21 Things To Do To Improve Your Mental Health In 2017 – BuzzFeed News


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Health

We’re guessing you need it after 2016.

1. Remove
apps from your phone that might be stressing
you out.

Remove apps from your phone that might be stressing you out.

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Nathan W. Pyle / BuzzFeed Comics

Seriously. I asked my coworkers at BuzzFeed for
one thing they did this year that actually
improved their mental health, and about half of
them said removing Twitter and Facebook from
their phones. Twitter and Facebook might not be
your happiness-suck, but chances are, there’s
an app that is doing you more harm than good.
Try going without it for awhile and see how you
feel.

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2. Give a
name to your negative thoughts and then call
them out on their bullshit.

Give a name to your negative thoughts and then call them out on their bullshit.

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The more you try to ignore negative thoughts,
the more power they have over you — and the
truer they feel. “Sadly, many people make the
mistake of believing the negative things that
their ‘inner voice’ tells them, often without
even being aware of their right to question
whether these things are accurate,” Simon Rego,
Psy.D.,
told BuzzFeed Health. “Catch, challenge,
and change negative thoughts.”

And, honestly, treating that voice like a
particularly annoying backseat driver or
someone whose opinion you don’t respect at all
can really help with that.

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3.
Develop a morning routine that will set the
mood for the whole day.

Develop a morning routine that will set the mood for the whole day.

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It’ll look different for everyone, but find a
routine that will center you and put you in a
good mood before you have to face the day.
Think: Exercising, meditating, writing out your
to-do list, thinking about the things you’re
grateful for, even just taking time to actually
eat breakfast, have your coffee, and listen to
your favorite podcast.

These ways to make your mornings infinitely
better might be a great place to start. Oh,
and make your bed, because
it will work miracles on your life.

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4. And
while you’re at it, develop a before-bed routine,
too.

Wash your face. Make some tea. Unplug and read.
Do one of
these before-bed activities that don’t
involve watching Netflix. Anything that you can
do to unwind and put a positive cap on the day
can help your headspace A LOT.

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5.
Replace “I’m sorry” with “thank you.”

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Like, instead of saying, “Sorry I’m late,” say,
“Thanks for waiting for me.” Or instead of
saying, “Sorry I messed up,” say, “Thank you
for being patient with me.” Obviously, there
will always be things that call for an apology,
but if you find yourself saying sorry a lot,
this might help shift your thinking to be more
positive and it’ll make sure your loved
ones are getting your gratitude instead of your
negativity.

(H/T Tumblr user vijara
for the tip.)

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6. Revisit
some of your favorite things from childhood.

Infuse some pure unadulterated joy back into your
life by rereading Harry Potter, finding
your favorite childhood snack, listening to the
first band that you ever loved, whatever.
Soak up the nostalgia.

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7. Call
your Person on the phone more often.

Call your Person on the phone more often.

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ABC

Maybe for you, that means calling your parents
to check in and get an instant pep talk or
maybe it’s your best friend from college. Or
maybe it’s just a friend down the street you
don’t see enough because of your busy schedule.
It doesn’t even have to be a long phone call —
just say hi when you have a free five minutes
so your day is a little brighter.

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8. Find a
general practitioner you love if you haven’t
already.

Find a general practitioner you love if you haven't already.

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Having a doctor you love comes in handy in so
many ways — including referring you to where
you need to go if you start having issues with
depression, anxiety, stress, or any host of
mental health-adjacent things. Not to mention,
it’s great to have a stable professional
relationship in your corner as you shop around
for the perfect therapist, if you need one.

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9. Try
tracking your moods and habits to find the
little things that make you feel better and
worse.

Try tracking your moods and habits to find the little things that make you feel better and worse.

