Maintaining your mental health is such an important part of being your most productive, healthy, and happy self. But if you’re feeling blue, it can be difficult to simply “snap back” into a positive state of mind. This Mental Health Awareness Month we’re highlighting activities that improve your mental health and are a great way to move forward, making positive steps toward feeling better, without feeling like you’re “faking it.”
Here’s five tips and ideas to inspire your own mental wellness routine:
1. Physical Activity
At Metanoia Wellness, we focus on four pillars, so to speak, between emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. However, they’re often tied closely together. Oftentimes, the feelings and thoughts we have in connection to our mental health are caused by physical chemicals.
Getting your body moving is a great way to boost feel-good hormones in your brain. If your old routines and exercises don’t strike your fancy, don’t be afraid to mix it up! A “good” workout doesn’t necessarily mean lifting heavy weights or burning hundreds of calories. A good workout is one that leaves you feeling happier and healthier.
Looking for something new that you can do from the comfort and safety of your home? Check out dance workouts on YouTube or put on that audiobook you’ve been craving and go for a walk!
2. Surround Yourself with Friends and Family
It’s no secret that the people we love make us feel better. We’re not meant to be solitary creatures, a fact many of us have come to painfully understand during the isolating times of COVID-19. Grabbing a cup of coffee or even Zooming over a meal can give you the extra boost of love you need.
Additionally, check in with yourself to ensure that the people you are seeing are adding love and support to your life. We’ve all heard the statistic that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. If you’re feeling emotionally drained after being social, you might want to consider spending time with people who make you feel more supported.
This one can seem a bit counter intuitive. If you’re feeling drained and down, why take on more responsibility? However, unlike a potentially stressful career, volunteering hits a sweet spot between productivity and love that truly makes us feel better. Knowing that you are helping someone else out in a meaningful way is a great mood booster, and remembering that volunteering can be a sporadic thing you do as a means of caring for others and yourself keeps you away from feeling “locked into” another commitment.
4. Change Up Your Routine
Having a quality routine can help increase your sense of security in life and can be a wonderful thing. However, if you’re feeling a bit “stuck,” changing things up can spark that bit of adventure that boosts our mood. Rearrange a room in your home, try a new walking path, or take a day trip to a new city. You don’t need to make huge changes to see impactful results from this one!
5. Avoid Alcohol
An end-of-week glass of wine is a great way to unwind after a stressful week of work. However, if that stress has taken on a new life as anxiety or feelings of depression, alcohol can instead work as a catalyst for those bad emotions. If you still want to appeal to your senses, treat yourself to a relaxing bath or whip up a delicious treat in the kitchen.
Bonus: Getting Help
If you feel that your mental health has moved past simply feeling “down in the dumps,” it could be time to reach out for help. Therapy is a great way to detangle tricky feelings and check in with your mind. Lots of insurance providers offer support for people looking to take control of their mental health. Take a look at the options around you. You deserve to feel both mentally and physically healthy.