So What’s in Your Mental Health Tool Box?
You’ve got a cupboard full of supplements that you use to make your morning shake. You’ve got a drawer full of vitamins that you researched thoroughly. You work out and track your steps and calories burned. You are on top of your health! You’re doing a great job taking care of your body, but what about your mind? You’re taking care of your physical health but what about your mental health? We need to stop focusing exclusively on the health of our body and adopt a whole wellness approach. Whole wellness means we take care of our body and our mind. We take care of our emotional and mental health as well as we take care of our body. Your physical toolbox is filled with your vitamins and exercise regimes, but what’s in your mental health toolbox? If you’re not sure no worries! I made a list of ideas below.
- Journaling – This may seem silly like a little kid Dear Diary thing, but a journal is a great place to put all your thoughts and feelings. Getting all your stuff out of your head is calming, and can help you sort out your problems and make decisions.
- Meditation – This is my personal favorite! It’s the duct tape in your mental tool box. You don’t have to know anything about mindfulness or how to meditate. There are loads of apps you can put on your phone that have guided meditations. All you have to do is close your eyes and listen to the instructor.
- Exercise and Yoga – Think of these as the WD40 in your tool kit. Yoga teaches you stillness and control while exercise releases endorphins and keeps your brain cells oxygenated.
- Reframing – This is the crowbar and hammer in your toolbox. The crowbar for deconstructing your negative thoughts and the hammer is rebuilding those thoughts in a more positive tone. For example, you may think to yourself “They don’t like me.” You can reframe that thought to “They will like me when they get to know me”
- Music – listening to music is an instant way to relieve stress and improve your mood
- Laughter – laughter is the power drill of your tool box. Laughter is the most powerful way to improve your mood. Watch a funny video on Youtube. When you smile or laugh it makes you feel happy and energetic
- Coloring – creative activities like drawing, painting, and coloring have been shown to improve anxiety and depression.
- Work-life balance – Take advantage of opportunities to work from home. Turn off your work phone when your home. Emails can wait until the next day. Putting your work aside for the evening allows you to spend more time with family and friends and also refreshes your mind and creativity.
- Social connections – Make time for your friends. Dedicate time to spend with your family. These are the people you can laugh with, cry with, and share all your stuff with
- Get a daily dose of sunlight – Sunlight increases serotonin in your brain. It doesn’t have to be a bright sunny day. Try to get 30 minutes of daylight outside every day
Got ideas not listed above? Share them in the comments section.