What does mental hygiene mean?
For many people, their psyche is more difficult to understand than their body, and strengthening their mental health seems difficult at first. «I know how to keep my body fit. But how can I possibly exert any influence over my mental health?» Mental hygiene is the practice of taking care of one's own psyche with the help of certain tips.
Recognising your own needs
Looking after your mental health may sound rather abstract. But all it means is recognising your own needs, desires and talents and being able to live them to the full. What am I particularly good at? Which people do I feel completely comfortable with? What values do I stand for? What things drain me of energy? Anyone who asks themselves these and similar questions – and can also answer them – is already well into the topic of mental hygiene. Because only if I know and understand my own needs can I make room for them in my everyday life.
- If nature is important to you and you draw a lot from it, you should make the effort to go walking regularly.
- If you feel completely satisfied and balanced after a sociable evening, you should organise more events like this.
This basic mental health practice requires no complicated tools, nor any special expertise. Just a little time and attention paid to yourself.
Practical tips to try
Of course there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for strengthening mental health. But if you analyse your own needs and values, you will get a more accurate sense of what helps you and what does you good. Sometimes it's also a good idea to try something new:
Look after yourself well, show understanding for your own weaknesses and reward yourself for your achievements. Often we are more understanding with others than with ourselves - this needs to be changed.
Discover relaxation techniques
Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation. Practice makes perfect - results are sometimes not noticeable until after a few weeks.
Create flow moments
When we forget everything around us and are completely absorbed in an activity, we are in «flow». This can be through making music, cooking, doing crafts, playing sports, at work or in conversations. It doesn’t matter what it is – include more moments of flow in your everyday life.
Improving mental health
Our psyche has a great influence on our well-being. Those who watch not only their body but their psyche too are not only happier and more efficient, but also better equipped to deal with crises. By contrast, those who don’t address their mental health until a crisis hits are in a difficult position. Mental hygiene should therefore become as natural as personal hygiene – don't you agree?