Mental health is a state of emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It includes your ability to work productively, maintain healthy relationships, navigate stress, bounce back from adversity, and realize your full potential. A person’s mental health is influenced by their environment, genetics, and their lifestyle choices. There are many ways to keep your mental health in prime condition, including exercising your brain, eating right, and fostering strong family and social connections.

Exercise is a natural mood enhancer. It relieves stress, releases endorphins, and can even help control depression. It’s best to vary your workout routine so that your body experiences new stimulation. Try something different like walking, jogging, or dancing to music. Getting out in the sunshine also helps boost your mood by increasing serotonin levels.

A diet rich in nutrients and protein can also improve your mood. Vitamins C, D, E, and K are especially important to your mental health. Try to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources such as fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, and lean meats. If you don’t eat enough of these foods, consider taking a multivitamin.

Getting enough sleep is another important part of maintaining good mental health. The average adult needs 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation can cause irritability, fatigue, low motivation, and poor judgment. Ensure that you get adequate amounts of sleep by having a regular bedtime, turning off all screens an hour before you go to bed, and avoiding caffeine after noon.

Meditation is a powerful tool for improving mood. One study showed that a mindfulness meditation program reduced anxiety and pain levels in people with chronic illness. Practicing mindfulness can be as easy as taking a deep breath, or as complex as learning to control your thoughts and emotions. For a quick mental health boost, download a free or low-cost mindfulness app such as Calm or Headspace.

Trying out a new hobby or activity can stimulate your mind health boost and create neural pathways that can help you think more clearly. If you feel the winter blues coming on, a sunny hike or yoga class can help. Try to change up your daily routine, such as going grocery shopping at a new store or joining a new club, to give your brain a chance to reset.