Things That Matter

21 Tips To Drastically Improve Your Mental Health

Everyone gets a little down sometimes. It is hard to be upbeat and happy 24/7. Sometimes it can be caused by different things, getting into a rut at work, or the change of the seasons or something not so great may have happened to you recently. Whatever the issue is, it is essential to work to pull yourself out of it before it gets any worse. Here are some ideas to help you get through the blues and get back to being yourself in no time.

Clean up Your Space

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Sometimes when we get down, it’s easy to let things become a mess. If you take 30 minutes each day to do a little picking up here and there the whole job will be done in no time. Having a clean room or house will make you feel better about being in it and lift your mood. If you don’t have the time to clean it yourself hire a cleaning service to get things started for you.

Get Out

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Lots of the time if we are stuck in a rut of some sort that is dragging us down we find it hard to pull ourselves away from the television and get moving. Usually, the hardest part is the initial get up and go. Make plans with a friend or schedule a workout class. By making a date with someone else, you are accountable for showing up. When you are accountable to someone else for being there that makes it easier to find the gumption to go and do what you said you were going to do. Once you are up and out the going gets easier. Make yourself accountable to someone to get out of the house, and you will be feeling better in no time.

Get Creative

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Sometimes all we need is an outlet of some sort for some of our feelings. To take care of this type of itch invest in some paints, pencils, or try out that recipe you have meant to try. Take artistic license in whatever you do and have fun with it. If it’s not perfect, that is OK, as long as you are having a good time doing it and working through some of the negative feelings that have been plaguing you lately. Invite a friend to help for additional fun!

Get Some Sunlight

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Sometimes, especially in the winter, all we need is some Vitamin D. We get this naturally by being exposed to sunlight. If you do not go out much, you can also take supplements. If you are supplementing your vitamin D intake, be sure not to overdo it because that can cause problems as well. If you can’t get out for at least 15 minutes during daylight hours, think about purchasing a sun lamp. You can put it next to your computer and turn it on for 15 minutes a day. Many people report this as a good solution for their seasonal depression. If you are down during the winter months; or don’t get out much no matter what season, try a sunlamp at your desk.

Journaling

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Writing out your thoughts and feelings can help you to process them faster. When you process your feelings faster, you will be your awesome self in no time flat. If you do not usually journal, it may take a few tries to get comfortable with the process. Some people prefer, and others prefer an electronic format. Set aside about ten minutes to sit down and work on this process. If you don’t get much down the first couple of times, do not be discouraged. Keep at it and see what works best for you.

Exercise

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Exercise has been medically proven to help lift people out of depressive states. When your body is stagnant, toxins can build up. One great way to rid your body of toxins that may be dragging you down is to get up and move. If you have not worked out for a long time, you may want to start by committing to taking a walk every day. Walk for 30 to 45 minutes to get your blood flowing. You will feel more energetic in the long run. After you get this down, maybe think about joining a gym and working on the parts of your body that you would like to improve.

Try Out a Life Coach

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Sometimes we need a little direction to get us back on the path to happiness again. Getting another person’s point of view on things can be helpful. Look up life coaches in your area. This person should be able to help you to reorganize and come up with new ideas that will make you happy and more satisfied with what you are doing.

Talk to a Professional

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There are times when we need a little extra help with our mental health, and that is nothing to be embarrassed about. If you feel like you can’t pull yourself out of the blues, maybe it is time to talk to a professional counselor. These people are specially trained to listen and give you actionable ideas on how to improve your mental health.

Consider Getting a Pet

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Pets are known to cheer people up. Just having something else around to take care of and concentrate on helps many people to not focus on their mental anguish. If you are considering a pet, think about what type of pet would fit your lifestyle the best. You may have always wanted to get a puppy, but are you ready to house train it and be there to walk it when it needs to be walked? If you choose to find a pet, be sure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. You and your pet should have a happy and safe space to coexist in at all times.

Take a Vacation

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If stress in your daily life is what is getting you down, consider getting away for a bit. You will enjoy planning the time away, taking it, and then organizing your memories after the fact. Go somewhere that you have never been before for a little extra adventure. Remember always to be safe and travel with a friend or a group to be sure that nothing terrible happens to you.

Sleep!

