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This five-step guide to boost your mental health will always come in handy

Updated on:4 May 2020, 20:00pm IST
When you are strong mentally, you can take on whatever challenges life throws at you. This guide will help you reach that stage.
Dr Sapna Zarwal
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The key to good mental health? Taking care of your mind as well as you take care of your body. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

We all go the extra mile to take care of our bodies. We might opt for healthy products as part of a richer diet or sweat it out a tad bit more in the gym. However, we often miss caring the same way for our mental health–and more so during a difficult period such as the lockdown or in its aftermath.

This affects how we feel, cope with stress, or make choices that impact our mental health. It is important to understand that strong mental health is not just defined by the absence of mental illness but also the presence of positive characteristics.

Thankfully, you can follow these simple mantras to help yourself beat the lockdown blues and boost your mental health:

1. Surround yourself with positive people
People around us carry an energy which affects us directly and indirectly, and impacts how we feel. I have recently joined a bloggers club, where they have a common goal to make each other feel positive about themselves.

We celebrate our achievements, irrespective of how big or small they are, which automatically brings in a positive feeling to each one of us. It is important to be around positive and like-minded people this enhances self-worth as well.

2. Practice mindfulness
To practice mindfulness, you have to be aware of the present rather than pondering over what could have been or what could be in past or future moments.

mindfulness for anxiety
The practice of mindfulness can help you tackle your anxiety. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

For example, you can pause for a moment to notice two objects which you can see, three things which you can touch. and one sound which you can hear in your present. No one really knows what the future holds for us, so living in the present moment reduces stress and anxiety greatly.

3. Take a break from the digital world and gadgets
Try to take a mini ‘digital detox’ every week for half a day or at least a few hours. This is imperative because smartphones, tablets, and laptops can hinder our ability to remember.

phone addiction can lead to loneliness
Smartphone addiction can make you a loner, apart from making you prone to anxiety and depression. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Such lack of creative stimulus has also proven to have an adverse effect on your attention span. Moreover, levels of anxiety, depression, insomnia and impulsivity are observed to be higher in those who rely on their electronic devices in excess.

4. Learn to say ‘no’
These two tiny letters include a gentle reminder that it is a complete sentence in itself. We all experience burnout from time to time at the office or at home–but it is important for us to make sure we spend some time alone and prioritise ourselves.

how to say no
Always saying yes can drain you out both physically & mentally. GIF courtesy: GIPHY

If you don’t want to go for a party, say no. If you are unable to handle your workload at office or at home, then speak about it. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. It is just the fear within us that stops us from it and once you learn to use this two letter magic word, you will surely see a change for better.

5. Focus on helping others
Choose any activity or organisation which matches your passion and take up volunteering there. If this is difficult, then you may even start by helping someone at your office or when you are out grocery shopping. The immense satisfaction which you will derive from these actions is immeasurable and will pave the foundation for a happier mind.

Always remember that good mental health does not necessarily mean you will never go through challenging times or emotional problems. However, just as physically healthy people are better equipped to cope with their illnesses, people with strong mental health can cope better from adversity, trauma and stress.

There is no time like the present to boost your mental health, so follow these good mental health tips now and recharge yourself!

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Dr Sapna Zarwal Dr Sapna Zarwal

Dr Sapna Zarwal is a renowned psychologist with 16 years of experience in the field. She is currently psychologist on board with Tata Sampann.