Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mental Health Today! By Our Guest, Alek Sabin.

Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mental Health Today! By Our Guest, Alek Sabin.

Mental health issues can always be a struggle, especially when maintaining recovery from addiction, and it’s important to note that you aren’t helpless against the chemical problems in your brain. Building strong coping mechanisms and skills to improve your mindset are important stepping stones to a happy and fulfilling life. We know how important self-care is. Having mental health challenges is as the same as well as our overall medical health and well being.

Here are some things that you can do every day to improve your mental health…

 

Pay Attention to Your Diet

 

A healthy diet doesn’t just offer benefits for your physical health—it can help you psychologically, as well. No diet can cure your mental problems, but according to ongoing research, certain foods can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Many scientists believe, for example, that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna can improve brain health.

The complex carbohydrates found in whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat pasta, meanwhile, help the body release serotonin. And dark chocolate has been lauded for years for its ability to help the body release serotonin and relax the blood vessels. Eating regularly and never skipping meals will also help you to keep blood sugar levels stable, preventing mood swings. If you find yourself eating too much sugar, here are some sugar free snack ideas for you and your family to help you.

 

Get Regular Exercise

 

While on the subject of creating a routine, it’s a good idea to build some exercise into that routine, even if it’s just a little exercise to get that heart rate up a few times a week. Exercise temporarily raises endorphin levels in the body, making it an instant mood booster.

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And because of the way that your body and its hormones respond to stress during exercise, regular exercise over time can actually increase your body’s overall resistance to stress. And as if that weren’t enough, exercise, of course, has the added benefit of improving and strengthening your overall physique, which is a sure way to build self-confidence.

 

Spend Time with Animals

 

Even if you don’t feel ready to have a pet of your own, you can spend time with a friend or family member’s pet, or visit your local animal shelter, for a natural boost in mood. Animals have a way of showing pure, unconditional love, which could be exactly what a person with mental health problems needs. In addition, a pet can give a person something to wake up for, something to build a routine around, and a companion to depend on. Pets are actually proven scientifically to relieve tension and improve mood.

 

Make a Routine

 

Mental health problems have a way of taking structure out of our lives, causing one day to blend into the next. Creating a routine that includes ample amounts of sleep, and making it a habit to stick to it. can keep you on track and give meaning to each and every day.

 

Plan a Time to Get Away

 

Even if you don’t have the resources to take time off of work and go out of town for a vacation (which, by the way, could offer just the break you need to relieve stress), simply planning a vacation will raise your spirits significantly. According to a study published the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life back in 2010, the largest boost in happiness surrounding vacations actually comes from the simple act of planning the vacation.

So grab a friend and plan an imaginary trip together. And if it seems doable in the near future, go ahead and make it a financial goal to save up for that vacation. Setting goals, after all, is in itself another way to give yourself something to look forward to and naturally heal your mental health.

 

Be Authentic

 

This is much easier said than done, but there is something about getting in touch with your authentic self that builds your self-confidence and boosts mood levels. Try to confide in friends and family members on a regular basis, or try writing in a journal regularly to get your thoughts out on paper.

You might also try meditating, which can help you to track your thought patterns and spend much-needed time clearing your mind of all the everyday stress it is exposed to.
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Enjoy the Sunlight

 

It’s true—spending time in the sun actually aids in serotonin production and leads to a better mood. Make it a point to spend some time each day in the sun, especially during the winter months when serotonin levels are especially low.

In addition, you might consider letting more sunshine stream in through your windows so that you can enjoy the benefits of sunlight even while indoors.

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Learning Holiday Budgeting ~ Gambling Recovery Finance and Budgeting Advice By Guest Alek Sabin …

Learning Holiday Budgeting ~ Gambling Recovery Finance and Budgeting Advice By Guest Alek Sabin …

Now that the holiday season is here, for those recovering from gambling addiction may feel a little more stress over finances this time of year. We know this addiction is and was financially draining and emotionally. My guest Alek has some sound advice on how to keep it all together and share how to tighten our budget and keep some money over the holiday season.

Many of us doing our financial inventories may have worked hard to clean up our credit and get things back on track. But let us learn from Alek how to not go overboard as to running the risk of being once again burdened with loads of debt after the holidays.

 

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How to Tighten Your Budget Over the Holiday Season~by Alek Sabin

Coming into the holidays tends to generate a lot of excitement. There are all sorts of parties to go to, goodies to eat, and gifts to share. However, in the midst of this joyful season, your pocketbook is almost certainly going to take a bit of a hit. Indeed, the holidays can be so financially taxing that most financial experts recommend having a budget for the holidays that you save for throughout the rest of the year. However, you don’t need to go into the red this year, if you take some simple steps to help tighten your budget.

The key to enjoying the festivities without the added stress of going into debt is to be smart and plan ahead. Check out some of the following suggestions to keep your bank account happy for the rest of the year!

Make a List and Stick to It

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Take the time to think ahead and make a list of each of the people you want to buy presents for this year. Once you have a list, take your planning to the next level and decide what it is you would like to give them. This will be especially helpful in a variety of ways, including:

  • Removing the possibility of overspending or buying more presents for any one person than you intended.
  • Removing the risk of impulse purchases.
  • Allowing you to price shop so you can get the best deal on each gift, including giving you the chance to watch for special holiday sales.
  • Making sure you do not forget anyone and cause yourself additional stress.

 

Set Aside the Money

Once you have set a budget for the amount you are willing and able to spend on the holidays this year, find a way to set it aside. Easily keep track of your money now and throughout the year by employing these tips.

    • Set aside a special pot of money just for the holidays: Whether this is a bank account you put money in specifically for the holidays or a literal jar you have in your home that you periodically deposit money into, keep your holiday money separate from all of your other money. This will help you know exactly what you have available to spend and keep you from spending money that should be going toward more important things, like the mortgage and food.

 

  • Only use cash for your holiday spending: If you would rather draw the money out of your normal bank account, withdraw the money into cash and know that is all you have to spend. Being able to visually see the amount of money you have left to spend will help you to make economic choices. Once the money is gone, you are done spending for the holidays. 
  • Have a strict meal plan: Holiday parties and get-togethers are likely to boast large and delicious meals, and can cost a pretty penny (especially if you are hosting one yourself). However, you should make a point to ensure that the rest of your meals are more structured and less expensive, in order to save a buck or two (or more) for the rest of the holiday. Whether this includes cooking all of your meals at home or finding clever ways to save money when you eat out.

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Look for Alternatives to Purchased Gifts


If the wallet is tight this year, consider other options for gifts you may give rather than ones purchased in the store. For a neighbor, you may offer to walk their dog or shovel their sidewalks. If you are making holiday treats, make a few extra and take some treats to friends or to the office. Encourage children to be creative and make each other homemade gifts.


Let Someone Else Host This Year


While presents are a costly part of the holiday season, another stress on your finances is holiday parties and dinners. Purchasing the food, drinks, decorations, and outfits for these events while entertaining can quickly add up to a pretty penny. Consider allowing (or even asking!) someone else to host the party this year. If you still find yourself playing host, look for ways to ease the burden on yourself by making it a potluck meal or a BYOB …

Save Your Receipts


By saving all of your receipts, you can then log your spending when you get home in a notebook or spreadsheet. This will help you to keep a running total and assist in staying within your budget. Another less thought of a reason for keeping receipts is that some stores will reimburse you for the difference if an item goes on sale after you purchase it. While this is not true of all stores, it never hurts to ask and you will need your receipt to get your money back!

 

Happy Recovery Holiday Season!