Anyone else kind of amazed it’s May already!? I honestly didn’t think time could still move so fast while being in quarantine, but I guess that’s what happens when you fall into a new routine and ‘keep on keepin on’ – or at least do your best to.
Regardless, I’m so happy May is here! May through the end of the year just feels like bliss to me. Summer, extra time outside, vacation, fall, the holidays… ahh I digress.
Now incase you didn’t know; May also happens to be Mental Health Awareness month. So, as your mental health advocate, I thought it would be fun to share 31 mental health tips for each day of the month!
If you read my last blog post, at the very end I shared an exciting announcement that I will be speaking at Quicken Loans’ Mental Health Summit on May 19th. The event will, of course, be virtual this year but that doesn’t mean I’m any less excited about it! I love having the opportunity to share my story and inspire hope into the lives of others—it’s my deepest passion and brings me great joy. Looking forward to the event in a few weeks!
I hope you’re hangin in there and enjoy reading through this list.
Here’s 31 Mental Health Tips in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month:
Tip #1: Move your body in the morning – as someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, moving my body in the morning is like medicine to me. It’s a great way to prime your brain for the day and makes you feel good! To learn about the benefits of morning movement, check out my blog post on the topic here.
Tip #2: Spend time in nature – nature provides healing for your soul. Did you know there's an area of science that's dedicated to studying the relationship between human beings and the natural world called Ecopsychology? Time spent in nature has been proven to reduce stress, increase your energy levels, promote feelings of happiness and well-being, and expand your heart.
Tip #3: Drink more water – our brains can’t operate at their fullest potential when they’re even the slightest bit dehydrated! If you find yourself feeling anxious, shaky, or experience mental fatigue of any kind, drinking water will help regulate your nervous system and allow you to think more clearly. Not to mention our bodies are composed of 60% water! See more reasons to drink water here.
Tip #4: Practice meditation – meditation is a well-known practice in the mental health space and there’s a reason for it—it works! Meditation is an effective way to bring stillness to your mind and body which helps to reduce stress and promote feelings of peace. Meditation also helps to rewire your brain for concentration, focus, and memory.
Tip #5: Prioritize a daily mindset routine – As someone who manages their mental health holistically, my daily mindset routine is sacred to me. This is where I have the opportunity to re-center myself and be proactive with my mindset for the day. If you don’t already have a dedicated mindset routine, then I strongly encourage you to adopt one! It’s totally transformed my life and is a big reason why I am able to manage my mental health naturally. If developing your own routine sounds difficult try starting with the 30-Day Mind Shift Journal.
Tip #6: Practice somatic movement – expect a full blog post on this in the future ;). Somatic movement is essentially organic movement or what I like to call interpretative dance. It’s movement that’s performed consciously with an internal focus. You don’t have to actually dance if you don’t want to - this can be done through light jumping and shaking (think jumping up and down with your arms dangling by your side, body relaxed). Somatic movement is a great way to bring energy back into your body and focus your mind.
Tip #7: Journaling – journaling is a powerful technique that has been proven to help with managing anxiety and depression. Much like expressing gratitude or practicing mediation journaling is a great way to reduce stress, promote feelings of wellbeing, and enhance your cognitive capabilities. For more reasons why you should journal, check out this blog post. If traditional journaling sounds too taxing for you, this is an excellent resource that provides a guided journaling experience.
Tip #8: Read – reading is the greatest “workout” you can do for your mind and has a powerful effect on your brain. Reading provides the same benefits as deep relaxation or meditation resulting in feelings of inner-peace and well-being and also helps to increase brain connectivity.
Tip #9: Spend time grounding yourself – grounding is a therapeutic technique that is done through activities that electrically connect you to the earth. Once again, nature heals. And grounding can help you re-center your mind and elevate your mood. If taking 15-20 minutes to walk outside barefoot or to lay down in some grass doesn’t float your boat (or if you just want some other options), check out these 9 powerful ways to practice grounding in your everyday life.
Tip #10: Speak positive affirmations – Affirmations are a powerful tool. They can help you move past limiting beliefs, gain confidence, and live a more purposeful life. If you struggle with your mental health, I recommend finding some affirmations that you can speak over yourself every day to help you gain control of your emotions and mindset. For a list of 120 affirmations covering a wide variety of topics—download my free Mind Shift Affirmations E-Book here!
Tip #11: Live your purpose – every single one of us has a lifelong purpose. And once you discover it, your purpose will become your driving force for life! Taking steps to discover your purpose and live it out is the most rewarding gift you can give yourself. When I think about my purpose and fulfilling the dreams inside my heart it fills me with energy, hope, and motivation to keep going! If you’re unclear on what your purpose is at the moment, give this worksheet a try.
Tip #12: Your diet affects your mindset – you are what you eat and the quality of food you consume matters. If you eat a lot of sugary and processed foods, it will 100% affect your mental health negatively. There’s also been extensive research done supporting how your gut health directly impacts your mental health. The bottom line? If you eat crap you will feel like crap. The best thing you can do for your mind and body nutrition-wise is to eat healthy organic unprocessed whole foods—plain and simple.
Tip #13: Focus on the present moment – this one practice has helped me the most with reducing and managing my anxiety! It sounds so simple and yet can be so hard to do. When you focus on living in the present moment, you help to relieve anxious thoughts about the past and/or future and fully savor the here and now.