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Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

“When your life and emotions feel so out of
control or chaotic, there is something
immensely therapeutic about organizing it into
a systematic structure like a bullet journal,”
Andrea Bonior, PhD,
told BuzzFeed Health. “You lay things out
in an aesthetically pleasing way and already it
feels more manageable. Like you can really
tackle it and make it through. It feels
luxurious, too. It’s like saying, ‘I’m worth
it. I’m worth this notebook and the time it
takes to turn it into something beautiful.’”

For more information on how to use a bullet
journal for your mental health, look
here!

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10.
Commit to a work-life balance.

Commit to a work-life balance.

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Leave on time, don’t check your email past a
certain point at night, and in general, don’t
think about your work responsibilities at home,
and vice versa. Doing your best in each place —
aka not feeling guilty about what you’re
not doing — will keep you sane and
feeling good about your output.

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11. Put
your phone on Do Not Disturb at night.

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There is nothing going on between midnight and
seven AM that can’t wait ‘til you wake up, I
promise. You’ll sleep better and your mind will
thank you — because lack of
sleep can seriously magnify feelings of
unhappiness or depression and anxiety.

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12. Be
liberal with the mute, block, and unfriend
button.

Be liberal with the mute, block, and unfriend button.

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Because we have enough to deal with without
annoying, anger-inducing, and uninvited
comments from people on social media. BYE.

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13. Listen
to some hilarious podcasts in your downtime.

Because laughter is good for the soul.
This list includes some a few comedies to
start.

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14. Check
out your alcohol intake and how it’s making you
feel.

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Everyone is different, but it never hurts to
check in with yourself about your drinking —
especially if you’re prone to depression. “When
you’re feeling depressed and you drink, that’s
when it becomes dangerous, because the
protective walls come tumbling down,” Jan
Collins-Eaglin, PhD,
told BuzzFeed Health. “Drinking is not
going to make it better. If anything, it’s
going to make it worse.”

If that sounds like you, maybe cut back for a
bit and see if you see an improvement in how
you’re feeling, or maybe commit to only
drinking in certain settings, like on Wine
Wednesday with your best friend.

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15. Get
rid of old things that you can’t use right now.

Get rid of old things that you can't use right now.

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Charlotte Gomez / Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed / Via

buzzfeed.com

If you have stuff in your closet or in your
home that make you feel worse when you see them
— like clothes that you plan on fitting into
again “one day” or mementos of an old
relationship — TOSS THEM. You don’t need that
shit bringing you down in 2017.

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16. Make
moves to get out of a shitty
job/school/major/living
situation/relationship/whatever big thing is
making you MISERABLE.

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It won’t happen overnight, but if there is
something in your life that’s like a BIG DARK
CLOUD ruining every other aspect of your life,
it’s a worthy 2017 goal to make a change. Take
stock of whether there are any big things in
your life that are really getting you down and
start making a structured plan to change them.

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17. Write
letters of appreciation to people you love.

Write letters of appreciation to people you love.

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Expressing gratitude is one of the easiest ways
to improve your mental health day-to-day, so
get on it. Bonus points if it’s handwritten.

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19.
Invest in a massage every once and awhile.

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Pampering yourself = great self care. Also, I
bet you $10 you’re holding a lot of
tension somewhere right now and you deserve to
get it worked out.

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20. FEEL
YOUR FEELINGS.

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Don’t squash them down. Don’t force yourself to
think positive. Acknowledge your negative
emotions as valid. Not only do you you just owe
it to yourself, but always distracting yourself
from your emotions
prevents you from learning how to cope with
them, leaving you more vulnerable to
getting derailed by them in the future.

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21. Learn
about resources available to you if you ever
need a bit of help.

Learn about resources available to you if you ever need a bit of help.

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It never hurts to have this stuff bookmarked
for when you need it.

Here’s a list of mental health resources
to use if you’re having a hard time.

Here’s what to do in a mental health
crisis.

Here’s what to do if you can’t afford
therapy.

Here’s to a very mentally chill 2017,
everybody.

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For more ideas, check out last year’s list

here!

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articles on BuzzFeed.com!

 

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friends, goals, happiness,
how to be happier,
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