There’s never a bad time to start looking after your mental health. Right now, today is the best time.
Something I learned (the hard way of course) is to do the work even when your mental health is in a good place. It’s maybe even more important you keep a strong practice when you are feeling good to give yourself a bigger buffer and more resilience when shit gets hard.
2020 and the start of 2021 have been tough, there have been more challenging days for sure, but keeping many of my mental health practices going, I know it’s helped things not slip right out of control.
Here are the practices that I have introduced over the years and variations of them could be useful for you…
- have a routine that includes time just for you – read a book, listen to a podcast, watch the world go by, drink tea/coffee, meditate, move your body, self-massage, have a bath etc
- get up and go to bed at the same time every day. Lie-in’s create a sleep hangover & sleep disruption which affects your energy and mood.
- be aware of who & what you are listening to: the news is full of utter shite, switch it off. The people that you are talking to, if they are moaning, change the subject and even be as bold as to say I don’t want to hear any more negative chat, you need to protect your energy.
- watch comedies, laughter is the best medicine
- get outside daily for a minimum of 20mins no matter what the weather is, ideally get outside morning & afternoon. The natural light exposure helps you sleep better. Even if it’s just standing at your front door, breathe in the fresh air.
- if you are working on screens (inc watching TV) 2hrs before bed get blue light filter glasses to wear – protect your eyes, improve your sleep, boost your mood & energy
- Walk in nature and really look at nature – look at the colours, the contrasts, listen to the sounds
- limit your stimulants – caffeine & alcohol esp. Both are sleep and mood disruptors.
- limit your social media time – we all know we feel better when we are not on there so much. Get an app that you can set specific times to be on there and stick to it.
- switch your notifications off
- even better remove the apps from your phone so you are not getting called to attention by notifications
- stay connected to as many people as you can. Arrange to meet up with someone to go for a walk, try to see at least 1 person a week
- do something kind for someone who’s not expecting it (send a message to someone you have been thinking about, send a gift, speak to a neighbour etc) when we are kind to others it boosts our mental and physical health.
- make or order in your favourite meal and really pay attention when you are eating it, savour every mouthful.
Be Kind, be curious