Exercise for mental health: Put them into practice
It is very easy to neglect yourself when you spend most of your day taking care of others. And by “neglecting” we are not only talking about the physical aspect and the exercise of moving the body, but also about all the attention that our mental health needs when we dedicate ourselves to the care of the elderly.
What is mental health?
To begin with, the most important thing is to define what is mental health? With this term, the experts encompass all social, psychological and emotional well-being, because it affects the way we feel, the way we think, how we act and how we face problems. In addition, it is what determines how we handle stress, how we relate to others and how we make decisions. On the other hand, it is important to clarify that not all the things we do not like about ourselves are special conditions or mental health illnesses. For example, the way in which we reproduce unhealed childhood traumas during our adulthood is not considered a disease, but it is a problem that affects the normal development of daily life and can be treated and improved through psychotherapy. For example, it is common for children who were abandoned during childhood, either physically or emotionally, to reproduce those same patterns of flight in adulthood, so it can happen that it is very difficult for them to maintain meaningful relationships over time. To diagnose a disease, a disorder or a condition it is important to see a specialist, but from home we can also do certain exercises and implement them in our lifestyle, which will help us feel better, make better decisions and maintain more interpersonal relationships. healthy.
How to identify the state of my mental health?
If you are doubting the quality of your mental health, it is very possible that you have something that you can improve on, especially since all of us should exercise in our daily lives to feel better. However, we are going to give you a list of signs that may indicate that you are dealing with mental health problems.
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits.
- You have distanced yourself from the people you love the most.
- You no longer enjoy the activities you used to love.
- You have very little energy.
- You feel empty, like nothing matters.
- You have pain that cannot be explained, such as headaches or back pain that cannot be medically explained.
- You feel helpless or hopeless.
- You smoke, drink, or use drugs more often
- You regularly feel confused, angry, upset, worried, or anxious.
- You have severe mood swings.
- You have intrusive thoughts.
- You hear voices or believe things that are not true.
- You think about hurting yourself or others.
- You cannot perform daily tasks, such as getting out of bed, organizing the house, working or conversing with those around you.
Physical and mental activity are related
In 1946, the WHO, World Health Organization, defined the word health as “the comprehensive state of physical, mental and social well-being… and not just the absence of disease”. Therefore, we cannot talk about physical health without mentioning mental health. And vice versa. For example, chronic, serious or lethal diseases represent a very great burden for those who suffer from them (whether they survive or not), so it is very common for them to lead to mental disorders, among which depression stands out. Or, for example, people who suffer from special mental illnesses, disorders or conditions are often affected by physical ailments or complications. It is not necessary to have a serious illness to notice the consequences of this close relationship, because all of us noticed during the months of strictest confinement that the lack of sun, exercise and healthy eating affected our mental health; and that the feeling of despair, confinement, lack of contact with other human beings and paranoia led to physical consequences, such as headaches, back pain or gastrointestinal problems. Therefore, it is vital that people try to maintain a balance between our mental health and our physical health.
Types of exercises for mental health
The exercises to improve mental health can be applied by all people within our daily routines.
- Breathe: a deep and conscious breath can help us feel a little calmer in a couple of minutes, because as the heart rate and blood pressure decrease, so does stress.
- Meditate: you can do it from the comfort of your home, independently or with a guide, because you only need to be present to do it. However, there are apps and videos that can help you learn, like this app: Insight Timer.
- Reading: this practice increases concentration, reduces stress, improves cognitive reserve, and strengthens neural connections.
- Play memory games: they can be sudokus, crossword puzzles or word search puzzles. What you like most! If this catches your attention, you can go to the article Physical-recreational activity plan for the elderly.
- Use your less skilled hand: Whether you’re right or left-handed, we challenge you to use your non-dominant hand to do things like brush your teeth, use your cell phone, or cook. This will help you strengthen the opposite side of the brain.