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Tips for staying mentally healthy.

Stay mentally healthy by following these simple steps:

  1. Connect with others. Develop and keep strong relationships with people who will support you.
  2. Play! Plan something fun! – Make time every day to enjoy something you really like to do.  Be silly and laugh – laughter can recharge you.
  3. Ask for help.  Everyone hits bumps in the road. Ask a friend, co-worker or teacher for help and advice. Call 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) for suggestions. We all need help sometimes.
  4. Take care of yourself. It’s easier to feel happy if your body feels good. Exercise. Enjoy a good breakfast. Drink water, have a healthy snack and eat a balanced diet.  Physical and mental health are tied together. Be good to your body.
  5. Rest. Sleep restores both your mind and body.  Aim for 7 hours of sleep at least. Go to bed and get up at a regular time each day. One hour before bedtime turn off your phone and computer. Take some time to relax and wind down from your day. If you have trouble sleeping, only lay in bed for ½ hour then get up and go into another room, or sit in a chair and read a book or watch TV (no computer or phone as the blue light can keep you awake) for a ½ hour, then try to go back to sleep again for a ½ hour.
  6. Deal with stress. Pay attention to what makes you stressed, where you feel it in your body, and how you react to it. This will help you to better manage your stress. Learn to express anger when it’s “small” instead of allowing it to build. Relaxation breathing, yoga or meditation can help.
  7. Think about today. Too often we are thinking about the past or planning for the future instead of living in the present.  Focus on living “in the moment.”  Outside, notice the sun or wind on your face, or feel your feet on the pavement. Inside, feel your body in the chair, or your feet on the floor. Make a real effort to be aware of the world around you today. It is important for your mental health.
  8. Give back. Volunteer for a cause or an issue you care about. Help out a co-worker, neighbor, or friend. Find ways to contribute, it can help you feel good about yourself and who you are in the world.
  9. Challenge yourself. Learn a new skill or set a difficult goal. Try something different, commit to fitness or a healthy eating goal, learn to cook something new, or learn a new computer skill. Learning improves your mental fitness.
  10. Drink less alcohol and avoid all other drugs. Sometimes people misuse alcohol and other drugs to feel better, but, alcohol and other drugs can make problems worse.

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