Simple. Healthy. Sweet. Delicious. Gooey. Soft. Chewy. Heaven. These honey iced banana bars are made with simple ingredients, are easy to make, and are a great way to support mental health. Mental health is becoming more important that ever with the connection between body, mind, and soul. Which is why it is important to take time out of the day for yourself and to indulge in a treat now and again, especially as a reward and a little bit of heaven after a long day! What makes that treat better, is one that is good for you, full of healthy fats, low on sugar and is something you will actually enjoy eating. Okay, setting food aside for today, I have compiled a list all about supporting mental health.
But first….Why is mental health so important? Let me explain with a simple analogy….You cannot pour from your cup into the cups of others and the world around you if your cup is empty. Even if you a have a little in your cup and pour from it, there will be less to give the next time and yours is less full. Only when your cup is full and overflowing are you able to freely give. The way to fill that cup is through mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health in whatever way that works for you. I hope that explains it. 🙂
That being said, the world is crazy place and many of us are on constantly on the run going from one event to another. The following are the tips I have compiled about the many aspects of supporting mental health to make your cup a little fuller. Lets get started,
#1 Build healthy relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and people in the community. This is an important way to contribute to an overall sense of well being. Giving time and energy to these relationships can lead to benefits for all parties involved.
#2 Exercise and keep your body healthy. Exercise can reduce depression and anxiety symptoms and release mood boosting hormones. Physical health is related to mental health and doesn’t have to be long, hard and boring. Keep it short, go for walk, ride a bike, do yoga (my personal favorite), Pilates, swim, garden, play with kids, play with the dog, walk the dog, do chores, clean the house, dance, or even go shopping where you will do a lot of walking. Exercise can range from 10 to 30 minutes if you like and all depends on you. No lies, I count grocery shopping as workout. There are many ways to exercise beside doing strict cardio, weight training, or joining a gym; but if any of the latter I just described work for you then by all means do it.
#3 Eat a clean healthy diet that makes you feel, be, and look your best. Food impacts every part of the body including mood, energy levels, motivation, the immune system, how you look, and illness/disease flareups. Support your brain with a diet rich in healthy fats. Did you know that your brain is almost completely comprised of fat?! Crazy! Don’t be afraid to give yourself a treat now and then; eating clean 100% of the time is impossible, and lets face it. . . life is more exciting with chocolate and dessert! So go have a slice and toast it to your health!
#4 Decrease forms of toxic/negative stress in your life. Getting rid of the things, habits, and relationships in life decreases stress and leads to a healthier happier you.
#5 Develop a heart of gratitude and count the blessings in your life. Do this by focusing on what you have and what went well that day. I personally do this at the end of each night before I go to bed. I write down 3 or more positive things that happened in my life during the day. When focusing on what you have, you become less focused on what you don’t have and are less likely to complain about unfortunate circumstances.
#6 Give to others by making a contribution to the community or those close to you. It’s amazing what the power of service to others and fulfilling their needs can do; it will help you to feel good… Try it out and see how it goes.
#7 Learn how to say “no”. It is okay to say “no” if you are spreading yourself out too thin between too many activities and commitments. Remember you can’t do it all, although at times we would like to. It is more meaningful to pour yourself into a handful of prioritized commitments where you can give more energy and spend time taking care of you….because you should be your #1 priority.
#8 Find a spirituality practice or religion. For some people can help cope with stress and reduce mental illness symptoms. This includes being involved with a community of faith, prayer, meditation, and mindfulness. Yoga and Tai Chi also fit into this category.
#9 If you need help, don’t be afraid to seek it. If you are struggling to feel happy, cope with daily life, find meaning, or connect with others there are many services and people out there more than willing to help. Help is not a sign of weakness a diminish of character or pride. I had mental illness, sought help and am now thriving. Without seeking help I would not be where I am today. I am not going to lie….it was scary, but worth it every moment to recovery possible.
#10 a quick list of all I didn’t cover in detail:
Surround yourself with good people & connecting with them
Set realistic goals
Break up monotony
Avoid drugs and use alcohol responsibly
Practice Healthy thinking
Get enough sleep
Exercise your brain (Sudoku, crosswords, or puzzles)
Learn how to cope with negative thoughts
Accept who you are
Be in the present
Enjoy hobbies and do something you are good at
Find a work-life balance ad take break if needed
Start your day with coffee or tea
Set up a retreat or getaway to give you something to look forward to
Take the first step
Experiment with a new recipe, craft, project, or idea
Show love to someone in your life
Eat some chocolate to boost brainpower
color (in adult coloring books) if you are anxious to clear your mind
Go off the grid and leave the electronic behind for a day
Make lists and write things down to clear your head (my personal favorite)
Get some sunshine each day (about 15 minutes). . .It does a body good.
Detailed sources used in this article (with links): Building Better Mental Health, Helpguide.org; Ten Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health, University of Michigan Health Service; Tips for good mental health, heretohelp; Maintaining Your Mental Health, Canadian Mental Health Association; 31 Tips to Boost Your Mental Health; Mental Health America
There you go, the complete quick guide on ways to support mental health. I hope some will be useful to you as they were to me. . . Now, it is time to treat your self 🙂
Simple Honey Iced Banana Bars