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To me it's a matter of balance, and here are some vital ingredients:
- financial solvency and future
- good health
- keeping stress low
Sometimes it seems the sane people in the world are under siege - bombarded by unsavory media and advertisements, obnoxious music, unrelenting stream of ominous changes making the news. At those times the best defense can be just withdrawing and tuning those influences out. A lot of people (men I think) have noted that online dating is a stress trigger (any surprise there? ).
Healthy relationships of any kind, romantic or not, are known to lower stress. Exercise, sleep and healthy diet are known to be more effective against mild depression than prescriptions. Spend time in the sunlight, go to a natural setting. Recently it made the news that seeing trees relieves stress, and the more trees, the greater the relief. Sounds strange but it was supported by a study (sorry, don't have a link to post).
A healthy diet can improve things. Cook your food from ingredients and you'll cut out the additives, dyes, preservatives and a fair amount of sugar.
Taking up a constructive hobby that involves actually using one's hands can be helpful - carpentry, auto repair, cooking. In other words, NOT facebook, video gaming, gore movies, reality TV.
Last idea I'll mention is using one's mind. Learning new things through reading for example. I recall reading that occupations such as science and engineering had lower rates of Alzheimers, so that can literally help you stay sane. Find a subject to study and read about that feel connected with.
Planning for the long term rather than searching for quick fixes tends to produce sustained improvement.
+1 to Wanderlust's point about learning new things. My grandmother had Alzheimers, and it's a really distressing condition. It's been proven that nuns should have major problems with Alzheimers, but because they are constantly learning, they rarely show symptoms.
Learning a new language is a good project, especially one completely different to your native tongue. I just did my Chinese HSK2 test so that was good brain training, plus it's a huge talking point on my resume.
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