Why We Should All Prioritize Our Mental Health & Wellbeing In 2022

By Nicole McCray

If we’ve learned anything over the last two years during the global pandemic, it’s that taking care of our mental health and wellbeing is just as important as caring for our physical health. As we say goodbye to 2021, the pandemic continues to test our resiliency and ability to handle stress.

And the pandemic isn’t the only significant stressor we’ve been handed lately. Political, environmental, economic, and social challenges have sparked stress and anxiety for many. We’re all struggling to adapt to these issues and find a new sense of normal. 

As we move into 2022, let’s focus on moving forward with positive and clear steps to prioritize our mental health and wellbeing.

Find joy in self-care.

Self-care has been a major buzzword lately, and with good reason. Self-care is the most important thing you can do for your mental health and wellbeing. We all need to take time to nurture our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional selves.

As little as 30 minutes a day can make a huge difference. Apply a honey-infused hair mask while you soak in a bubble bath. Meditate or do some yoga. Read a book. Do something creative. Spend some time with your loved ones. Finding joy in simple things is the secret to self-care.

Sleep, eat, think, and move.

Sleep, eat, think, and move, also known as S.T.E.M., is the foundation of mental health and wellbeing. 

To function at our best, we need at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. If this is a challenge for you, take steps to make your bedroom more conducive to sleep and establish a bedtime routine that includes deep breathing or meditation and cutting back on screen time.

The think portion of the equation relates to your inner narrative. How do you talk to yourself? Do you choose to see things around you positively or negatively? Your attitude and the way you perceive the things around you can have a major impact on your mental health.

Eat is obviously about nutrition and a healthy diet. There’s no question that poor nutrition is connected to your mood and energy levels. Make a point of avoiding processed, convenience foods in favor of a whole food diet that includes lots of fruits, veggies, lean protein, and healthy fats.

And finally, get your body moving regularly. Physical exercise is key to good mental health. It reduces anxiety, depression, and stress while improving your overall mood. Any physical activity that you enjoy counts, whether it’s dancing, swimming, hiking, or walking with your pup.

Know you’re not alone.

In the past, there’s been a lot of stigmas around mental health. Because of this, people don’t like to talk about how they’re feeling. Instead, they try to suppress or hide their negative emotions. This often leads to unhealthy coping mechanisms, like unhealthy eating, drugs, or alcohol.

If you are struggling with overwhelming emotions, trauma, or simply the negativity of daily life, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Times have changed and therapy is no longer taboo. A therapist can help you find the tools to cope. 

You don’t even have to leave your home to find a therapist you’re comfortable working with. Virtual therapy appointments are widely available in a variety of specialties. They’re often quite affordable, too.

Get outdoors.

Most of us are spending more time at home these days. All of this time spent indoors can take a major toll on your mental health. It can affect your sleep patterns and lead to issues like mood swings, depression, and feelings of isolation.

Even if you’re working from home, make a point of getting outdoors for a little while every day. Whether you go for a walk, sit on the front porch, or attend an outdoor yoga class, the fresh air and sunshine will boost your mental health and wellbeing.

Identify and avoid triggers.

Do you know what your emotional triggers are? Identifying them can help you avoid or reduce them. An emotional trigger is a thing, a place, or a person that prompts overwhelming negative emotions. It could be spending time on social media, watching the news, or a certain toxic person in your life.

Anything that triggers negative emotions should be reduced in your life as much as possible. Cut back on social media, limit yourself to 30 minutes of news per day, and reduce the time you spend with toxic people. If you can avoid your triggers completely, that’s even better.

Find ways to connect.

We’ve all learned a lesson in the value of relationships over the last couple of years. We’ve all experienced isolation in numerous ways, from work to school and holiday gatherings to travel… and everywhere in between. 

Connecting with those we care about is vital to our mental health and wellbeing. The value of reaching out to friends and family regularly can’t be overstated. Science shows that finding ways to connect reduces stress, depression, and sickness, and can even help you live a longer life.

The bottom line… Prioritizing your mental health and wellbeing is essential in 2022.

Coping with stress and negativity on a daily basis requires good mental health. It’s something we should prioritize and work on every single day. Being aware of our thinking patterns and being intentional in our actions is the key. Rather than trying to “get back to normal,” focus on adapting, adjusting, and moving forward in 2022.

Nicole McCray is a content creator who spends her time writing about everything, including beauty, health and wellness, pet care, music, movies, and TV. She writes for various blogs and loves using her insight to help any audience.

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