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50 Good Mental Health Habits

30. Invest in Your Strengths – It’s not prideful to know what you’re good at; it’s foolish not to. Many of us can get so caught up in shoring up our weaknesses that we stop building on our strengths. The result is that we develop a defeatist or defensive attitude toward life that is bad for our mental health.

31. Reconcile With Your Weaknesses – Weaknesses aren’t bad; they’re just weaknesses. Quit hiding what you’re not good at. That causes you to live with a fear of being found out; which is bad for your mental health. Nobody likes a perfect person anyway, they’re unrelatable and intimidating.

32. Call a Friend – Have a “just because” conversation. Non-purposeful conversation where the only agenda is each person’s interest in the other is good for our mental health. It is like social relaxation exercise.

33. Take a Social Media Sabbath – Oops. You’re reading this on a social media channel. Social media can be both over-stimulating and cause us to compete with the idealized versions of other people’s lives. If this is stressing you out, take a break.

34. Be Still – Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that if we are still for a few minutes, the world will not fall off its axis. Stillness is a great reminder that we are not God and God is still in control. Having a felt sense that you don’t have to be sovereign or omnipotent is good for your mental health.

35. Reduce Caffeine if You’re Anxious – Caffeine is a stimulant. If you struggle with anxiety, then caffeine adds to your anxiety. Being aware of how our food and beverage choices aid or detract from our mental health goals is important. Similarly, alcohol is a depressant, so refraining from alcohol is wise if you struggle with depression.

36. Create a Satisfying Morning Routine – Set your days up to succeed. Wake up early enough to get done what needs to be done. Have an order in which the most important morning tasks get accomplished. Being settled as you transition from maintenance activities to your purposeful activities is good for your mental health.

37. Prioritize a Weekly Sabbath – God called us to rest because He loves us and wants what is best for us (Exodus 20: 8-11). In the same way your car would not work well if the engine was always running or your computer would overheat if it was always active, your mental health requires some downtime too.

38. Try Something New – When we try something new we accept the possibility of failure. This is a good thing. When we live as if failure is fatal, the weight of each endeavor becomes crippling to our mental health. You might enjoy the new things and it become a lifelong hobby or food-of-choice, but even if you don’t, the experience will have been good for your mental health anyway.

39. Make Sure Your Schedule Is Realistic – If what you believe you “should” do each week won’t fit within the 168 hours God allotted for that week, then you’re going to feel like a failure. We often say “yes” to new things without saying “no” to old commitments. It is good to periodically do a life inventory to make sure you’re expectations aren’t undermining your mental health.

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Brad serves as the Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church in  Durham, NC. He also serves as Instructor of Biblical Counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a council member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, and has authored several books including Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk: Why and How Christians Should Have Gay Friends and God’s Attributes: Rest for Life’s Struggles.