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We are sure that you have heard it already, but we are going to say it again. You need to get your sleep for improved mental and physical health. Consistently skimping on sleep is an unhealthy habit that many people pride themselves on. When you sleep, your frontal cortex can refresh, kind of like when the flash drive in your computer is deleted when you turn it off. Having too much built up will drag you down and won’t be as good at problem-solving and remembering day to day things. Refresh your mind and experience additional health benefits by getting 6-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis.

Eating Healthier

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We can all eat more healthfully. It is just too easy to grab a bag of chips or a quick burger when you are in a rush and feeling hungry. Junk food does nothing to improve mood because it has minimal nutrients and often a lot of sugar and fats that we do not need. Consciously making an effort to eat more healthfully will make you feel better because your body will be getting the nutrients it needs to fight off sickness and operate at its best. If you know you are going to be in a rush pack some carrots, celery sticks, or a protein bar to tide you over until you can prepare yourself a good meal.

Write Out Your Goals

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Pick a goal and chop it up into smaller easily attainable steps. When you complete a step, check it off or scratch it out on your list. Making your goals realistically achievable by taking small steps will improve your outlook on your life.

Work on Something You are Good At

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If a daunting task is getting you down start off by doing parts of the task that you know you are good at and work your way on to the harder pieces. Doing this will boost your self-confidence in working on the parts of the task that you’re not so thrilled about.

Just Smile

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Sometimes this is harder than it sounds, but if you make an effort to smile when the going gets rough, you will get through the harder times much easier. By smiling, you will trick your brain into thinking you are happy and the rest will follow along.

Do Something Nice

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You can make this as hard or easy a task as you want. You can sign up to volunteer your time, or you can do a favor for a friend. Any way you choose to do this, it will cheer both you and the person you are helping up. Sharing joy is one of the best ways to refocus your mind on the better things in life.

Spend Time with Friends

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Spending time with people that care about you can be uplifting. Even just sitting and letting them talk about their problems can help you to see that you are not alone. Make plans to enjoy a meal, take a walk, or have coffee with one of your friends today. You will be glad that you did!

Get Results

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Work on a small, simple task that will give immediate results to lift your mood. Organize your spice cabinet, fold your clothes, or sock drawer. The great quick results will give you a sense of accomplishment and get you feeling good for the rest of the day!

Get an Older Relative of Friend to tell you a Story

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The older people in our lives always have such great stories to tell. Most of the time they will not share them unless you ask. Call up or visit someone in your life that would enjoy sharing a story with you. It will be a gratifying experience for both of you.

Go Virtual Window Shopping

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Remember how much fun you had window shopping on a lazy Sunday? Now you can do that online. Go to your favorite online store and fill your cart up. After you have had your fun picking out the best new spring outfits go to another store and do it again. Virtual window shopping is just as much fun as regular window shopping, of course, you can do that too!

Start a new Hobby

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The key here is to keep it simple. Start a new hobby such as knitting, learning to strum a guitar or cooking. Do your best not to go out and expect to become a master chess player in a week. Pick something fun that will keep your mind active and has you enjoying your day in no time!

Now you have some good ideas on ways to improve your mental health. Get out there and enjoy life!

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New Findings Show That QAnon Followers Are More Likely to Suffer From Mental Illness

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New Findings Show That QAnon Followers Are More Likely to Suffer From Mental Illness

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It’s no secret that QAnon followers subscribe to some outlandish ideas. The biggest one being that the government is run by a cabal of elite, satan-worshipping pedophiles. And while critics could chalk up these conspiracy theorists to a few gullible internet users, the reality is much more complicated than that.

According to new research, QAnon followers are more likely to suffer from mental illness than the rest of the population.

The data comes from a study conducted by Georgia State University by radicalization expert, Dr. Sophia Moskalenko. According to her findings, out of the QAnon followers arrested for crimes since 2018,  68% “reported they had received mental health diagnoses.” That’s in comparison to 19% of the rest of the population.

These diagnoses were manifold: post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, Munchausen by proxy syndrome, as well as depression, anxiety and addiction struggles. These numbers were self-reported by QAnon offenders via social media posts or through interviews.

Due to these numbers, Dr. Moskalenko concludes that “QAnon is less a problem of terrorism and extremism than it is one of poor mental health.”

According to Dr. Moskalenko’s research, 44% of the QAnon insurrectionists “experienced a serious psychological trauma that preceded their radicalization, such as physical or sexual abuse of themselves or their children.” These past traumas may explain why QAnon supporters are more likely to believe outlandish conspiracies of elite government pedophile rings.

