smiling group of friends

5 Daily Habits to Improve Mental Health

happy and sad faces
September 12, 2023

A lot of factors affect your mental health. While some of these factors are out of your control such as genetics and life experience, you do have influence over other aspects of your mental health. Because your mental health matters and can impact everything about your life, it’s important to remember that you have the ability to influence it. There are a number of things you can do in your daily life to positively influence your mental health. A good place to start is with these five daily habits to improve mental health.

1. Get Plenty of Sleep

It’s no secret that sleep is important for physical health. But, did you know it’s also essential for mental health? In 2021, a study showed that adults who got an average of six hours of sleep or less each night were more likely to experience mental distress than those who regularly slept for more than six hours per night. The duration of sleep isn’t the only factor. You need quality sleep, too, because disrupted sleep can worsen mental health symptoms. Try implementing a few of these sleep habits to improve mental health:

  • Avoid caffeine after 3pm
  • Wake up and go to sleep at the same times each day
  • Declutter your bedroom and turn it into a relaxing, quiet space
  • Try to keep your bedroom temperature around 65 degrees

2. Reduce Time Spent on Social Media

woman putting phone down

Spending too much time on social media can lead to feelings of comparison, lower self worth, anxiety, and depression. It’s easy to compare your life to the great lives you see on social media, even though you’re not seeing the whole picture. These comparisons can cause you to become less satisfied with your own life. To combat this, it’s important to limit the amount of time you spend scrolling through social media. Here are a few social media habits to improve mental health:

  • Turn off social media notifications
  • Put your phone in a drawer or keep it outside your bedroom at night
  • Make a list of activities that you can do in place of scrolling through social media

3. Move Your Body

Exercise has been proven to provide a variety of mental health benefits, such as stress relief, improved mood, higher quality sleep, and management of depression and anxiety symptoms. Exercising doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or lifting weights–it can look different for everyone. If you enjoy the gym, make a point to go regularly. If you’d rather get your body moving through another type of activity, then do that. Exercise should be enjoyable, so choose physical activities that you like and that work best for you personally. Enjoyable movement can include a variety of activities, such as walking, a yoga class, seated exercises, dancing, gardening, hikes, or hourly stretch breaks. Moving your body doesn’t need to be a vigorous workout; rather, it should be something you enjoy so it can become a regular habit to improve mental health.

4. Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods

selection of healthy foods

It may come as a surprise to find out that the foods you eat can affect your mental health. To help improve your mental health, you should include nutrient-rich foods in your diet. Some foods that contain mood-boosting nutrients include berries, beans, bananas, fatty fish, and whole grains. It’s also important to make sure you’re eating enough food daily so your body has sufficient fuel to get through the day. Even if all your meals aren’t nutrient-dense, eating less-nutritious food is better than eating nothing. In addition, make sure you are drinking plenty of water every day. Dehydration denies your body and your brain the nutrients they need to operate properly. Keep in mind that things like alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugars may worsen anxiety symptoms, so limiting these foods may help reduce some of these symptoms.

5. Spend Some Time in the Sun

Not only is the sun an excellent source of vitamin D, but studies have also shown that sunshine can improve both mood and attitude. You don’t need to spend a lot of time in the sun to reap these benefits. Just spending five minutes outdoors in the sunshine can help. If you spend most of your time indoors, try some of these habits to improve mental health with sunshine:

  • Sit or stand in your backyard for a few minutes
  • Take a short walk
  • Exercise outside
  • Open the window next to your desk
  • Eat lunch outside
  • Suggest taking a work meeting outdoors
  • Open all the blinds at home

Shop Mental Health Supplements

If you’re struggling with mental health symptoms, try out some of these daily habits to improve mental health. You may also benefit from taking nutritional supplements to give your brain and body what they need to function well. Browse our health products to find products to give your mental health an extra boost. If you have any questions about improving your mental health symptoms or want to know which products are right for you, please schedule an appointment to consult with one of our expert pharmacists. We look forward to helping you achieve your best health possible!