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5 Ways to Take Care of Your Mind in the New Year

December 2019 - With a new year on the horizon comes the pressure to make resolutions we often break all too quickly. 2020 is just around the corner and you may have already started to think about the resolutions and goals you'd like to achieve in the coming year. Although it can be easy to get carried away with these ambitions, your health and wellbeing should take priority.

If you struggle with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health condition, taking care of your mind should be high on the priority list. Here are several resolutions to tick off your list:

Write a journal

It's often the case that we hold onto our emotions to the point where we end up breaking down when it all gets too much to deal with. Taking a few minutes each day to write down your thoughts and emotions can let go of what's ruminating in your mind. Using your hands can get rid of a lot of physical tension in the body, which may be causing you to feel more anxious.

There are many different types of journals, so be sure to find the right one for you. There's the writing journal for the aspiring writer, a bullet journal for those who love lists, a dream journal, art journal, food journal… you can write about anything and everything depending on your hobbies.

Try meditation

While you may have heard about meditation and immediately brushed off the idea, thinking 'that's not for me,' it's not as difficult as you may think. It's only the simple practice of sitting quietly and focusing your mind.

Find which type of meditation will benefit you best. Typically, there are six types: mindfulness, spiritual, movement, focused, mantra, and transcendental meditation. Each type of meditation requires different skills, so find the one that's most comfortable for you.

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that has become extremely popular in the last few years. It's the act of concentrating on the here and now, rather than the past or future. Spending an hour each day to aim to let go of your worries can make a difference to your mental state of mind.

Laugh more

As the saying goes, 'laughter is the best medicine,' and it's certainly the truth when it comes to mental health. A hearty laugh releases stress from the body and allows your muscles to relax up to 45 minutes afterwards.

The positive effects of laughing more involve lower blood pressure, a reduction in stress hormones, and improvement in cardiac health, triggers the release of endorphins and boosts T-cells amongst many other benefits. Laughter counters distressing emotions and decreases anger; it also has the potential to alter your perspective into a more positive one.

Not only that, but laughter also distributes feel-good endorphins that make you feel much more positive and can also reduce physical pain. So, make a pledge to spend time with people who bring out the best in you and make you laugh lots in the coming year.

Take vitamins

Vitamins are increasingly catching attention by how they impact our health, wellbeing and our mind. As specific vitamins and nutritional supplements can influence our mood, some types of vitamins are becoming a go-to method to manage stress and anxiety. Health Monthly offers a wide supply of vitamins that improve both the body and mind to function well and enhance our general health.

The five best vitamins to take every day are B vitamins (e.g. B-12, biotin, folate and B-6), vitamin D, calcium, iron, and magnesium. You can take supplements, or if you wish, alter your diet.

  • Eat nuts and seeds, potatoes, spinach and bananas for magnesium.
  • Drink milk and eat fortified cereals, seeds and almonds for calcium.
  • Eat beans, meats, brown rice and tofu for a boost in iron.
  • Eat fortified dairy and egg yolks, and drink plant-based milk such as soya, almond, and coconut, for an increase in vitamin D.
  • Drink plant-based milk and eat Marmite, nuts and seeds, eggs, and whole grains for B vitamins.

Commit to your hobbies

When life throws too many responsibilities at you, it's easy to hold up your hands and admit defeat. Although your busy lifestyle may be completely taking over right now, you should always try and schedule in time for hobbies to refresh your mind and give you some respite from your thoughts. Taking some time out to do what you love may give you more energy and motivation to get on with your everyday mundane tasks.

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