Last Updated on May 3, 2023 by Beth Skwarecki
Whatever you may be doing, odds are that you’re spending more time at home. Whether you’re working a job remotely, attending college classes online, or simply cooped up and staying safe, the pandemic has forced most people around the world to retreat to the safety and isolation of their homes. This in turn has been a large contributor to mental health challenges.
Many factors affect your mental health whether it be work, relationships, or big life changes or transitions. Your job might be stressful, you and your significant other might have issues, or you may face a career change, a relocation, or the start of a new family—the possibilities are endless. However, there are also countless ways to combat these stressors and maintain your mental well-being. This boils down to building healthy habits, taking care of your physical health, and giving yourself breaks when needed. Read on to learn more about how you can take care of your mental health at home.
Staying active and exercising daily are great activities to do while at home. Not only are they effective methods of keeping yourself physically healthy, but they also help immensely with mental health. The simple act of running can elicit the “runner’s high” by releasing endorphins in the brain. You can accomplish this easily within the comfort of your own house. It may be a good idea to designate a space where you can exercise, whether that’s the corner of a common area or in an extra room. If you want to go all in and invest in a home gym, consider a home equity loan, which will allow you to finance a home improvement project. This loan has fixed interest rates and is tax-deductible, making it a preferred option when improving your home. With this loan, you could remodel an entire room to be your perfect at-home gym.
New anti-slip flooring, fixtures for certain workout equipment, and a mirror are just a few things you could incorporate into your home gym. Some people choose to purchase treadmills, trampolines, or other workout devices, but you can easily utilize an exercise space without such machines as well. By having an area where you can release pent-up energy, work on weight loss, or even meditate, you put yourself in a better position to take care of your mental well-being.
Stress is linked to many health issues and is more dangerous than you think. It’s easy to get caught up in it and to let it eat away at your mental health and takes effort to fight against it. However, there are many small things you can do to handle stress and prevent it from affecting your mental health too much. Taking breaks throughout the day as needed is a great way to distance yourself from a stressful situation. Did you have a long meeting at work or a fight with your significant other? Whether you work from home or live with your partner, you can opt to go somewhere by yourself to take a breather. This could be outside, or in another room, like your potential at-home gym. Then, do what you need to do to decompress. Take a short nap, practice deep breathing, read a book, or engage in another relaxing activity.
Pets are a great solution to relieve stress. If you don’t have one, it is worth considering adopting a furry companion. Cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, and more make great company and can have many positive effects on your mental health. More active pets like dogs require regular exercise, which is a great way for you both to stay active! The responsibility of caring for a pet can also help you care for yourself, and therefore your mental health. Whether you live by yourself or with roommates, pets will always keep you company and aid you in stress relief.
It’s often difficult to self-regulate or handle stress on our own. If you find yourself at a loss of how to handle your stress or properly process demanding situations, it may be a good idea to talk with a mental health professional. Therapists or counselors are great resources to use and can help you work through tough emotions or handle difficult life scenarios. If you are in a relationship and are facing conflict or traumatic issues, you and your significant other may both benefit from therapy. On a separate note, depression and anxiety are common problems that many people face. Seeing a therapist or counselor can also help with these mental health problems. Even if you do not suffer from depression or anxiety, having a licensed professional to confide in is a valuable resource.
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you feel better overall. Swapping out unhealthy foods like candy, soda, or fast food with healthier alternatives will help both your health and your mood. If you like to go out to eat or grab takeout for dinner, it’s a good idea to try cooking instead of paying for meals, as you can opt for healthier foods and save money as well. Meal preparation is a great way to save time and exercise better control over what you eat. Many meal kit companies offer delivery right to your door, providing you with the perfect portions so that you can cook a delicious meal, without having to do any grocery shopping. If you’re too busy to run to the store or plan out your meals, these services are great to take advantage of.
To properly maintain your mental health, you’ll want to build an array of healthy habits, such as a consistent sleep routine, healthy eating, daily exercise, quality time with friends and loved ones, and countless more. You won’t have control over everything, but there is a lot you can do to set yourself up for success when practicing a healthier or more mindful lifestyle for the benefit of your mental health.
Beth is Cloudmineinc’s senior health editor and a certified personal trainer. She has over 10 years experience as a science journalist and is the author of two books. She deadlifts over 315 lbs.