Fitness With Finesse: 10 Tips for Better Mental Health

Often throughout society, we put more of an emphasis on the appearance of our physical health rather than the reality of our mental health. Although we bust our booties in the gym to achieve those rock hard abs, sculpted arms and lean legs, the reality is this: If our mind and soul are not being taken care of as much as our bodies, we will never truly achieve happiness--no matter what we look like.

Thus, today is all about providing simple tips to build up your mental health just as much as you’ve been working on your muscles!

1. Learn the art of meditation

Especially during this time of our lives, our minds are constantly running a mile a minute. No wonder we get so exhausted and drained, turning to feelings of hopelessness and negativity. Learning the art of meditation will teach you how to quiet the mind while honoring your body! Just ten minutes a day can change your health immensely. Personally, I used to be up late at night crippled with anxiety until I downloaded a free meditation app called “Calm.” I use this amazing app every evening and it has totally changed what I determine as rest.

2. Use essential oils

As you have probably heard from many celebrity health advocates, essential oils are great to help ease a multitude of health problems. I spritz the Stress Relief spray from Bath and Body Works all over my bedding at night, and it helps me breathe with ease while relaxing tense muscles.

3. Practice positive affirmations

One positive comment in the morning can change your entire day. Grab a few colorful dry-erase markers and write some happy thoughts across your mirror. Remind yourself that you are beautiful, strong and on the right track to greatness, both physically and emotionally.

4. Keep calm and drink tea

Herbal remedies like tea are great ways to relieve anxiety! A cup in the evening is a great way to hydrate your body for a good night’s sleep while giving your body nutrients it loves. My favorite brand is pictured below.

5. When in doubt, yoga it out

In the morning and evening, start and end your day with a quick yoga video from YouTube. There are a plethora to choose from, but one of my favorites is this one from the XHIT channel.

6. Be strategic with your food choices

Feed your body with foods that won’t make your mind guilty! If you know you struggle with feelings of guilt and unhappiness with your body after cheat days (that turn into weeks), try your best to consciously make the decision to stay healthy before you choose a plate of indulgent foods. (Your body and mind will thank you later.) Additionally, choosing nutrient- rich foods will help keep your immune system strong, curbing off illness that would cause stress to your busy schedule.

7. Remember to breathe

There is so much beauty in learning how and when to be still and trust that everything is going to work out. In times when you feel anxiety in the pit of your stomach, it is probably because you are so focused on things that could go wrong rather than taking even and deep breaths. Sometimes, you just need to take a moment to inhale and exhale. You feel that heartbeat of yours? It has a purpose. Keep moving forward, lovely.

8. Take note of both your mental and physical health

I am a strong advocate of journaling when you want to achieve a goal. In addition to writing down what I ate and how I work out each day, I also take notes on how I am feeling internally so I can reflect on solutions. If you try this, you may find that a lot of your stress is self-inflicted and can be solved with a little willpower, determination and time management.

9. Get your beauty sleep

If you take the time to give your body the rest it needs, you will be able to fully give yourself to your tasks and desires when you are awake. Sleep is essential to a healthy weight, but also a healthy mind! You may feel like you can be getting so much out of staying awake instead of going to bed, but it is better to do things well than to do them while grumpy and exhausted.

10.  Prioritize the things you can control

The world of adulthood can be a daunting and intimidating place sometimes. People can hurt your feelings, you may experience rejections that feel like failure, and unpredictable things can happen. However, one can live in this realm of the terrifying unknown, or one can relish in the beauty of the present. Focusing on things you personally can control, such as the time you put in the gym, the positive vibes you send yourself and others, and the foods you choose to put on your plate are just a few simple things that can relieve feelings of stress.

Mental health is a very serious thing that does not deserve to be pushed down or overlooked. Try to add these little solutions above to your fitness and diet regimen and pay closer attention to how you are feeling on the inside. If you are still experiencing unmanageable feelings of stress and anxiety, do not hesitate to contact a professional such as the ones offered at your school’s counseling and wellness center.

Wishing you upcoming weeks full of wellness and feelings of zen. Namaste!

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