If you have read any of our blogs, you know that here at Sally B’s we talk a lot about routines and rhythms. There’s a good reason for that: Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do,” and if we want to be healthy people then we have to repeatedly do healthy things. And while we mention skincare routines a lot (we are a skincare company, after all), we believe that building routines around other parts of our lives can contribute to our overall well-being. We’ve written before about the effects of stress on your skin; if any part of ourselves is out of whack, it affects the rest of us.
This month we want to discuss some routines aimed at mental well-being. If you’re already doing some of these things, great! If you see something here that strikes a chord with you, then maybe it’s something you should consider incorporating into your own life.
Have someone that you regularly talk to. And we mean honest-to-God talk to. So much of our communication these days is through text or comments or email, which can give a false sense of proximity and lacks tone and nuance. It doesn’t have to always be a serious heart-to-heart conversation, but frequency in communication can lead us to be more open about things that we struggle with.
Put limits around your screen time. The American Pediatric Association has been saying for years that children need to have screen-time limits, but now researchers are encouraging adults to limit themselves as well. According to an addiction expert from Stanford University, our smartphone interactions (especially social media consumption!) has given us a near constant flow of dopamine. Dopamine is the “feelgood” molecule, and when we constantly release it into our bloodstream its effect becomes less and less.
Get plenty of good sleep. Good sleep is distraction-free sleep, so check the electronics at the door. Create a bedtime routine that allows you to de-stress with a good book, calming music, or meditation before hitting the sack. Shoot for a 7-8 hour sleep, as experts say this is ideal for most people.
Be physically active. Running, yoga, and swimming are all great ways to burn off steam and keep your body strong and healthy. Exercise causes chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood.
Get help if you need it. Unfortunately, there are stigmas around mental health issues. If you were having a heart attack, how many of us would think, “I’d hate it if people knew I was having a heart attack. What might people say? I better just ignore it and hope it goes away.” Ridiculous, right? If you feel like you need support, contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 800-950-NAMI to get help from a professional in your area.
At Sally B’s, we want your whole self to be healthy. Take some time this month to inventory your mental well-being and take steps to becoming as mentally healthy as possible.