5 Ways I Boost My Mental Health


Woman sitting outside by the ocean. Image: Pexels - Riccardo

Working on my own mental health has been a work in progress and there is a lot to practice. However, over the years, there are a few things that I’ve found that I can practice by myself, for myself.

It’s important to remember that this is about your own mental health, and just because some of these tips work for me, does not necessarily mean these are the tips that will work for you as well. However, it has been eye-opening to discuss with close friends where each of us stands with our mental health and hear how we have similar methods in helping ourselves as well.

Some tips that have helped me:

1. Reframing My Thinking

When growing up, traveling was always tied to accomplishing something. That something was either end of the semester, the end of a school year, or after a big sporting event when the season was over. I didn’t realize how much that affected me until I was in the real world.

In the beginning, I didn’t feel like I was worthy of taking a trip or going away until I had reached a big milestone. But I was no longer in school nor was I competing in a sport anymore. I had to reframe my thinking and realize that not only was I not tied to a location, (thank you remote working), but that traveling was what filled my cup. I absolutely love being in a new place with all the unknowns and mysteries. Being able to travel when I want, without it being tied to an event has allowed me to help my mental health. Now I schedule things around my travels and not the other way around.

Being able to change my mindset from something that was once a “reward” to something that I’ve allowed to become a part of my every day has allowed me to boost my mental health. Never underestimate the treasures you can find right in your own area too!

Woman taking picture of a city view.

2. Working My Strengths

For years, I would feel like a robot forcing myself to do tasks that I could simply not focus on either at the beginning of the week or the end of the week.

For example, I know that I am most productive in the early hours of the morning and also at the beginning of the week. For tasks that need the most focus, I make sure to place them then. If I try to do them at the end of the week I add additional stress to myself since I feel as if I cannot accomplish what I would like.

This also goes into everyday things as well. When doing chores around the house or cooking, I prefer to do that at the end of the week or over the weekend. I don’t feel rushed and it allows me to place my time and energy into the things that need it most during the week. There are some people that enjoy doing them in the evening during the weekday because they don’t have to put that energy into it over the weekend.

It’s all about finding what works best for you. Once I was able to find my strengths and put my focus on those areas, it allowed me to find my daily balance.

3. Letting it All Out on Paper

Many individuals express how helpful letting their thoughts out on paper is. I was someone that preferred to think things through and even talk out loud anytime I was home by myself. However, actually sitting down and writing it out has a different result.

After trying it out, I found that sitting down and setting a timer for 10 minutes, whether at the beginning of the day or the end of the day, really helped get my thoughts out.

Woman journaling and writing.

From the past year of writing it out, what I have found is seeing how far I’ve come. Sometimes it can feel as if we’re stuck in the same loop, but by re-reading where I was a year ago or months ago with my thoughts, I am able to see how things have shifted.

4. Taking a Walk During the Day

Taking myself for a walk has been a big mood booster! Sometimes we get caught up in all the things that we need to do, and before you realize it’s already the end of the day and it’s dark outside again (especially on the short winter days)!

During the pandemic, it was something that I got too comfortable with — worked out at home, worked from home, and did everything life had to offer at home. There were days that I wouldn’t even get outside nor get fresh air since I was so used to doing everything at home. I made an effort to set an alarm for noon to get out and walk. There was never a set destination, it was simply getting outside during the day when the sun was still out (rain or shine, cold or hot) I got outside.

This is something that stuck with me. It may not be a walk outside at noon, but I do make the effort to either walk to the store, walk to the coffee shop, or whenever I can, I walk.

5. Getting (Partially) Off of Social Media

Although social media is where I talk with friends and catch up, which I am grateful for, but at the end of the day, I have had to work on not mindlessly scrolling.

Individual looking at social media screen on phone.

When you catch yourself at a low point at any point in time, the mindless scrolling and everyone posting their “happy” moment you question yourself and get down as to why you’re not happy. It’s hard to remember that this is just a reel and the 0.01% of a person’s life that they are sharing. But none of us truly knows what we are going through the rest of the time. Rather than comparing myself to them and seeing their happy moments, taking a step back from scrolling and only going on to message or respond to friends allows me to focus on myself.

At the end of the day, it’s important to reflect and see what helps you and your mental health. We’re all at different points in our lives and finding what methods work best can be beneficial. Don’t forget, it’s all trial and error! Just because one thing works for me does not mean it has to work for you!

Anonymous guest post.

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