Motivated. Hard-working. Determined. These are traits of a self-driven person that are not only admirable but also sought-after by many. But sometimes emotional stress is felt alongside, or as a result of, this intense desire to be successful. Mental health is just as important as our physical health, and self-care is a big part of keeping our mental mindsets healthy and strong. So, we have put together a list of self-care activities to help improve your mental health on your own or with the help of a professional.
1. Get Some Sunshine
One of the easiest ways to change your outlook is by enjoying some natural vitamin D. Take a walk in the sunshine, sit outside for lunch, or spend time outdoors in the sun doing anything you like. A few minutes a day absorbing sunlight can directly affect your mood, so regularly take advantage of this free mood-enhancing activity.
2. Write it Down
Track your feelings, record what you think, or scribble out your hopes and fears in a journal. For your eyes only, journaling is a proven strategy to help ease our minds while doing something constructive. Buy a meaningful lined book, or just grab whatever you have to start this simple, no-rules self-care strategy to start seeing a real benefit.
3. Get Checked
Does your mood seem to be up and down more than normal? Self-care can include checking in with necessary medical care, too. When mental health is a concern, you can even look into support from behind your computer screen with online screenings to see if you need to reach out for further care. For example, taking a bipolar disorder test online and scheduling an appointment with a licensed psychiatrist. Online tools can be a helpful starting point for guiding your search for a professional who can provide the support you might need.
4. Guide Your Way to Relaxation
Slowing down enough to relax and let go of mental stress can be a challenge, so let technology do the hard work for you. Download a relaxation or meditation app to lead you through the mental or physical activities that lead to a more relaxed mindset.
5. Turn it Off to Recharge
Sometimes we need to tune out to tune into our mental health. Step away from ever-present technology to rejuvenate your spirit. By slowing down the sometimes overwhelming amount of information ingested daily through social media, texts, and online interactions, your mental mindset can take a breather and allow you to reset on what is important and valuable to you. Whether it is an hour, a day, or even longer, putting down the constant connectivity in your life can be just the mental health salve you need.
6. Learn Something New
Have you always wanted to learn to knit or play the piano? Pick up a new skill or hobby as a self-care strategy. Not only will you potentially discover a new ability or interest, but your mental health will benefit from the switch-up in focus from your regular routine.
7. Act Like a Kid Again
Instead of worrying about what other people think, free up your mental mindset to think like a child and enjoy the simple things in life for a change. Order the ice cream cone with hot fudge. Tell a silly joke. Play a game of fetch with your dog (or borrow the neighbor’s dog if you don’t have one). Or jump in the pile of leaves or puddles just for fun. Don’t take life so seriously for a little bit and try to see life through the eyes of a child to have a little fun and improve your mood.
8. Get Serious About Mental Health
If daily stresses and strains seem to be never-ending and self-help strategies don’t make a lasting impact, make a point to talk to someone. Talking with a trusted friend or family member is a good place to start but reaching out to a professional is also a good idea as well. Self-care strategies are part of a healthy mind and body and connecting with someone who can listen or give advice can be a valuable option too.