Everyday Mental Health Boosts

Everyday Mental Health Boosts

How are you feeling today? You’ve probably noticed how a few simple things can boost your mood. Here’s a checklist of everyday mental health boosts:

  • Have you had physical activity today?
  • Have you done something fun today?
  • Are you eating healthy and staying hydrated?
  • Who have you checked on today?
  • What is it that you require?
  • What are you doing for your stress?

Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being. However, both are easily brushed aside. Although becoming gradually less so, mental health has been a taboo subject for generations. For some, when they hear the term mental health it invokes images of extreme measures and conditions. The reality is that under the realm of mental health you also have depression, anxiety, fears, and loneliness. These emotions are common. In fact, in January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that “depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.”

This is a very strange time that we are living in. We have a means of being able to be constantly connected via social media and phones that never seem to leave our hands. However, some people have never felt so alone and vulnerable. Do not discount your feelings of sadness, anger, and worry. You are having those emotions for a reason. Now more than ever it is important to take the time to focus on you and your well-being. These everyday mental health boosts are just a few tools that can be implemented in your everyday life.

Have you had physical activity?

Your dog isn’t the only one that needs to be walked frequently. Lifting the remote is NOT a form of exercise unless the channel you are clicking to is one that you are going to physically participate in. Exercise releases endorphins. Which can help you feel better. Vitamin D is essential for many aspects of life, and unfortunately most individuals are deficient in it. People who suffer from depression and other mental health disorders are frequently found to be deficient in Vitamin D. Thirty minutes of daily exercise in the sun is optimal. Make getting outside one of your everyday mental health boosts and over time, see if your overall mood doesn’t improve.

Have you done something fun today?

Embrace your inner child. When was the last time you did something fun? Built a couch fort, played outside with your kids, laughed out loud for goodness sake. Allow yourself to be playful. Some research on Laughing Qi Gong has shown a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol. 

Are you eating healthy and staying hydrated?

You are what you eat. Your body feels better when you eat healthy, non-allergenic foods. That doesn’t mean that you cannot occasionally eat a good quality small piece of chocolate. Try to take the time and truly enjoy each nibble. When you take the time to fully enjoy foods you may find that you require less to become satiated.

Water makes up almost 60% of our body. It is utilized for multiple functions and is a necessary part of removing toxins from your system. There are many schools of thought on how much water you should be drinking. Take your weight, divide it by two, and drink that number in ounces. It takes about 30 days of consistent hydration to start to fully see the results of your efforts, so, keep at it.

Who have you checked on today?

It feels pretty good to be a support to someone else. Remember though, you cannot give someone tea if you yourself do not have tea to give. It is important that you do not let the problems of others overwhelm you. To hold the space and not take their problems on as your own. Reaching out to someone also helps alleviate your own feelings of loneliness.

What is it that you require?

Sometimes we need to stop and ask ourselves a few questions. What is it that I require? Does this sensation/emotion actually belong to me? What contribution can I be to myself?

There is a belief in the metaphysical world that most of what we feel and think doesn’t actually belong to us. A simple example would be: Getting on a bus in a great mood, and getting off the bus angry after sitting next to someone that was in a bad mood. There was no communication or altercation with this person. You simply “caught” their bad mood. It isn’t yours! The same rules apply to food, sleep, and so on. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve caught myself going to the kitchen to eat something only to catch myself and realize that I was picking up on my husband’s hunger or nervousness.

Taking a step back, asking questions, and having awareness of what your needs are is the first step in determining what it is that you actually require.

If you determine that what you really require is a nap then take one. A short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.  

What are you doing for your stress?

If you have completed the prior questions most likely you are already feeling pretty good. However, sometimes it isn’t as simple as that. Take the time to speak with your mental health professional. They can be a huge asset.

There are many things that you can do to help with stress, and there isn’t one right answer to fit everyone. For many, the long-term answer is to remove themselves from the stressor itself. Which is often easier said than done.

More everyday mental health boosts

Some ideas to help you make your own list of ways to manage stress and boost mental and physical well-being:

Shower!

Ever hear the old saying if you look good you feel good? Bathing can be utilized for both physical and energetic cleanliness. The simplest way to energetically cleanse yourself of the “gook” that you accumulate is to simply take a cold shower with the intent that anything that isn’t yours and no longer serves you goes down the drain. These things are neither good nor bad, they simply are. That alone can help you to start feeling better. Let’s face it, a couple minutes of a cold shower is enough to wake anyone up. Follow that up with hot water and you’ll feel great!

Resources

  1. A Therapist’s Guide to Emotional Health in a Pandemic – The Atlantic
  2. Tips for Staying Mentally Healthy – from New York City website
  3. Napping – The Sleep Foundation
  4. Depression – World Health Organization Fact Sheet
  5. What Are the Benefits of Sunlight?– Healthline
  6. Psychological, immunological and physiological effects of a Laughing Qigong Program (LQP) on adolescents – Research article in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2013 Dec