As Dr. Moskalenko writes: “In my view, the solution to this aspect of the QAnon problem is to address the mental health needs of all Americans – including those whose problems manifest as QAnon beliefs. Many of them – and many others who are not QAnon followers – could clearly benefit from counseling and therapy.”

Since COVID-19 radically changed most people’s way of life, mental health problems skyrocketed in the United States.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression quadrupled during quarantine. It doesn’t seem a coincidence, therefore, that the QAnon movement gained such momentum during a year when people were already suffering from extreme stress and isolation.

But just because QAnon followers are more likely to suffer from mental illness, that does not mean that every person who suffers from mental illness is a QAnon follower.

It’s unfortunate that power-hungry politicians have leveraged the beliefs of already-vulnerable people to their advantage.

In a time when so many people feel much more fragile than they did before, there are some bad actors out there who are using misguided conspiracy theorists to push their own agenda.

Politicians like Donald Trump, Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene have used QAnon rhetoric to recruit voters. Instead, they should be getting their constituents the help they need instead of manipulating and taking advantage of them. These so-called leaders are preying upon people who are unwell and looking for help and guidance.

As one Twitter user wrote: “‘Q Anon’ has consumed those already plagued with mental illness. We need to address this because this is how ordinary American citizens become radicalized.”

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Nike Partners With Crisis Text Line To Expand The Conversation Of Mental Health And Athletics

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Nike Partners With Crisis Text Line To Expand The Conversation Of Mental Health And Athletics

Mental health and wellness is crucial in everyday life, whether you are an athlete or not. It is even more crucial to have someone to talk to when you are feeling those lows. Nike and their athletes have partnered with Crisis Text Line to help expand access to critical mental health and wellness resources.

Nike and Crisis Text Line want to help athletes access mental health and wellness resources.

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According to Athletes for Hope, an estimated 46.6 million people in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition. That is roughly 1 in every 5 adults who will face a mental health challenge in their lifetime. There are a lot of ways that people manage their symptoms, including physical activity, but that doesn’t mean that athletes are immune to mental health struggles.

Thirty-three percent of young adults including college athletes face mental health crises. However, among college athletes, the study states that about 10 percent seek help. Meanwhile 35 percent of professional athletes face a mental health crisis.

Nike and their athletes want to change the conversation around mental health and wellness.

“Nike’s really committed to helping all athletes whether they’re elite athletes or everyday athletes,” Vanessa Garcia-Brito, the vice president of North America Communications, says. “Not everyone is comfortable talking about that and not everyone knows how to get support. Not everyone has access to it either. Nike’s really hoping to change that.”

That is why Nike teamed up with Crisis Text Line and included their athletes into the conversation. Not only does Nike want people to have access to the necessary resources, the athletics company hopes to combat the stigma around people seeking mental health help.

Laurie Hernandez is one of the athletes working with Nike to destigmatize talking about mental health.

Garcia-Brito is enthusiastic about the partnership and what Hernandez, Hayden Hurst, and Scout Bassett offer in bring involved. The athletes are using their own mental health crises to relate to people seeking help.

Hernandez understands struggling with mental health and wellness as a young athlete. The world watched Hernandez as she competed in gymnastics representing the U.S. at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“Especially reaching the Olympics at such a young age and hitting 16 and all of those changes that happened after that,” Hernandes recalls. “Mental health was a really big topic.”

The athletes are sharing their own experiences to encourage others to seek help.

“You have to take care of yourself first and foremost,” Paralympic athlete Scout Bassett says. “If you don’t you’re not going to be able to be not just the best version of yourself but you’re not going to be able to help out somebody else if you yourself are not well.”

Garcia-Brito is inspired by the athlete’s willingness to come forward and share their stories. Garcia-Brito says that the athletes being so open about their own struggles is creating a space for Nike employees and others to have honest conversations about their mental health issues.

“We know there is no off-season for mental health and it isn’t just about being ready for those moment son urgent need It’s also about cultivating a healthy mind and body for everyday life,” Garcia-Brito says. “We’re always looking for new ways in which we can serve our athletes physically and mentally.

Nike is here to help people access the mental health they need.

“So we are thrilled to partner with Nike to advance the conversation about mental health and expand the support that is available,” Chief Transformation Officer Dr. Shairi Turner says.

If you need some help finding resources, you can text “STRONG” to 741-741.

READ: Olympian Laurie Hernandez Is Back And Just Gave A Powerful “Hamilton” Inspired Performance

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