Try optimising your mental health with 'mental hygiene' tips

'This is the mental health equivalent of brushing your teeth before you need a root canal' - Broderick Sawyer, a clinical psychologist

Try optimising your mental health with 'mental hygiene' tips
© Getty/ d3sign
Try optimising your mental health with 'mental hygiene' tips

One thing Covid brought with it was the increasing awareness of personal hygiene, at least people are now washing their hands regularly. We brush our teeth (I would hope at least once a day), shower and try to maintain basic personal hygiene. But have you ever paused to wonder how you can apply these hygiene routines to your mental health?

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Mental health hygiene

Tending to your psychological, mental and physical health while catering to your social well-being is the key to living your best life. A clinical psychologist, Broderick Sawyer tellsCNN, that everyone should try committing 15 minutes each morning to maintain their mental health.

It's not about I don't have time, you have time for a lot of things. If we really can (practice mindfulness) throughout the day, then our mental health needs less of our energy, less of our juice.
Try optimising your mental health with 'mental hygiene' tips Getty/ Vera Livchak

He goes on to explain that the outcome of your day is largely influenced by how you feel in the first couple of minutes upon waking up. You can’t help that, but what you can do, is reprogram your brain to be clear and relaxed.

How to practice mental hygiene

All it takes is 15 minutes of experimenting with new activities. It doesn’t have to be anything that involves energy, you could simply practise being present while you drink your morning coffee, slowly. You could also go for a short walk, stretch or sit outside, according to Sawyer.

It's just learning to treat and cultivate that inner space with awareness.
Getty/ Klaus Vedfelt

Journaling is another way of practising mental hygiene. It’s like taking stock of your feelings after those 15 minutes. Are you more relaxed? Is your mind clearer? How did that impact the rest of your day? Sawyer added:

You just sort of trip onto those things through your own practice of intuitively trying things out. Then if they don't work, that's OK and just write that down

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