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Good mental health not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to better physical health, too. When you have optimal mental health, you sleep better, perform work tasks more easily and even lower your risk of physical illness. Even small changes can result in a boost in mental health and an improvement in how you feel, physically and emotionally every day.

So here is our 8 Tips to boost you mental health;

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep is not only a sign you are not feeling your best, it is also a leading cause of poor emotional and mental health. If you are tired, cranky, unmotivated or sluggish, you could just be sleep deprived. Committing to a good night’s sleep for even a few days can help you discover if you simply need more rest.

Make time for a hobby

You don’t have to start a model train collection or take up knitting (unless those are things you truly enjoy) but making time for a hobby that you enjoy each week is essential, particularly if you work long hours or cope with a lot of stressors. From board gaming to reading and crafting, engaging in an activity you enjoy will keep you in a positive mood and allow you something to reflect on and look forward to.

Try something new

A novel new experience stimulates your curiosity and gives you a natural boost of energy – and elevates your mood. Something as simple as a new craft or activity can give you a lift that lasts for days.

End self criticism

If you’re your own worst critic, then it’s time to silence that nagging inner voice. If you are hyper critical of how you look, what you do and how well you perform, you’ll constantly feel run down. Instead of letting that inner voice get you down, replace negative thoughts with positive ones. It may feel strange to add affirming statements or positive messages to your own inner monologue, but over time it will become natural and you’ll feel far more positive.

Eat well – most of the time

The occasional indulgence or “in a hurry” fast food meal won’t derail your mental health, but too many carbs and low-quality meals will make you feel sleepy and sluggish. Work in some protein, drink plenty of water and you’ll feel better both physically and mentally.

Get some exercise

You don’t have to train for a marathon, but regular exercise a few times a week is ideal for decreasing both depression and anxiety. Exercise also gives a near immediate energy boost, making it an ideal way to start the day.

Skip the alcohol

Alcohol is a party staple, but it is also a natural depressant, making you feel tired and unwell, according to the University of Michigan. Even worse, the hangover the next day will leave you dragging your feet and possibly even feeling guilty – stick to non-alcoholic beverages to bypass these uncomfortable effects.

Take a break

Working hard is a virtue, but if you are on the go non-stop, you’ll start to feel burned out, fast. Build breaks into everyday tasks and give yourself time to relax every day. You’ll still get plenty done, without the excess stress.