Mental Health Workouts
Mental Health Workouts
Imagine…Your phone vibrates intensely, as your work alarm screams for your attention to remind you that you overslept again. You turn it off and sit up in your bed to process the long day ahead of you. You begin your morning routine but fall behind after spending 30 minutes searching for the perfect outfit. After making a mess of your room and tossing clothes everywhere, you settle for what you wore a few days ago because the time or desire to dress to impress has passed. Once dressed, you start a pot of coffee and let your dog into the backyard to use the restroom. While watching your dog in the backyard, you begin nervously emailing your coworker to see if you have missed anything important. Once your dog is finished and you have completed feeding him, you grab your coffee and race off to work.
Now Imagine…As you awake, you turn off your alarm clock and lay in bed for a minute longer aware that you have a long day ahead of you. Instead of stressing and pondering, you decide to start your day off right by playing your favorite Spotify playlist, Today’s Top Hits, as you do your morning routine. You dance your way to the shower as Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” begins to fill the room. You get dressed rather quickly because you picked your outfit out the night before. You take a moment to look in the mirror, admiring your stylish, yet comfortable outfit. You feel confident. You make your way to the kitchen and prepare a proper breakfast. You notice that you have spare time so you decide to eat breakfast on the patio while letting your dog out to enjoy some fresh air. After an enjoyable breakfast, you feed your dog and head off to work ahead of traffic.
Two mornings of getting ready, but yet they feel so different!
MENTAL HEALTH FOCUSES ON YOUR MIND AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING. MENTAL HEALTH IS DEALING WITH CHANGES IN HOW WE FEEL, THINK, OR BEHAVE.
It is important to take care of your mental health just as much as your physical health because your mind affects your body. People do not seek help for mental health for many reasons: embarrassment, lack of trust, lack of resources, or because they think seeking help is weak. We disagree. Seeking help for mental health shows your strength, that you value your health, and want to live a happy life. There are steps that you can take daily on your own to improve your mental health.
It starts with you. In fact, ask yourself, “How much time do you make for yourself each week and how much of that time is uninterrupted?” If you are mentally and/or physically drained, you are unable to put your best self forward. Take care of yourself daily by setting boundaries in your career, within your relationships, at home, etc. It is important to know how much you can handle. Prioritize your rest, health, and make time for things that you love. Prioritize YOU.
Be aware of daily activities, encounters, and behaviors that affect you negatively. Use this awareness to make necessary changes within your life. Understand that change is not always immediate, and immediate change is not always recommended. These changes may be big, small, take a day or even a month, yet have such a major impact on your mental health. When you have a brief moment, grab a sheet of paper then divide the paper into two. On one side of the folded paper, write down what things you feel impact you negatively and then on the other side, write down the opposite, stating who or what impacts you positively. This exercise is effective when you are completely honest with yourself and can be used as a reminder of what adjustments you may need to make to live a happier life.
There is power in our thoughts and the words we speak. You can practice positivity daily by focusing on the moment instead of the future or past. Words of affirmation or words of self-encouragement are beneficial and do not necessarily have to be verbalized, they can be written. Being positive can not only make you feel better but make those around you feel better, which will have a good impact on your environment. Right now, take a moment to reflect on something good or that made you feel good today. Doing this once a day will have a positive impact on your mood.
Our lives revolve around technology, but it doesn’t have to. It is important to take breaks from technology to free yourself from the expectations of the world, prevent overstimulation of the mind, and to be present in your environment. A break or detox from technology can be small. Instead of listening to music while walking, listen to nature or the environment around you. See how many things or differences you notice when you are aware. Instead of watching an episode of your favorite show, read a book. Take 10 minutes a day to take a break from your technology and do something you have always wanted to do.
HAVE CONVERSATIONS AND LISTEN
People often ask how we are doing, but in a form of a rhetorical question. I challenge you today to ask someone how they are doing and truly listening. If they simply answer, “okay” or “good”, ask them a follow-up question. Sometimes people just need to know that someone else cares and it is easy to give a programmed answer, but still, be dealing with things deep down. Also, next time someone you are close to asks if you are okay, be transparent because they might have dealt with the same situation or know someone who has.
A lot of the previous strategies you can do on your own. But just like with physical health, sometimes we need an expert to support us with our mental health goals. That’s why we encourage you to do your research, educate yourself on what is available in your area, and think about who you’d like to help you along that journey. Of course, we’d be honored if you considered us and we’d be happy to help.
Please let me know if you have any questions. We’d love to help you!