Let’s say you need a mental health day. Let’s say. You need some ideas for ways to soothe your worried mind and heart. Here’s some ideas that I like to incorporate into my mental health days:
– Enough rest. If I’m short on sleep, it messes me right up. I try to take a 90 minute nap 😴 at some point in my day. I don’t beat myself up if I sleep for longer than that, and I don’t force it. If I need the sleep, I know my body will take that opportunity to rest.
– Meditation. I’m not great at clearing my mind. But guided meditations are a huge help! My favourite channel is The Honest Guys. Something like this gets my mind slowed down and calm.
– Interact with a pet. We have 3 kitties in our house, so I didn’t have to go far to get a purr and leg rub. My Audrey is the best kitty to cuddle, and I love sending her flying down the hallway playing Mouse. (The dollar store mice, tossed up and down the hallway. Flying out from around corners is her favourite.)
– Speak up. If you can, voice your need for this mental health day. Tell your partner, tell your friend, tell your mom or dad. Give yourself permission to take this day, and be honest with yourself and the people who want to support you. If you can’t voice it, that’s ok. Give yourself loving support and bring your mental health the same importance as your physical health.
– Apple of my eye. I find joy in flowers. Fake, real, in flower crown formation… blooms in my life are a little lighthouse in the sea. I feel happier just looking at them. So whatever space I was in today, I made sure my favourite (fake) daisies were in sight. I’m lucky enough to have a fresh bouquet around the house too, so I kept that on my horizon also.
– Yoga. I try to move. If you’re like me, and sometimes experience depression and anxiety like … the way I describe it is a “post-flu” feeling… shaky, tired, weak, heavy, unenthusiastic. Yoga gets my muscles warm, reminds me that I am strong, and kickstarts my body to need food and water.
– Eat something you like. I find that I sometimes just want to cocoon myself into a blanket and sleep the day away. I try to make sure that even if most of my day is in that cocoon… I’m still taking time to hydrate (Emergen-C has been my day starter drink for a while now. Hello vitamins and electrolytes!) and eat something with protein.
– Connect with your people. The desire to withdraw varies with me. There are two adorable kids on my life, and it was sweet relief to bundle up and head out to the park with them. Anxiety is less likely to take over when you’re trying to keep up with Grounders!
– Pamper yourself. It’s a bit of a thing, that I take baths when I’m sad. Apparently the warmth of a tub can actually boost your mood. (See the infographic below for more cool tips!) I also like picking out a face mask and revelling in the smoothness of my face afterwards.
– Deliberate distractions. Pick out a documentary you’ve been wanting to watch. Sit down with a book. Or find an Audible to play while you putter about. Keeping your mind focused on something deliberate, will prevent you from filling empty space with your own mental chatter.
– Journal. Make a few notes. Or doodle. Or write a letter to yourself. Your emotions and concerns are valid and sometimes writing them out can help you re-focus and clarify your distress.
– Breathing exercises. I learned that I don’t breathe properly when I’m anxious. This isn’t abnormal, and focusing on your breathing can calm down the Fight or Flight that your body (accidentally) kicked into high gear.
– Self love. Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. Be aware of the way you are judging yourself. Take a moment to love yourself, the way your eyes look today or the strength of your body as you did yoga, or the simple fact that you are here. You are worthy. You are important. It’s hard sometimes, but shifting the way I think about myself has helped me immensely.
Well my friends, I could go on and on. But I’m going to go and connect with my person now. He’s an incredible partner and already came looking for me as I typed this. Have a lovely evening, and I wish you all the very best in health! Physical and mental and emotional. ❤
Some extra info from Happily!