The hustle and bustle of everyday life can leave us all a bit drained, some days more than others. We often forget to take a little time for ourselves and recharge. Some people recharge best around friends and family, while others do better on their own. No matter your level of social preference or necessity, there are wellness activities that are right for you. Practice some of these activities daily to help you maintain your mental wellness.
Breathe in and out. Stretch and meditate. Yoga is a great way to promote both mind and body. Studies have shown that yoga can help reduce stress, improve sleep and quality of life. One of the reasons for this is exercises, even low-impact ones such as yoga, help the body to produce serotonin, also known as the “feel-good” chemical, which helps promote better moods and even aids in digestion! Yoga also helps with breathing. Taking deep, controlled breathes helps the body to relax and destress.
Being around Animals
Our furry friends do more for us than being cute, but let’s be honest, they’re really good at doing that, too. Studies have shown that having pets reduces stress and promotes overall wellbeing. Support animals have had a huge impact on lives everywhere. Veterans with support animals were reported to have higher levels of life satisfaction, higher overall psychological well-being, and lower levels of social isolation with a greater ability to participate in social activities. Even if you can’t own an animal, there are many local places to get out and interact with some furry friends. Simply interacting with animals has been shown to reduce cortisol levels (stress hormone) and decrease blood pressure. Check out placeslike animal sanctuaries, cat cafes, or goat yoga to get your daily dose of cuteness and cuddles.
Make a Healthy Meal
With all the craziness in our lives, sometimes breakfast consists of an uncooked toaster pastry while we run out the door. But you should know that your diet affects your mental wellness. The foods we eat affect our moods. We may get stressed and eat some sweets for a small boost, but that crash afterward could leave us feeling worse than when we started. Simply trading unhealthy snacks for fruits and veggies can make an impact on our mental wellbeing. Don’t have time to cook every day? Maybe try meal prepping on a day where you have a little extra time. Start small, and don’t overwhelm yourself. Keep some healthy snacks on hand to keep you from reaching for that cookie you’ve been staring at. You got this!
Being creative is more than art. You can be creative in so many different ways. Exploring your hobbies and finding new ways to do things can all get those creative juices flowing. Look for places that inspire your own creativity and give yourself enough space to let loose (even if it is just a little pad of paper to doodle). Tapping into your creative side will increase your happiness, boost your immune system and even make you smarter!
Tend to a Garden
It doesn’t even have to be a big one, either. Tending to plants is a great way to promote mental wellness and increase productivity. Keeping a couple of plants in or outside of your home not only makes your space look beautiful, but your green thumb will boost your mood as well. Don’t underestimate the power of succulents.
Or just going for a walk. Explore your neighborhood, stop to smell the flowers along the way. Walking or hiking outdoors helps us stay fit and mentally well. Just being outside is enough to boost your mood and even improve cognitive function! An exercise is a powerful tool on its own, but finding even the tiniest bit of time to take that exercise outside will make it so much better! Just ten-minute walks are enough to improve your mood. Get up, get out and enjoy some fresh air.
Take a Moment of Appreciation
Look around you. Look at yourself. Practice giving yourself compliments and being aware of the little things you may take for granted. Most importantly, show gratitude. Showing and expressing gratitude can boost your mood and make you more optimistic. Share your gratitude with others and take a moment to look at what you are grateful for. This only takes moments, but the effects will carry with you all day. Bonus, by sharing your gratitude with others, you will also make someone else day, too!
Mental wellness helps keep us sharp and productive. Take small steps to practice mental wellness and self-care to help you create a happier and healthier you. Because we are all unique, have different preferences, and run on different schedules, you may have to test out a few before you find the ones that work for you. Good luck and stay well!