Staying mentally healthy is just as important as our physical health. Even if you don’t have any specific concerns, everyone can take steps to care for and maintain their emotional health. Dr. Ileana Berman is a cognitive science researcher with over thirty years of experience in the field. Her research largely focuses on drawing connections between obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. Passionate about self-care, she shares tips for caring for yourself mentally:
- Stay active. Physical and emotional health are definitely linked together. Even light exercise can boost your mood, and this can be as simple as going on a walk in nature. Being outside will also give you some much-needed Vitamin D.
- Focus on your diet. This isn’t to say that you should go on a fad diet, but do your best to get enough fruit and vegetables, and drink enough fluids. New research shows that having a healthy gut biome plays a huge role in our emotional health.
- Stay in touch with loved ones. It can be tempting to distance yourself from others when you aren’t feeling like your normal self. Socialization is one of our needs as people, so do your best to talk to friends and family when you can. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings. A problem shared is a problem halved, after all. If you are really struggling, reach out to a mental health professional.
- Stay away from substances when you’re feeling down. It can be tempting to find an escape from your feelings, but this will only make things worse in the long run.