It can be easy to focus on our physical health and neglect our mental wellness. In reality, we should be doing way more for our mental wellness and it doesn’t have to be a chore. Find out some things you can do for your mental wellness below.
Writing is not for everyone but it is one of the best ways to express ourselves (next to verbal communication of course). Writing is a way to get the thoughts that circle around in our head out and free up space in our brain. On those nights that you feel overwhelmed and stressed try to break out a pen and paper. You can write a list of everything that is on your mind or take action and write a to do list. This relieves the stress of having to remember everything because you know you can look back at this information later. You could also write about an issue that has been bothering you and use pen and paper to work through situations. Some people write these thoughts down and never look at the piece of paper again or even dispose of the writings having used it as a form of release.
Writing can also be digital (thanks technology). Save a file on your computer or download an App on your phone for the same purpose. There are many different ways to incorporate the act of writing into your life. So, before you say that writing is not your thing consider the many ways in which it can be. You don’t need to be good at writing and you certainly don’t have to write pretty. But what you can do is use writing for a purpose.
Art is a great form of self-expression which is great for our mental wellness. Drawings, sketches, and paintings can be very telling when we really take a look at them. We can learn a lot about our selves from these forms of self-expression. It is easy to think that one would need artistic talent to do these things but the act of creating art can be very soothing. Art can be as simple as doodling on a napkin or painting a living room wall. Art comes in so many forms. Pottery, clay, sculpting, photography, cinema, music, theater, architecture, and literature are all forms of art worth exploring.
- Physical Activity
It is no secret that getting physical activity is good for your body as medical professionals are always big proponents of this. Exercise is knowns to release endorphins in the brain which elevates mood. Possible benefits to being active could include increased concentration, stabilized sleep schedule, and reduced symptoms of specific medical conditions. Always speak to your doctor to determine what form of exercise and benefits that would be specific to you.
Exercise does not mean all or nothing behavior. You don’t have to go from exercising once a month to an intensive daily routine. Start off slow and begin where you are comfortable. Find a form of exercise that will work for you and your schedule. Riding a bicycle, taking a morning walk, swimming, and hiking are all forms of exercise. Once you find which form of exercise is best for you, keep yourself to it. Find something that will be likely for you to stick with and make it part of your routine. Track the benefits that you are noticing as you engage in this activity regularly.
- Find a Hobby
Finding a hobby can be easy or tricky depending on how well you already utilize your time and how well you know yourself. You may already be engaging in a hobby throughout the week. Maybe it’s a weekly morning fishing trip, playing basketball on Sundays, or writing poetry nightly. Consider something that you enjoy doing and decide how you can make this a regular part of your routine?
So often we find ourselves busy with life and lose time for the things we love to do. The longer we go without engaging in our favorite hobbies, the easier it is to put them off and believe the excuses as to why we cannot do them. The last thing we need is excuses about why we can’t do something. It seems to be natural for us to come up with reasons why not. Let’s give ourselves a reason of why we should. Here’s one—for our own sanity. Here’s another—because we deserve it. Engaging in activities that we love to do is a great way to boost our mood. This is because we are doing something that we enjoy and we made ourselves a priority.
- Spend Time with Friends and Family
Whether you are introverted or extraverted, we need social connections in our life! Some people prefer those connections to contain a lot of people while others are comfortable with keeping those connections small. Whichever is you, don’t worry, that is a-okay!
You need to make sure you are spending some time socializing with others. This may be a little tricky for the busy body whether its working long hours or staying home with the active little ones all day. In today’s date and age, we have access to video chatting and phone calls if we can’t get there in person. Make the most of these things. Socializing has the ability to enhance our mood and sense of belonging. Spending time talking with our friends and family means we can get encouragement and advice when we need it. Make some time for this, even if you have to schedule it into your day. Reach out and foster the relationships in your life.
- Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journals are so beneficial for your mental wellness. It can have immediate effects of creating positivity. Here’s how it works: get a journal, notebook, or notepad. At the end of the day write down three positive things that happened that day. For example, someone you got to spend time with, an accomplishment, an opportunity you were able to seize. I know what your thinking, what if nothing great happened that day. These days are the perfect times to have this journal. You may have to go down to the basics such as, I woke up today or my child made it home to me tonight. I encourage you to dig deep and really try to find something positive in the crap that was your day. If you fed your child dinner from scraps you could write “I was able to craft together dinner from nothing.” If you spent two hours online looking for a job write, “I committed two hours to building a better future” because essentially that is what you did. Its all about the mindset. Now you end your day on a positive note and after doing this consistently your mindset will begin to shift as well.
- Try Something New
So often, we fall into a routine and this is not always a bad thing. As humans, we value routines even as young as infancy. Consider, the infant who goes down for a nap at 1 PM every afternoon. Our children, who brush their teeth, take a bath, and lay their heads down to rest after a book at 8:00 PM. By adulthood, we have created habits for ourselves, again, not all are bad. It’s the good habits that create success.
However, there are times we find ourselves stuck in a routine that begins to dull life a bit. And sometimes, we may not even know that we are feeling a sense of missed opportunity. It can be healthy to shake things up every now and then. I encourage you to get out there and try something new! It is up to you how serious you take this task. There could be something that you have been flirting with the idea of doing. There could be an activity that is completely foreign to you that has recently sparked your interest. On the lighter side, this could be as simple as adding something new to your routine to shake things up a bit. It might have even crossed your mind to merge this task with any of the other numbers in this list. The something new you choose might have to do with facing a fear to promote change and growth within yourself. You may find that you open yourself up to a new experience or a new way of thinking.
- Value Yourself
As the title of this post is about mental wellness activities, this is no different. Make valuing yourself an activity—something you do. Manifest positive self-talk and the confidence boosting thoughts into something you do. If you don’t already do this, start now! Take time during the day and recognize your worth. We show people we care about them with some form of action, right? Sometimes, we say it, sometimes, we show it. Sometimes, we may not even do this at all. But now, we start. How are you treating yourself? Take a moment and consider this. We cannot get our value from someone else. We cannot depend on someone else to tell us how pretty or talented we are. It can help, sure, but that self-worth comes from within. If you manifest this into a physical activity or verbal appreciation, you will develop and maintain that self-worth. This will allow for you to build strength, personal development, and resiliency.