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Mental health is an extremely important aspect of your life that needs to be taken care of, but it can be easy to forget when we get caught up in life. 

While there are many challenges when it comes to caring for your mental health, there are also many benefits. Some of those benefits include improved relationships, improved quality of life, reduced risk for medical issues, better performance at school or work, and much more.

Talk About Your Feelings

If someone or something bothers you, sometimes sharing that with others can help your mental health. Practicing this stops you from bottling up feelings that might explode one day. Plus, it helps you deal with the situation sooner rather than later.

Exercise

Although it can be difficult to motivate yourself to do this, exercise can boost self-esteem and can help concentration. Exercise can be anything from running at a park or doing yoga at home.

Eat Well

It’s important to eat your daily vegetables, fruits and other nutritious foods. Diets that are good for your physical body also improve your mental health.

Manage Your Drinking

We all know drinking your feelings away is not a healthy coping mechanism. Drinking to avoid feelings or situations can leave you feeling worse when the effects wear off. If you find yourself doing this, it might be time to speak to someone about it. Having someone to keep you accountable can make managing bad habits easier.

Ask For Help

We all need help at some point or another in life. It’s okay to ask for help because that’s what loved ones are for. We are here to help our loved ones and they are happy to return the favor because they care about us. Sometimes we don’t ask for help because we don’t want to be a burden, but if you don’t think you can cope alone, reach out to others.

Be Intentional In Relationships

Friendships and relationships require effort from both parties. Be intentional about spending time with the special people in your life whether it’s through a Zoom movie night or having a picnic outdoors.

Do Something You Enjoy

It’s important to consistently do activities you enjoy to keep a balance in your life. Every day, choose to do something you enjoy simply for that reason. It can be anything from watching two episodes of your favorite TV show or going out to buy pastries.

Take Breaks

A change of scenery or change of pace can do wonders for your mental health. This could mean taking one less class in the quarter or semester or enjoying your half-hour lunch break at work. Sometimes even just taking five minutes off every hour can help de-stress you. 

Care For Others

When you properly take care of yourself, taking care of others can make you feel even better. Caring for those you love may make you closer. You can also volunteer and care for strangers which might lead to a bigger sense of life purpose.

Accept Yourself

Everyone in life is different and everyone is doing life at their own pace. Accept that you will fail and that you will thrive. Sometimes life will be extremely difficult and other times it will be fantastic, but you just have to continue to care for yourself because life will go on.

We hope these beginning action steps will make taking care of your mental health easier. You deserve this self-care!

Allison is a feature writer at UCLA who loves hanging out at the beach and eating any kind of dessert.
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