Tip #14: Create art – yes, even if you “suck” at it. Creating art, of any kind, is a great way to let your soul speak, spark new ideas, and just have some fun! Art therapy is an excellent approach to helping you process emotions, manage behaviors, and relieve stress. Plus, the more you engage with things that make you feel good (whatever kind of art that is for you), the happier you will be.
Tip #15: Take a break from screens – I think this is more important now than ever considering our screen time has skyrocketed with working from home and the social distancing guidelines in place. Our minds and bodies weren’t designed to look at screens all day, the more you can establish healthy boundaries with screen time, the happier your brain will be.
Tip #16: Connect with someone you love – human beings were created for relationships! Connecting with someone you love like a close friend, significant other, or family member can bring such peace, comfort, and refreshment to your mind and spirit. Cultivating healthy relationships is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Loneliness is more deadly than smoking or obesity. Don’t always wait for someone to reach out to you. You have to be a friend in order to have a friend!
And please, if life ever feels too unbearable call the national suicide prevention lifeline at
1-800-273-8255 - someone will always be available to speak with you.
Tip #17: Supplements matter – similar to the importance of the foods you consume, there are certain supplements that are crucial for promoting mental wellness. I personally take fish oils, vitamin D, magnesium, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) every day. I’ve gone through phases where I’ve also added in others such as evening primrose and ashwagandha (among others) but they haven’t become a true staple in my everyday supplement routine. Fish oils not only help to lubricate your joints but also your brain - allowing you to think more clearly and efficiently. Vitamin D is a common supplement that can help with combatting depression and both magnesium and GABA help with calming your nervous system promoting deep sleep and decreases feelings of anxiety. For a more in-depth look at supplements for mental wellness, check out this blog post.
Tip #18: Express gratitude – there have been so many studies done over the years that prove the effectiveness of expressing gratitude. The benefits are endless. I would even argue this is the single most important habit of the 30-Day Mind Shift Journal. While I think this is a habit every single person should practice, if you struggle with depression at all this needs to be a part of your daily routine. I promise it’ll change your life.
Tip #19: Love on your pet – I know not everyone has a pet, but if you do show it some love! Or consider getting a pet to improve your mental health. Just the simple act of petting a furry friend is a great way to relax your mind and release oxytocin – better known as the love hormone! Anyone who “knows me knows me” knows I am obsessed with my dog, Porkchop. He’s changed my life forever and has truly brought so much healing to my heart. Sigh. I love him. You can see my public shrine for him here.
Tip #20: Commit to an exercise routine – whether you commit to a morning movement routine or not, keeping a consistent exercise routine is crucial in taking care of your mental health. Moving your body changes the chemical make-up of your brain – don’t sell yourself short. Start prioritizing your physical and mental health!
Exercise is my favorite anti-depressant.
Tip #21: Goal setting – setting goals for yourself can be a great way to give your life meaning and direction. I’ve relied on goal setting for many years to help me with managing my anxiety and filling me with inspiration to keep going after the things I care about. This is also why goal setting is one of the four habits making up The 30-Day Mind Shift Journal!
Tip #22: Practice forgiveness – forgiveness is the ultimate path to freedom and peace in life. If you hold on to unforgiveness it can manifest in other areas of your life such as attacking your mental and physical health. Be quick to forgive. The only person that’ll ever be hurt by holding resentment is you.
Tip #23: Get some vitamin D – once again, get outside! Moderate sunlight (anywhere from 5-15 minutes) is a great way to boost your mood and reduce feelings of depression. Learn more about the benefits of sunlight here.
Tip #24: Ask for help – you were not meant to do life alone! Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you know for support. There have been so many times in my life where this single piece of advice has totally changed the direction of my life. Most people are willing to help, give advice, or offer a lending hand if you just reach out. Never underestimate the power in asking for help.
Tip #25: Observe your thoughts and emotions – but do so without judgment. Observation is an effective way to process your emotions, understand your motives, and identify areas of your life that need healing.
Tip #26: REST – one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to allow yourself time to rest. We all need time to ourselves to disconnect and recharge our batteries. Incorporating rest into your weekly schedule is vital for long-term happiness and keeping yourself from burning out.
Tip #27: Cultivate spirituality – spirituality is important because it can help bring in a sense of peace and guidance in your life no matter what you’re going through. Another big reason why I’m able to manage my mental health holistically is due to my faith. I can’t imagine going through life without belief in something greater outside of all of us. Plus, having a relationship with the creator of the universe is a pretty powerful advantage to have. :)
Tip #28: Consider therapy – if you are struggling with your mental health please consider speaking with a licensed professional. I have used therapists at different times in my life and truly believe everyone should go to therapy. We can all value an objective voice of reason in our lives.
Tip #29: Do things that make you feel good – it’s important to engage in activities that make you happy, bring you peace of mind, and inspire your soul. The first principle in The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor (great book by the way!) states that success orbits happiness—not the other way around. It’s important to prioritize activities that make you feel great because it will positively affect every area of your life.
Tip #30: Go for a walk – not only is walking a great way to get some low impact exercise in, but it also gets you outside making it a win-win! It's also one of my favorite ways to gain a fresh perspective. See what just 10 minutes if walking does for your mind here.
Tip #31: HAVE FUN! Keeping a lighthearted attitude towards life (or at least doing your best to) is a really effective way to switch your brain from fear-based to love. Playfulness helps us connect to our childlike spirit, reduces stress, and makes life worth living.
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Let’s continue to break down the walls surrounding mental health and begin taking responsibility for our mindsets. #MindShifters
You are not alone! 💛
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