Mental Wellness: 5 things you can do at home for better wellbeing

Daily life gets so busy that sometimes it gets challenging to clear your head. Although it has a lot to do with lifestyle and your environment, biological factors also play a big part in mental wellness. 

Hormones, mental wellness and longevity

Happy hormones are vital for sound health. On the other hand, for many individuals, their hormones are neither happy nor healthy – and neither are they. Many individuals suffer from hormonal imbalances, reportedly accounting for nearly half of all women [1]. Addressing this issue could be crucial to living a longer, happier and healthier life.

Per The NY Post, a survey conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by OB-GYN and women’s health expert Dr Anna Cabeca in anticipation of her new book, “The Hormone Fix” analyzed how women understand their hormones and how hormonal imbalance can affect their wellbeing.

“There is just no reason to suffer like this because of a hormone imbalance, when there are known diet and lifestyle choices we can make to alleviate our symptoms, and even calm our fears. My life’s work is to educate and empower women to take control of their wellbeing and learn the simple techniques taught in my book to create positive change.” Dr Cabeca said.

What are hormones?

Hormones are signalling molecules that go through our bloodstream, binding to receptor sites, with some of the most commonly talked about testosterone or estrogen. 

They profoundly affect the physical and mental health of both men and women. They more or less run us and can govern everything from how healthy we are, how happy we are and our behaviour. If they’re out of sync, so are we.

Research suggests several steps can improve your mental health and well-being. Trying these may help you feel more positive and get the most out of life.

How can I improve my mental wellness?

Mental and physical health are intertwined, so taking care of yourself physically – exercising regularly, eating a well-balanced diet, getting quality sleep, and avoiding cigarettes, drugs and alcohol – all play a prominent role in improving mental wellness. Other important aspects of overall mental health include:

  • Building connections.
  • Finding a support system
  • Practising stress management
  • Taking time to do things you enjoy

If needed, it’s also essential to get professional help.

5 things you can do from home for your mental health

Connect with other people

Good relationships are essential for your mental wellbeing because they can:

  • Allow you to share positive experiences
  • Allow you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth
  • Provide emotional support and enable yourself to support others

Individuals with strong family or social connections are usually healthier than those without a support network. Make plans with supportive friends and family members, or seek out online groups where you can meet new people, like a club, class or support group [2].

Be physically active and take care of your body

Being active is also great for your physical health and fitness. Research also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by:

  • Enabling you to set goals or challenges and achieve them
  • Inducing chemical changes in your brain, which can help to change your mood positively
  • Raising your self-esteem [3]

Some activities to try for your mind are body yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing can help reduce overall stress levels [4]. Don’t feel that you have to spend hours in a gym, and it’s best to find activities you like doing and include them in your daily life.

Discover free activities to help you get fit at home through mobile apps, podcasts or suggestions from online forums. In addition, taking care of yourself can significantly improve your mental health, so make sure to:

  • Avoid smoking and vaping. Cessation help can be found from organizations and other respurces [5].
  • Consume nutritious meals
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise, which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods
  • Get enough sleep.

Care for a pet

Studies show that animals –particularly dogs and cats, can help relieve stress, anxiety and depressed moods. Even watching a fish tank can lower blood pressure and improve mental wellness. 

Pets also provide a sense of purpose and connection which is vital for staying positive and can often help individuals get more exercise. Playing with a pet also can raise the brain’s feel-good chemicals, like dopamine and oxytocin. But, of course, a pet is a long-term commitment, and you should only get a pet if you are willing and able to care for the animal properly.

Learn new skills

Although our routines provide us with more structure and enhance our feelings of safety and security, a slight change of pace can perk up a dull schedule. Alter your usual workout, unwind in a different corner of your home or take a long bath to relax those muscles.

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Studies show that learning new skills can also boost your mental wellbeing by:

  • Allowing you to connect with others
  • Assisting you to build a sense of purpose
  • Raising self-confidence and self-esteem

Even if you feel like you need more time or may not need to pursue new things, there are many ways to bring learning into your life. You can try learning to cook something new at home. Although outside the house, new responsibilities at work, like mentoring a junior staff member or improving your presentation skills, can also help.

Other things to do at home are working on a DIY project, like fixing a broken bike, garden gate or something bigger. There are many free video tutorials online. In addition, exploring new hobbies that challenge you, like taking up a new sport, writing a blog, or learning to paint are also good creative suggestions.

Pay attention to the present moment

Paying more attention to the present moment or mindfulness can lift your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and your surroundings.

Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can favourably change how you feel about life and approach predicaments [6].

Another helpful practice is finding your purpose. This is different for everyone but finding meaning in your day is a substantial factor in good mental health. You might try one of the following:

  • Cultivate relationships and spend quality time with people who are important to you
  • Care for others, which can be as rewarding and meaningful as it is challenging
  • Think of one good deed or gesture to do each day 
  • Volunteer, which can help enrich your life and make you happier  

Mental wellness is often overlooked because of other priorities. Thankfully, people are more aware now that this is also important for overall health, wellness and longevity.

[1] https://nypost.com/2019/02/22/nearly-half-of-women-have-been-affected-by-a-hormonal-imbalance/
[2] https://uhs.umich.edu/tenthings
[3] https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/raise-low-self-esteem/
[4] http://www.bcmhsus.ca/about/news-stories/stories/10-tips-to-boost-your-mental-health
[5] https://uhs.umich.edu/tobacco
[6] https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/guides-tools-and-activities/five-steps-to-mental-wellbeing/

Photograph: Fizkes/Shutterstock
The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.