Why a Consistent Mental Health Routine Matters More Than You Think
Maintaining a healthy mental state is something that not many people prioritize. We often think of physical health first when it comes to being healthy and happy, but mental health is just as important. Keeping your mind and emotions balanced requires maintaining a consistent mental health routine, which you should not overlook. It can be hard to make a mental health routine a priority, but it’s important to understand why it matters more than you may think.]
Let's start by defining what a routine is: a regular sequence of actions or a predetermined program. While some may find routines mundane or repetitive, they are crucial for our brains to feel safe and in control. Repetition and predictability are important for regulating dysregulated nervous systems, which can often be a struggle for those with mental health issues.
Think of your daily habits like brushing your teeth, making your bed, or going to the gym. These routines help our bodies adapt and even crave them over time. However, it's important to note that unhealthy habits can also become routine and lead to dependence. The beauty of routines is that they don't require as much energy from our already stressed-out nervous systems, as they are predictable and easy to follow, removing speculation., anxiety, and fear of the unknown.
How mental health routine helps with managing stress
In today's fast-paced world, stress is a prevalent issue among people of all ages. If you do not manage it effectively, it can lead to serious mental health problems. Mental health routine is an essential tool that can help individuals manage stress. It involves setting aside time to engage in activities that promote mental, emotional, and physical well-being. These activities can include things like meditation, journaling, exercise, and practicing gratitude. By incorporating these practices into their daily routine, individuals can effectively manage their stress levels and promote a better quality of life. A mental health routine can help individuals to feel more in control of their emotions, improve their mood, and enhance their cognitive function. Overall, integrating a mental health routine into one's life can play a crucial role in maintaining excellent mental health and preventing stress-related disorders.
Implementing a personalized mental health routine can effectively manage stress and positively impact the body's stress response. This is crucial for overall health, and we'll explain why.
When we experience stress, anxiety, depression, or frequent emotional upset, we deplete our energy levels. This goes beyond the loss of calories and extends to a decrease in essential minerals such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Today, we'll delve into the strong correlation between stress and mineral depletion.
The importance of minerals in stress management
Minerals are important nutrients that are crucial for a variety of functions in the body, including stress management. Prolonged stress tends to deplete important minerals such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus in our bodies. The minerals play a vital role in regulating the nervous system and supporting the adrenal glands, which produce stress hormones. Moreover, they help in relaxation, improving sleep quality, and reducing anxiety, all of which are crucial for effective stress management.
First off, did you know magnesium is one of the first minerals we tend to utilize at excessive amounts when we’re stressed? There is a concept called the “magnesium burn rate” which is when we tend to use up our magnesium stores in the body as a means to try and regulate our stress response. We have an entire blog post about it here, but in short, people who tend to have poorer mental health and chronic stress typically have a magnesium deficiency or an inability to retain magnesium within the cells.
Deficiencies in magnesium can cause increased stress on the body, leading to the production of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, higher blood sugar, muscle contractions, and changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and hydration. Other minerals also play a role in regulating these processes. Sodium and potassium help regulate stress hormones, calcium aids insulin secretion, and potassium aids glucose uptake. Muscle contraction, heart health, and blood pressure are all influenced by electrolytes, and a deficiency in one mineral can affect the others.
By incorporating simple self-regulation techniques into your daily routine, you can help your body adapt to stress and become more resilient. Don't wait until it's too late to start taking care of your body – make mineral intake a priority today!
What does a mental health routine consist of?
Individuals have unique preferences, limitations, and circumstances when it comes to incorporating changes in their lifestyle. Consequently, we have curated 5 practical and cost-free recommendations that are universally applicable and easy to implement from this moment onwards.
Learn how to breathe
Discover the power of controlling your breath during times of stress. Research suggests that specific breathing patterns can calm the nervous system and positively impact our emotional state. Techniques such as deep breathing into the diaphragm, taking pauses during inhalation and exhalation, and mindfulness of breathing patterns can all disconnect us from the stress and redirect our focus toward the process. Learn how to regulate your breath today for improved resilience and calm.
Stick to a sleep routine
Although it may seem trivial, the quality of our sleep has a profound impact on our mental well-being. When we aren't well-rested, our cognitive abilities suffer, and our energy levels plummet. But the effects of poor sleep run deeper, impacting our physical health in myriad ways, from our nervous system to our blood sugar levels and appetite. To establish a consistent and effective sleep routine, it's important to prepare our bodies for rest by gradually winding down in the evenings. To achieve this, we should avoid screens and other stimuli for 1-2 hours before bedtime, enjoy a warm, calming beverage, and usher ourselves into a state of relaxation. With these calming practices in place, the path to restful sleep becomes easier to navigate.
Let out your feelings through a somatic approach
Our bodies hold memories in three distinct areas: our immune system via memory T-cells, muscle memory, and DNA/cellular memory. When we recall a trauma, our senses come into play, stimulating the nervous system with the memories that it holds. Speaking about our feelings through verbal therapy isn’t enough to relieve trauma. To regulate the nervous system and prevent overreacting and increased stress response when recalling a traumatic event, we need somatic methods like tapping, dancing, or even contained physical aggression to manipulate our senses.
Dr. Peter Levine, the author of Waking the Tiger, explains that after a hunt, female lions wrestle with each other to help their bodies "use up" the stress hormones that come from their act of hunting; otherwise, these hormones get stored in the body. When upset, children tend to get physical by stomping, hitting, or waving their hands around. This behavior is not attention-seeking but a way to RELEASE emotions.
Go for a walk, specifically around greenery
Walking is a therapeutic activity that has numerous benefits which can be enhanced when done in the appropriate setting. According to this study here individuals who walk or run in a red or white environment experience reduced heart rates and better mood. This finding is not unexpected, as the color green has a natural association with tranquility and nature. Thus, walking can be an enjoyable and low-impact form of exercise with a calming effect on the mind and body.
Not just for the granola crowd, grounding has been proven effective in regulating the nervous system, lowering heart rate variability, and controlling emotional bouts of anxiety – check out this article here for the science behind it. Grounding involves placing your feet on the ground (ideally dirt, grass, or sand) to connect with and share the earth's negative electrical ions. When in direct contact with the earth, we receive its electrons, kind of like an electrical charge, bringing us to the same electrical potential as the earth. This helps regulate our circadian rhythm, improve sleep, anxiety, depression, and balance the autonomic nervous system. Trust us, it's worth trying.
In conclusion, having a consistent mental health routine is incredibly important. Establishing an attainable schedule and activities can help to navigate our emotional wellbeing on a daily basis. This simple act can have drastic positive implications for our overall wellbeing, allowing us to feel more centered in day-to-day life. Whether it’s setting aside time for self-reflection and journaling or using music or physical activity as an outlet – finding what works best for us is just a part of the journey. Letting go of any guilt around taking time for ourselves is essential in allowing the practice of mental health routines to settle into our lives.
Taking this step towards personal growth can empower us with a greater sense of understanding, perspective, and awareness, making the days ahead filled with what life has to offer. If you're keen to optimize your physical and mental health, check out our mineral balancing tips. Click here to get started today!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach