MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH. AS THE WORLD *VERY* SLOWLY STARTS TO SHIFT, AND WE ATTEMPT TO READJUST TO ANOTHER NEW NORMAL, IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER TO CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF EMOTIONALLY, SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY. THIS WEEK, WE’VE CURATED TIPS TO HELP YOU CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF AND GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR MENTAL STATE.
We all know how important it is to stay on top of our mental health. But when life gets stressful and busy, it can be difficult to put ourselves first and think about how we’re feeling or how to deal with the emotions we might be suppressing. Here are some ways to do for you to take a step back, acknowledge how you’re doing and make yourself a priority.
TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA BREAK
While most of us are still working from home, it can feel like we’re always online—and being on social media doesn’t always make us feel great. Take an hour (or day) to unplug from social media and relax. Resist the urge to aimlessly scroll through Instagram or see what’s trending online and trying reading a new article or a book. Sometimes, we don’t even realize the power that social media has over us and it can be difficult to break the cycle. But when do, we can feel a lot better about ourselves. If you’re in the mood, try taking it a step further, and do a social media cleanse—unfollowing accounts that don’t motivate or empower you.
GO FOR A WALK
No matter the weather, try to get outside! When you’re in a mental funk, or have been neglecting your mental health, one of the easiest things you can do is slip on your running shoes and go for a quick (or long) walk around your block. Being able to get outside and absorb the fresh air can be such an incredible treat when you’re feeling anxious or stressed about your life. When you’re getting some form of physical activity, it can increase your serotonin levels and refresh your concentration.
If you’re having trouble focusing, but being outside isn’t possible for you, try meditating. Even if it’s just for five minutes, trying to recenter your mind and thoughts can help with moving forward in your day. Focusing on your breath and your body is a great way to think in the present and let any stress you’re feeling melt away for the moment. While it might feel challenging at first, over time, through incorporating some form of mediation into your daily routine, you’ll notice your capacity for dealing with stressful moments has shifted. You feel equipped to take on the challenges rather than feel bogged down by them. We recommend this meditation from Headspace, which aims to decompress your body and mind.
WRITE DOWN HOW YOU’RE FEELING
Being alone with your thoughts can feel scary. Instead of internalizing them, try writing down your thoughts in a journal and see how you feel. Putting your feelings into words can help you visualize how to move forward and work through your negative emotions. Having the ability to acknowledge your mental state encourages self-awareness, which can only help you in the future. Journaling can also keep you mindful and grounded during stressful times. If it still feels scary, we suggest finding a bright, fun notebook like this one, that makes you excited to write everything down.
If you’re financially able to, treat yourself to something special. It’s a quick fix to boost your mood, but scarily enough, it works. Treating yourself doesn’t always mean buying a face mask or that cute loungewear set you’ve been eyeing. t can also be an experience that will benefit your future. Have you been thinking about starting therapy? Getting a virtual workout class subscription? Buying a new bed to get better sleep? While it can be fun to treat ourselves to something frivolous, thinking about the purpose of our purchases and using our dollar to buy something that will benefit us in the long-term is equally important.
At MARY YOUNG, we are not medical experts. Through our research, these are quick fixes to boost your mood and mental health. If you’re experiencing true distress or severe mental health concerns, please seek professional advice.
Have you checked in on your mental health recently? Let us know in the comments below and or on social media by tagging us @itsmaryyoung.