5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I’d like to share with you what has helped me over the last couple of years in order to achieve a better mental well being. In case you didn’t know, 56 percent of U.S. adults with a mental health condition do not receive treatment. Here are some of my tips that may help in the meantime:

Lady Gaga and Prince William connecting via FaceTime to talk about removing stigma from discussing mental health issues openly.

1|Diet and Exercise have helped me significantly cut back on alcohol consumption and unhealthy foods altogether. I’d make an exception on special occasions here and there. Why now? It honestly throws off my body’s vibrations, but to each their own. The food you consume may also affect your mood or impulses, so think twice when you’re having an emotional craving. Those can very much lead to a chain of unhealthy eating habits which will make your regular exercise routine inefficient. Some gym memberships are pricy, but if you find it to be an investment in yourself, don’t feel guilty to shell out the extra amount to experience the amenities of full service locker rooms with saunas and steam rooms. They’re totally worth it and your hefty bar tabs have no ROI! Also know that you can just as well go outdoors for a free workout.

2|Be open about how you’re feeling through talk therapy or practicing mindfulness. As an entrepreneur in the mental health space, I have a new found perspective that psychotherapy is kind of like getting braces, but for your mind. Some may say that this is another costly expense, but is ultimately an investment in learning more about yourself. Mindfulness practices don’t carry the same kind of stigma that seeking professional help via psychotherapy and can be a great opportunity to get in touch with those in the community. Being vocal about your emotional experiences may allow others to relate to you on their journeys as well.

3|Keep a consistent sleep pattern to optimize your energy levels throughout the day. This one has been popularly discussed widely amongst more notable figures such as Arianna Huffington. If you’re feeling groggy in the morning, a quick fix that I’ve discovered recently is a cold shower. Though, cold showers tend to do the trick for me, I’ve developed a habit to delete certain social media apps such as Snapchat and Facebook (still use Messenger) from my phone which I found myself spending time on hours before falling asleep. I’m not saying you should delete them too, but enjoy responsibly.

4|Help others. If you’re a firm believer in karma, you have a better understanding of how this universe works and it’s important to take notice by keeping a solid balance of giving and taking energy. There may be a distant friend you haven’t spoken to in some time and could really use someone to just reach out to them. They’re out there and if I were to tell you that 20% of your Facebook friends or LinkedIn network will experience a mental illness in a given year, would you believe me?

5|Question everything. I’ll leave you and your imagination with this one and add that it is imagination which rules the world.

If you’re interested in learning more about yourself, just look inwards and in moments where you feel like it’s time to better improve your mental well being, don’t be afraid to look for help. It will be the best decision you could possibly make and your experience could potentially help influence those around you. After all, we’ve been crammed throughout our lives to learn about everything under the sun, but I can’t really recall a time where we’re being taught to learn about ourselves.

Originally published at medium.com on May 2, 2017.