7 Habits that build mental resilience

We recently discussed how time outdoors boosted teens’ mental health during the pandemic. Getting out into nature is a great way to bolster mental health, but it’s only one of many strategies we can employ to protect our mental health and build resilience. Today we share seven habits that build mental resilience and promote mental wellness. 

  1. Sleep. Did you know that 65-90 percent of individuals with depression struggle with chronic sleep issues? Getting enough sleep is a key factor in mental wellness. For adults, the recommended amount of sleep is at least seven hours each night. For more resources, check out our guide to better sleep. 
  2. Self-compassion. The way we talk to ourselves impacts our self-image and mental health. Treating ourselves with kindness and compassion, even on tough days, builds mental resilience and confidence. 
  3. Social connection. Reduced social contact during the pandemic has taken a real toll on our mental health. A recent study from Harvard found that social connection is the most important protective factor when it comes to preventing depression. During the pandemic, this can look like frequent calls to friends and family, socially-distant gatherings outdoors, or joining virtual clubs and community groups to make new connections. 
  4. Exercise. Getting active reduces stress, relieves anxiety, and even promotes brain health. Work up a sweat every day to protect your mental and physical health. 
  5. Nutrition. The food we eat fuels our body throughout the day and regulates our energy levels. Aim for a balanced meal with plenty of fresh produce and protein. Check our guides to plant-based energy sources and stress-reducing foods for some inspiration. 
  6. Purpose and inspiration. Our brains are constantly growing and changing meaning we crave experiences that challenge and fulfill us. Find hobbies that bring you joy and solidify your work-life balance to find purpose in your professional and personal endeavors. 
  7. Mindfulness. Mindfulness practices, like meditation, journaling, and yoga, are associated with heightened emotional regulation and emotional intelligence. Adopt a mindfulness practice to check in with yourself and dive into personal reflection at least once a day. Building gratitude into this practice is another great way to build mental resilience.  

When it comes to mental health, there is no one-and-done solution to wellness. Building mental resilience is a lifelong practice, but starting with these seven principles of mental health can help you build wellness in every day, good or bad. 

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