercising is an excellent way to improve your mental health and well-being, but it's important to find the right balance when it comes to exercise. If you're exercising too often or too little, this can end up negatively affecting your mental health by leaving you feeling burned out or unmotivated. To stay in the best mental state possible, make sure to find an exercise routine that works for you and stick to it!
If you're lucky enough to live in a walkable neighborhood, get out there for at least 20 minutes. In the middle of the day, it could provide a great break for your mind if you feel bogged down by work. And even better, the daylight will help synchronize your circadian rhythms.
Staying Up Too Late
It's easy to get caught up in work or other activities when you're staying up past your bedtime. However, this can end up having a negative impact on your mental health. By getting enough sleep, you can avoid feeling restless or anxious the next day and improve your overall mood. Consider making a habit of going to bed at the same time every night and getting up early in the morning to make sure that your body and mind are well-rested.
Not Maintaining Healthy Eating Habits
What you eat can have a big impact on your mental health. Make sure to fuel your body with nutritious foods that will give you the energy you need to get through the day. Avoid sugary and processed foods, which can leave you feeling sluggish and low on energy.
I need to track what I eat so I know which foods affect me. If I eat anything made of white flour, for example, then I won't be able to do anything for the rest of the day. Coffee after 3 p.m. means that I will stay up late. Through trial and error, I have learned which foods work for me and which don't.
Drinking Too Much Alcohol
While alcohol can be a social lubricant and a way to unwind after a long day, drinking too much can negatively affect your mental health. If you find yourself relying on alcohol to get through the day or using it as a coping mechanism for stress, this might be an indication that you are struggling with addiction. Consider talking to your doctor or seeking professional help if you think that alcohol is negatively impacting your mental health.
I only drink a few times a year: on New Year's Eve, on my birthday, and on special occasions. I'm already dealing with health issues so that's as much as I can handle.
2. Avoiding Social Contact
It is important to find a balance when it comes to socializing. Too much or too little can both be bad for you. When you are feeling stressed or down, reach out to your friends and family. You can also join a club or group where you can meet new people.
Leading a Monotonous Life
Doing the same thing day in and day out can leave you feeling bored and unchallenged. To maintain a healthy mental state, it's important to mix things up and try new things on a regular basis. Consider taking up a new hobby, traveling to a new place, or signing up for an online course that will introduce you to something new and exciting.
Routines are just a suggestion. If your schedule is too rigid, you may find yourself feeling stressed or anxious. On the other hand, if you don't have enough structure in your life, you may feel aimless and lost. Find a happy medium that works for you and stick to it!
When you're feeling down, it can be tempting to isolate yourself from others and curl up in bed with some Netflix. However, this is actually one of the worst things you can do for your mental health. When you're feeling lonely or anxious, reach out to friends or family members and make plans to get together. You could also join a club or group where you can meet new people and socialize on a regular basis.
Also if you're someone who'd rather ride solo, that's okay too. Just make sure to find activities that you enjoy and make time for them in your schedule.
Letting Your Perfectionism Get Your Way
If you're a perfectionist, you might find that your high standards are preventing you from enjoying life. Instead of striving for perfection, try to focus on progress and doing your best. Remember that no one is perfect and that everyone makes mistakes.
It's important to set realistic goals for yourself and not strive for perfection. When you're feeling stressed or down, take a step back and reassess your goals. Make sure that they are achievable and realistic. If not, adjust them accordingly.
You Spend Too Much Time Doomscrolling on Social Media
Reading social media posts can be bad for your health, especially your mental health. People often share negative things more than positive things. I'm looking at you Twitter. If you find that social media is causing you anxiety or depression, try taking a break from it. You can also try muting keywords or hashtags that trigger negative emotions.
I don't check my phone right when I wake up. I check email twice a day and got rid of unnecessary notifications from my devices. I keep my social media time to a minimum. Some of my tweets are automated, and if I don't have anything positive to say or if it starts to affect me, I stop.
Filtering out the negative helps. You need to be careful about what you put into your body and mind.
3. You Haven't Addressed Your Fluctuating Emotions
Your emotions are always changing, and that's okay! However, if you find that your emotions are impacting your everyday life, it might be time to seek professional help. A therapist can help you understand and manage your emotions in a healthy way.
You Have a Negative Attitude
Having a negative mindset can prevent you from enjoying life and achieving your goals. If you find yourself constantly thinking negative thoughts, try to reframe your thinking. Instead of focusing on the bad, try to look for the good in every situation. When you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, take a moment to think about something positive.
I'm not saying you need to pretend to be feeling well if you're not. I'm talking about the attitude of feeling sorry for yourself that can get out of control.
I'm a firm believer that our thoughts create our reality. So, if we're constantly thinking negative thoughts, guess what kind of life we're going to end up living? A negative one. We need to be careful about the thoughts we think and the words we speak into existence.
You Feel Guilty Easily
Feeling guilty often is not a good thing. Most of the time, guilt is not based on real reasons. If you feel guilty a lot, it might mean that you don't feel loved or taken care of. This can have a bad effect on your mental health.
Guilt is often irrational and can be based on false assumptions. If you find yourself feeling guilty all the time, try to examine the reasons why. Are they valid? If not, let go of the guilt and move on.
You're Stressed All the Time
Stress is a normal part of life. However, if you find that you're constantly stressed, it might be time to take a step back and reassess your situation. Are you taking on too much? Do you need to simplify your life?
There are many ways to reduce stress. You can try relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation. You can also try to find healthy coping mechanisms such as exercise or journaling.
Even if you don't like to write, or feel you're not a writer, start by journaling about your day. What made you happy? What stressed you out? Why?
Journaling can also help you process your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way.
By being aware of these habits that might be affecting your mental health, you can take steps to fix them and improve your well-being. If you're struggling to make changes on your own, consider talking to your doctor or a mental health professional who can help you develop a plan to improve your mental health. There is no shame in getting help. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Take care of yourself!
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Schedule a weekly video or phone session from the comfort of your own home. You can even message your therapist any time between sessions if you need extra support.
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