5 Simple Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health

April 30, 2024

Hi, I’m Brittany
I'm a Christian Counselor, Couples Therapist & Christ-Centered Yoga Teacher. 


Sometimes making the decision to prioritize your mental health is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you’re used to putting your needs on the back burner and taking care of everyone else first. So, how do you begin to make your own mental health and wellbeing a priority? Here are 5 ways to prioritize your mental health:

1. Assess your self-talk. 

This is often one of the most-overlooked things impacting our mental wellbeing. How we talk to ourselves has a great deal of influence on how we feel mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Take a look at how you speak to yourself. Do you say kind or unkind things? Are there negative patterns? If it’s helpful, keep a journal of how you speak to yourself (whether internally or out loud) throughout the day. If you notice negative thoughts coming up, ask yourself if you would say that to a friend. 

Try to reframe your self-talk to be gentler, kinder and more grace filled. Did you make a mistake in a work task? Did you forget to pack your child’s lunch? That’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up over these things. Remind yourself that it’s ok to mess up sometimes, and you aren’t a failure because you forgot something, didn’t get to a task, or whatever else you might have missed. Be kind to yourself.

2. Move your body. 

Movement and exercise raise endorphins and serotonin into the body to make you feel good naturally. 

If you don’t already have movement or exercise as a regular part of your routine, then start small. Think of one form of movement you really enjoy – walking, dancing, cycling, etc. – and add that to your schedule just twice a week. It can be something as simple as a 10-minute dance break during your work day. It doesn’t have to be a big change all at once!

The more you incorporate movement and exercise into your life, the more you’ll find you like it. As you get used to workouts that you do like, you can incorporate forms of movement that challenge you a little more or might even be out of your comfort zone. Movement – and challenges – are good for our minds and our bodies.

3. Practice gratefulness.

Making gratitude a regular practice and finding joy in the mundane are two essential ways to improve your mental health. When we’re going through tough times, having a well-trained lens of gratitude in your mind can make even the hardest days a little less hard.

I was flipping through a magazine recently, and there was an article about gratitude and increasing moments of wonder. On a full-page spread, they had printed these words in bold:

“The more you know delight, the more you train your mind to see it everywhere.”

Practicing gratitude on a regular basis – and learning to delight in even the smallest moments – makes our everyday lives feel more joyful.

4. Practice mindfulness. 

The days seem to be going by faster and faster, especially as we get older. Practicing mindfulness trains our minds and bodies to slow down and be more present in any given moment. Life might not feel like it’s rushing by quite as quickly when we take the time to slow down and appreciate it. Some ways to practice mindfulness might include prayer, reading scripture, coloring, walking, journaling and more. 

If you want to be more present – and mindful – when you’re spending time with family or friends, try asking questions. You’re sitting at coffee with a friend and feel your mind wandering – ask your friend about what drink they ordered or what they’re looking forward to this month. Asking questions helps keep your mind present, and it gives your loved ones an opportunity to feel seen and heard.

5. Schedule self care.

It isn’t selfish! When we take care of ourselves, it allows us to better care for those around us. We can’t fully pour into others when our cup isn’t even halfway full. 

Christian circles can be prone to promoting filling up others before filling up ourselves. But, Jesus said something a little different in Mark 12:29-31:

“Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. So, it would stand that taking care of ourselves would be just as important as caring for the people around us.

Self care doesn’t have to look like an entire day devoted to the spa. It can be something as simple as setting aside 15 minutes at the beginning or end of your day to do your skincare routine, or read a book, or whatever else helps to fill your cup. (If you have the time for a longer self-care break, then consider joining one of our 4-day retreats to get away and recharge!)

These are just five simple, practical ways to better take care of your mental health. But remember, you don’t have to take a lot of time to do these things nor do you have to be perfect. Showing up and being consistent with how you care for your wellbeing is far more important than being perfect at it.

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