What are mental hygiene hacks? Just a simple behavior that keeps your creative mind working at its very best. We list ten below.
1) Exercise 30 minutes per day to boost mood, reduce stress, sharpen your mind, and increase energy.
2) Get six to eight hours of sleep in every 24-hour period. Don’t stay in bed too long (10-plus hours dampens energy).
3) Eat healthy to boost your mood.
4) Limit substance use. Alcohol is a depressant. If you use recreational drugs or binge drink, ask yourself: Have you experienced negative consequences of your use? Are you using more drugs/alcohol or more frequently? Have you tried to stop and just keep using? Do you have cravings and withdrawal symptoms? Any positive answer is a sign you may need help.
5) Build a support system of live, face-to-face contact. Limit social media.
6) Challenge your negative thoughts. Negative bias can become a habit.
7) Self-soothe with a daily dose of sunlight. Take a walk; keep a routine.
8) Instead of listening to upsetting news, listen to music to soothe your mind. Create playlists of songs that make you happy.
9) Show compassion; practice generosity. Volunteer to help someone or care for a pet.
10) Know when and where to reach out for help. Create a core group of trusted supporters and develop a written safety plan to cope with stress.
The US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For Canada, visit the website: suicideprevention.ca/need-help/ for a list of crisis centers by province.