When we speak about health, often it is done through the lens of physical health. We talk about nutrition, working out, and how to optimize both to improve your health. However, mental health is at least as important, if not more important, than your physical health. The following mental health ideas are designed to give you the ability to improve your mental health and therefore radically improve your way of life. Yes, it is that important.
Mental Health Ideas / Self Care
It has become very trendy to talk about self care – and happily so. The days of just grin and bearing it are over. While it is absolutely necessary and commendable to put in hard work, consistently over-working yourself will only lead to burnout and failure in the long run. This is where mental health and self care come into play.
what is self care?
Mental health is defined as your feeling in regards to your emotional well-being. Self care is the process through which you can improve your mental health.
Think back to the last time you felt truly fulfilled as a person. Maybe you had just had a really nice evening with your significant other, or you were in the middle of a family event. Perhaps it was when you found that flow state during your favorite hobby and it was an almost euphoric feeling. Heck, maybe your work does this for you.
We have to dig deeper than just the activity to identify what can be our form of self care. Making your work your self care is a very quick way to make yourself into a workaholic, not something you want to do.
Mental health ideas for self care
As we think about self care and how this can improve our mental health, consider three things:
- What about the activities that make me feel fulfilled are causing that feeling? If you’re someone who is very accomplishment oriented, it could be that getting things done for your job makes you feel great. You can transfer that to your home life with things like organizing. This is an activity that can actually allow you less stress at home, and increase your ability to unwind after another big day of winning things
- What is the actual goal of this self care? If you’re normally extremely active, the goal of your self care routine shouldn’t be to add more stress and to-do’s to your life. To do more, be more, accomplish more. Simply spending some time in a book enjoying the story and letting your mind disengage from all your responsibilities can be a huge help.
- What can I make time for in my day or week and actually do consistently? This is big. Just like exercise and nutrition, consistency in your mental health ideas for self care is the number one priority. Think through your surroundings and what you can do consistently. I remember speaking to a friend who told me his self care was seeing water every week. No matter what, he made time to get to the beach on the weekend, and lived by the ocean for that reason.
Self care ideas to try today
Not all of us live next to a beach (unfortunately) so for us, that example may not work. Finding your self care routine takes trial and error. Find what works for you – are you more active or passive in the way you want to refill your cup? Do you enjoy being out in nature, or do you need a break from the world? Are you looking for a break or looking for some sense of accomplishment? All of these matter. Find what can work for you, and once you find it stick to it.
You can find a host of journaling ideas on the Internet. Some have more structure, some have less. In our experience, picking any strategy and sticking with it for a month is a great way to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. A few of the possible strategies include: writing until you’ve filled one page no matter what you say; listing three things you’re thankful for from the day; making a to do list for what you need to tackle that day.
Not all meditation is sitting in silence and being with your thoughts. If you’re someone who think that sounds wonderful, check out the Headspace App. However, you can also do active meditation. Leave your phone at home or put it into airplane mode and go for a walk. Allow your mind to go where it wants and really just be with your thoughts.
Reading is a popular way to give yourself a mental reset. If you enjoy non-fiction, feel free to stick with that. If fiction is more your jam, go there. The point of this is not to have some sort of outcome you’re looking for through reading. It is to give your mind space away from your day to day.
Mental Health Ideas | Why they matter
Your life is your mind’s gym – imagine if you made your body workout for an entire day, every day. That’d be tough. Don’t expect your brain to do what your body never can. Mental health is an overlooked topic, but cannot be any longer. Take care of yours, and watch it immediately improve your relationships, career, and even workouts.