100 Ways to Support and Improve Mental Health

While Mental Health Month is recognized each May and October 10th is World Mental Illness Day, it is important to focus on ways to support and improve mental health every day of the year.

I am fairly open with my depression and anxiety diagnosis. I, also, stress the importance of self-care and incorporating healthy habits in our daily routines. I do this because it is important to have open dialogue around mental health in order to increase understanding and awareness. If you are looking for ways to improve your mental health, it is important to know that your overall health and wellness plays a big role.

It is important to focus on on ways to support and improve mental health each and every day. #mentalhealth #wellness

100 Ways to Improve Mental Health

  1. Value your presence and uniqueness.
  2. Eat on a consistent schedule – even if you don’t feel hungry put something in your body for nutrients.
  3. Exercise.
  4. Create routines.

  1. Be open and honest with your care team.
  2. Create a care plan.
  3. Create a Hope Box. HOPE stands for Hold On Pain Ends.
  4. Stay hydrated.
  5. Stay current with your wellness check-ups.
  6. Practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself.
  7. Avoid tobacco products and alcohol (especially if you’re taking medication).
  8. Have uplifting and nurturing people around you. Identify at least three lines of support.
  9. Volunteer.
  10. Set daily affirmations.

  1. Set daily SMART goals.
  2. Treat yourself with respect and love.
  3. Focus on the here and now.
  4. Give yourself grace.
  5. Learn to forgive yourself – especially for hurts and trauma that were done to you. You are not to blame for the actions of others.
  6. Work through forgiving those who have hurt you if that hurt is keeping your from moving forward.
  7. Incorporate meditation into your daily routine.
  8. Practice mindfulness.
  9. Get adequate sleep.
  10. Limit access to people and things that cause you stress.

  1. Practice yoga.
  2. Limit (or eliminate) your caffeine intake – especially if you have anxiety.
  3. Try something new – a new restaurant, hobby, local attraction, etc.
  4. Do a puzzle.
  5. Watch a funny YouTube video.
  6. Read a good book or listen to an audiobook.
  7. Go for a walk – even if it’s just to your mailbox.
  8. Open your blinds and let sunlight in.
  9. Get out of bed and get dressed daily.
  10. Keep a journal of your thoughts.

  1. Call someone to let them know you love and appreciate them.
  2. Color in a coloring book.
  3. Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet like wild salmon, tuna, walnuts, or flaxseed.
  4. Smile.
  5. Take a mental health day.
  6. Create a night-time ritual to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
  7. Cut back on sugary snacks – candies, cakes, sodas, etc.
  8. Establish healthy boundaries.
  9. Focus on what you accomplish versus what you don’t.
  10. Allow yourself to feel emotions – especially the ones that are not “warm and fuzzy”.
  1. Listen to music.
  2. Do a brain dump.
  3. Start a task or project that you have been putting off.
  4. Do a crossword or sudoku puzzle
  5. Diffuse essential oils
  6. Look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you”.
  7. Declutter your space.
  8. Create a self-soothing kit.
  9. Use a mental health app
  10. Have face-to-face interaction with family and friends.
  11. Watch a sunset or sunrise.
  12. Take a road trip.
  13. Try a new recipe.
  14. Make self care a priority.
  15. Be still and fully take in your surroundings focusing on your five senses. (This especially helps if you are having a panic attack)
  16. Limit your time on technological devices. Strive to be off all tech products 1-2 hours before bed.
  17. Go to bed at the same time each night.
  18. Practice intentional gratitude.
  19. Learn something new – skill, language, hobby, word, fun fact, etc.
  20. Limit your time on social media.
  21. Go for a swim.
  22. Join a gym
  23. If you work from home, use a co-working space for a change of scenery and to interact with others.
  24. Ask for help when you need it.
  25. Set long-term goals.
  26. Create a vision board.
  27. Surround yourself with positive words and images.

    1. Do some sort of quick physical activity once every hour – jump-n-jacks, walk in place, stretches, etc.
    2. Be aware of your triggers and avoid them.
    3. Listen to inspirational and uplifting TED Talks.
    4. Take a quick nap. (Try not to nap after 3 PM so you do not interfere with your sleep schedule)
    5. Join a team sport.
    6. Take a continuing education class.
    7. Get educated about your mental health to feel more empowered.
    8. Say no to things you do not enjoy and yes to the things that bring you joy.
    9. Make your well-being a priority.
    10. Have an accountability partner to check-in with regularly.
    11. Attend group therapy and / or support groups in your community.
    1. Get a massage. (Find a local massage school for a low cost option)
    2. Remove toxic people from your life.
    3. Do not multi-task.
    4. Set clear priorities and make sure your life goals align with them.
    5. Celebrate your accomplishments daily.
    6. Garden or grow indoor plants.
    7. Go outside for fresh air and sun.
    8. Take a mental vacation.

    1. Act out your emotions. Feeling happy? Jump for joy. Clap your hands. Laugh out loud.
    2. Smile. It can trick your brain into believing you’re happy which can then bring about real feelings of happiness. (You just tried it, didn’t you?)
    1. Stand or sit up straight. Good posture can relieve stress and boost your self-esteem.
    2. Get a pet or spend time with someone else’s.
    3. Give yourself time to adjust to major changes in your life – whether you perceive them as positive or negative. There can be a sense in loss either way.
    4. Be more optimistic to create a positive mindset.
    5. Avoid foods you are allergic to or that your body cannot tolerate. (You feel sluggish / tired after consuming)
    6. Be engaged in your local community.
    7. Identify your strengths and use them to make a difference in your life and others.
    8. Work towards finding your purpose in life.
    If you’ve made consistent efforts to improve your mental health and find yourself not functioning effectively in your daily life, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Spending time with a caring professional has been found to motivate us to take better care of ourselves.

  1. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website for valuable resources to find help and support, or call the toll-free helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).

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