When you reach the seasoned years of 40 and up, you start to experience a lot of physical changes.
And while it’s important to keep your body healthy and running to ensure these are the best years of your life, what’s just as important is your mental health.
Keeping a strong, healthy mind as a woman can be difficult in today’s society. It’s no wonder that anxiety and depression are so common, and truth be told, you’re likely to know a few women (or are one yourself) that struggle with this.
In fact, 1 in 5 women in the United States will likely experience a mental health concern, according to the Office on Women’s Health.
So, how can you keep your mind strong? Here are 5 ways to do just that:
1. Do Something New
While habits and routine stop your brain from making much-needed decisions, they can also lead to life being on autopilot. Keep your brain on its proverbial mental toes by switching things up – walk a different way to work or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
2. Exercise Often
You’ve heard this before, but we’ll say it again … studies show that regular exercise has mounting benefits not just for your physical body, but for your mental health as well. Increased blood flow to the brain improves clarity of thought as well as your mood, thanks to the rush of endorphins you experience during exercise.
3. Live in the Moment
Practicing mindfulness and being present through yoga, meditation and breathing can help you feel grounded. You see, when you’re in the moment you’re not worried about your to-do list or that mistake you made from 3 years ago that you still ruminate about. Doing these small practices can lead to a more general sense of peace and overall wellbeing.
4. Sleep Often and Enough
While everyone’s minimum sleep threshold is different, it’s generally recommended that you get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. This gives your brain and body a chance to rest, rejuvenate and prepare you for tackling the day with clear thoughts, energy and a great mood.
5. Do What You Love
It’s easy to get caught up in what we have to do on a daily basis. But nothing makes us feel better than doing something we love. It can be something small – like drinking out of your favorite mug every morning or something big like booking a trip to your favorite destination. Just know, whatever you do, try to do something daily that lights you up.
Mental health is important. So, if you think or know you’re struggling, you’re not alone. Reach out to a friend or schedule time with a therapist to get the support you need.
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