Ever feel overwhelmed by life? Same.
Mental health is something we all need to be mindful of. In these last few years, we have seen a collapse between our work lives and our personal lives. Parents have become teachers. We have all had to cope with ever-changing rules and regulations. These shifting roles and responsibilities have many of us feeling burned out. Fortunately, there are more than a few simple ways we can improve our mental health. Here are just a few ways you can take some time for yourself and improve your mental health.
1) Get organized
What's that old adage..... cluttered desk, cluttered mind? If you are feeling overwhelmed in life, an easy way to take back control is to do it one small space at a time. Tackle those piles on your desk. Sort and shred the junk mail. Organize one drawer. Fold and put away your laundry. In a recent study conducted by the Staples Corporation, 94% of workers claimed to feel more productive in a clean and organized workspace.
2) Focus on your breath
Meditation practices have been around for thousands of years. They have a multitude of benefits, including lowering blood pressure, improving the immune system, and lessening symptoms of depression. Try the box breath technique. Even one minute can help you to improve your focus and mood.
3) Take a yoga break
We often think of yoga and meditation together. Both do focus on the breath. Yoga adds movement. Practicing yoga has many benefits for your physical health, including improved balance, endurance, flexibility, and strength. It also has many benefits for your mental health, as it can improve mental acuity and boost your mood. Try this basic practice from Yoga with Adrienne to lessen back pain.
5) Get outside
While modern conveniences have undoubtedly made life easier, those same conveniences have us spending more and more time indoors. The average American spends nearly 90% of their life indoors. There are so many benefits to spending more time outside. It is associated with higher levels of activity, decreasing stress, and improved moods. It may also help the body to heal faster. So get outside and take a quick walk today.
5) Find a furry friend
Most pet owners will tell you of the joys of living their lives with their chosen companions. They likely will not know all of the measurable physical and mental health benefits that we can gain by snuggling up with a furry friend. Pets, particularly dogs and cats, have been shown to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. They can also help to ease loneliness. If you have a dog, you can even take them on a walk outside, and get a two for one on your mental health benefits.
6) Try a gratitude practice
Gratitude involves focusing on the positive things in your life and how they affect you. Whether you keep a journal, pay it forward at the coffee line, or just pay someone a compliment, practicing gratitude has shown to have many mood-boosting benefits. From boosting the immune system to improving your overall mental health to improving your relationships, having a regular gratitude practice is a simple way to increase your optimism and improve your mood. Try writing a thank you note to someone you appreciate and sending it via snail mail. Your recipient will appreciate it- I promise!
By incorporating some or all of these practices into your life, you can help improve your mental health and overall well-being.