Us looking out for ourselves can in most scenarios be forgotten in the midst of the busy lifestyle that we’ve put on ourselves. School, college, work, family and with having normal responsibilities can cause a hinderance in our mental health. We don’t choose this lifestyle, it’s almost in a way given to us without any choice and the least we could do at the end of the day is ask ourselves “how are you truly feeling”.
“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation”, is a quote by Glenn Close which should be talked more about. The emphasis on both the importance and negligence about mental health should be put more into light. We can tell ourselves whenever life goes south “it is what it is” but the good news is: you don’t have to feel bad. There are practices you can do to elevate your mood, become more resilient, and enjoy life more (at least a little bit?) and here are a few (of many) ways to improve mental health:
- Make leisure time a priority. Maybe for a few hours or two, just swing your legs up on the table, have a cup of coffee and just let the sunlight seep through your skin. When times are tough, we tend to feel twice as bad if we feel like we’re just wasting our time being ‘sad’. When in reality it is vital to take a step back from life and not feel guilty in just existing.
- Set up a getaway. This can feel like a punch in the gut because if we had that sort of opportunity to take vacations without our bank credit yelling at us “have you gone insane!!”, we’d be off more often than necessary. But taking a time out to plan a trip helps wonders. It doesn’t have to be a luxurious trip to Bali or surf in the Maldives, it can be as simple as a picnic to the beach with your family or an ice cream date with yourself, or even a nice evening walk with your dog. The main motive is to let your body move and to take a second to value the beauty that is in the wonders of the outdoors.
- Take time to laugh at memes. Memes can go as far as saying “laughter is the best medicine”. Not only is it generally entertaining, but also laughter is known to boost mood, strengthens your immune system, reduces pain, and protects you from the never-ending effects of stress. So maybe take the time to laugh at things that doesn’t even make sense to most!
- Make time for appreciation: Practicing gratitude is proven to improve mental health as well as happiness. It can even be the littlest of aspects in life, whatever brings you joy, it’s that mere moment of contemplation where you take a moment to appreciate that life’s greatest moments aren’t supposed to be like the time you got promoted or the time you got your first car, it’s the feeling of joy in being alive. The ability to smell fresh air, food to eat, legs to walk and your loved ones who are there for you when you need them.
Let’s start to incorporate taking care of our mental health as our everyday basic need!!