Updated: Oct 11
While many associate October with Halloween and autumn festivities, this time of year can be a bit of a struggle for some. With the drastic changing in temperatures that happen almost instantly, to the decrease in sunlight that we get each day, our bodies can struggle to keep up with all the external changes going on. This usually results in some form of depression or mental struggle. Even though it can be tricky, caring for your mental health is especially important this time of year because our bodies are in extra need of attention. We have three easy steps you can take to ensure you start the holiday season off on the right foot.
Engage In Your Social Network
Isolating yourself may seem like the most natural and easy thing to do, especially when you’re feeling under the weather. While this can seem like the easy route to take, disconnecting yourself can actually progress your depression symptoms. Even if it’s just once a week, talking to someone can help.
Lucky enough, there is no shortage of activities you can do this time of year, especially with some friends. The key here is that you want to engage yourself in high-quality social settings that make you feel the most fulfilled. Whether the company of friends or family suits you better, it’s important to get out and engage in something social. Friendships are important to your mental health because they boost your self-esteem, shield your mental health and lastly, make you happier.
If you’re looking for additional help, consider talking to a professional at a mental health center. Mental health professionals can prescribe different types of therapy you can take part in that can assist you in whatever specific mental health issues you are dealing with. Not only this but, you have peace of mind knowing that whoever you end up working with is trained particularly for your needs.
Prioritize Your Sleep
Sleeping is the way that we fill up our tanks to take on everyday life. Without sleep, you can only go so far in your day before you crash. Many people disregard the prioritization of sleep even though it affects everything you do. The amount of rest is responsible for a myriad of things, from the way you function to the thoughts that run through your head in a day. While there are five stages of the sleep cycle, your REM sleep helps you with your mental health the most. This is because REM aids the emotional information that the brain processes while we sleep. The absence of this can result in a deficiency in processing positive thoughts as well. That being said, making a bedtime for yourself to make certain that you are replenishing yourself every night can be half the battle in overcoming your mental health struggles.
If you’re sleeping an adequate amount of hours each night but are still not feeling rested, there are some things that you can do before bed to help aid you in getting the quality sleep you deserve. For starters, it’s important that you are resting your eyes before you go to sleep at night. If you wear corrective lenses during the day, we advise you do some research on the different types of contact lenses. Because your eyes need to get oxygen, taking your corrective lenses out way before your bedtime ensures your eyes are also ready to rest. In addition, straying away from screens can also help. Replace watching TV at night with reading a book or listening to some of your favorite relaxing music. While there are many ways we can benefit from getting a good night's sleep, topping up your tank is so crucial to better health.
Stick to a Diet That Supports Your Mental Health
In addition to sleep, what food you fuel your body with also has a direct relation with your mental health. The operating center of your body, also known as your brain, needs to consistently build new cells. In order to do this, your body needs quality carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It may be harder than usual to accomplish this, especially during this time of year with all of the tasty fall treats. As with any major adjustments, start out in moderation. An easy way to ensure that you are getting nutritious meals throughout your day is to meal prep at the beginning of your week. This can only take a few hours before your busy week starts and in the end, you’ll have enough meals to get you through the week. While making your meals, it’s important to include the following foods to boost your mental health:
● Healthy Fats: Avocado, olive oil, avocado oil, nuts high in omega-3 fatty acids
● Complex Carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes, oats, whole wheat bread, brown rice
● High-Quality Protein: Eggs, hormone-free chicken breast, grass-fed beef
Aside from talking to someone, this is a great way to feel an immediate response in the way you're feeling. Fueling your body with quality fuel sources is not only good for your mental health but your overall wellness as well. Whether you dive in head first or take some small first steps, it’s important to consider your nutrition when battling any sort of mental health issue.
Remember that battling with mental health issues is completely normal. When the seasons start to change and the temperatures start to drop, it’s common to struggle with them a little more. Whether you want to incorporate all three of these tips into your life or just one, we hope that you start your journey down the healing path sooner rather than later.