Nowadays, it’s hard to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether it’s work, friends, or familial obligations, there is always something on the to-do list. America was a country built on hard work and productivity, but it’s also important to take the time to sit back and relax. Here are five things you can start doing now to take care of your mental health.

1. Take care of your physical health.

If you’re not physically at your best, then your mind won’t be either. While it may be tempting to skip a meal or to settle for fast food, you should try to nourish your body with healthy food. Keep Ziploc baggies of healthy snacks like nuts or dried fruit in your purse or at your office. Instead of pulling an all-nighter to finish up some work, try to aim for a regular sleep schedule with at least 8 hours of sleep each day.

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2. Keep a network of friends and family for support.

Relationships take both time and effort to develop and maintain. Remember to keep in touch with your loved ones so you have people to turn to when the times get rough. Even if you cannot meet up with friends or family in real life, you can always message them or give them a phone call.

3. Create an environment that is comfortable for you.

We may not realize it, but the environment around us can affect our mood and our productivity. Create an ambiance that is right for you. You can change the décor, or invest in an essential oil diffuser. In the workplace, you can try using an ergonomic office chair, such as the Herman Miller Aeron model. You can even get it upgraded with a lumbar pad to support your back. To save money, buy a refurbished model from Beverly Hills Chairs. Trust me, your back will thank you for it.

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4. Make time for hobbies and activities you enjoy.

In the workaholic culture of America, leisure often takes a back seat to productivity. However, you will actually be able to focus better and work more efficiently after resting and doing something else besides work, something you find pleasurable. Whether it’s painting or yoga, you should find the time to do something that makes you happy.

5. Try some meditation, or self-reflection.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by all the obligations of the world, unplug for a bit and just reflect on yourself. You can think about things you are grateful for, or things that bring you happiness in your life. Try keeping a journal and writing down your thoughts. You may find that you appreciate life more now with mindfulness.

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