Guest Author: Steve Johnson
Economic challenges, safety concerns, and healthcare issues are only a few of the reasons why reports show that anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health struggles, according to Mental Health First Aid USA. So try some of these self-care strategies to alleviate stress and depression, courtesy of Advanced Holistic Healing Arts.
Work on Your Budget
If financial issues are a primary trigger for your anxiety, revisit your budget to ensure it meets your current needs. With the rising cost of everyday necessities, you may need to trim some extras and look for economical ways to save. For instance, see if the price of a wholesale club membership saves you money by bulk purchases of household essentials. When you do eat out, look for deals. Save on gas by planning your shopping route and combining errands. Perhaps most importantly, if you have any loans, you could also look into refinancing in order to get better terms and perhaps lower your interest rate or even consolidate your debt.
Instead of buying snacks full of sugar and fat, look for healthy options like a smoothie, fruits, or nuts. Nutritious refreshments fill you faster and give you a lasting energy boost. An easy way to curb hunger is to drink more water. Go for a glass of water and replace the soda with fruit-infused water to enjoy some delicious flavor.
Schedule Some Me Time
If you care for a family, you probably struggle to find a moment's peace for yourself. Discuss the importance of privacy and time for self-reflection for everyone in the family and create activities that the children (and spouse) can do away from the home so you can focus on yourself. Take a day trip if you need to leave home to get some calm and put the phone in airplane mode to eliminate distractions. Practice rejecting toxic people and situations so that you're not drained.
Enhance Your Looks
A new outfit or hairstyle can work wonders for your self-esteem. Bookmark your favorite fashion sites to find trendy styles that complement your physique. Stylish clothes don't have to be uncomfortable, so pay attention to influencers with your body type who teach you how to dress for fit and function. Even when you're at home minding the children, find comfy clothes that make you feel confident. The right leggings and a wire-free bra offer support without constricting you. Indulge yourself with a satin robe to feel luxurious while lounging.
Get Your Beauty Rest – And Start Your Day With Healthy Habits
Sleep is essential for remaining alert and clearing out negative thoughts. Healthy Directions recommends improving your sleep by avoiding caffeine in the afternoon or excessive alcohol late at night. Head to bed at the same time each evening and awake at the same time each morning. Help yourself get in the mood for sleep by keeping the bedroom cool and uncluttered and try some soothing white noise to unwind.
After a good night's sleep, you’re much more likely to wake up refreshed and ready to tackle your day. You can set yourself up for a productive and joyful day by incorporating a few habits first thing in the morning, including drinking a full glass of water, doing some stretch exercises, and getting in a mood-boosting breakfast. You’ll be up and running with a smile on your face!
Keep Your Your Mind (and Your Home) Clutter-Free
When most people think of decluttering, they think of physical clutter like old clothes or piles of mail. However, decluttering can also refer to the act of clearing out mental clutter. Just like a cluttered room can make it difficult to find what you need, a cluttered mind can make it difficult to focus and be productive. mental clutter can include negative self-talk, rumination on past events, and worries about the future. Letting go of this mental clutter can help to improve your mood and increase your sense of well-being.
In addition, decluttering your home can also help to reduce stress levels and improve your sleep quality. Stick to a manageable cleaning routine so you can stay on top of clutter before it accumulates. So, if you're feeling overwhelmed, try taking some time to declutter your mind and your space. You might be surprised at how much better you feel.
Adjust Your Work Schedule
Identify when you're most productive and optimize your day while planning breaks to refresh. Timeboxing is a fantastic way to schedule assignments so you don't become overwhelmed. Even if you work from home, understand when you need to disconnect and leave tasks for the following day.
You owe it to yourself to feel your best and keep your mental health strong. With these suggestions – including sticking to a budget, eating clean, scheduling “me time,” and getting your day off on the right foot – you can start living better and healthier and keep your mind and spirit rejuvenated.
About the Author: Steve Johnson
As co-creator of PublicHealthLibrary, Steve enjoys helping people find the health and medical information they need most. Their goal is to make Public Health Library one of the go-to sources for health and medical information on the web. More Information about Steve and other aricles can be found at: https://publichealthlibrary.org
Most of us never give a thought to our intestines until they send a loud and clear message that something is not right. Yet, have you ever wondered why certain medications, like some antidepressants and antibiotics, can lead to nausea and constipation or diarrhea? Or why long-term stress can lead to constipation, diarrhea and ulcers? Or even, why certain conditions, such as autism, are closely associated with intestinal problems? The best answer is that each of us has two distinct areas tht function as a brain. There is the most familiar area of neurons encased on our skull and there is a lesser-known area of similar neurons located in the intestine--labeled by some scientists as "the second brain."
While the second brain (technically known as the "enteric nervous system") contains more neurons that the spinal cord --over half of our nerve cells are located in our gastrointestinal system--it is not the seat of conscious thoughts or decision-making. Its influence is far-reaching nonetheless. The second brain has been found to determine our mental state and emotions and play a key role in diseases throughout the body.
The enteric nervous system not only produces about 95 percent of the serotonin found in the body but also more than 30 neurotransmitters that are also found in the brain. Not surprising, then, that medications and diseases that affect serotonin levels would have a profound effect, not just on the brain, but also on the gut. And, diseases that primarily affect the bowel can have a profound effect on mental state, emotions, and mood.
Some examples of the connection between the two brains include:
Recent studies have shown that the second brain not only has the ability to learn and remember, but also has the ability to think for itself. The question this creates is: can we teach our second brain to be healthy and function well? The question needs more study, but preliminary thought is a resounding YES!
We have long neglected our gastrointestinal health and have forgotten what many cultures have long known--the state of our gut has a profound influence on our overall health. It would seem that the gut is more responsible than we ever imagined for our mental well-being, our health, and how we feel. It's time to pay attention to this unknown but critical brain.