In recovery, I've learned to apply my mental health boosters every day. I'm quick to squash negative thoughts, I almost never let myself wallow anymore, and when I'm blue, I have a list of small activities I can do that really help. These aren't remedies for mental illness. These are more like anxiety relief and mood boosters for when you feel lackluster or irritable, restless and discontent sinking in.
Why you need these 5 mental health boosters
Today, there are so many amazing tools available to us from meditation apps to health apps that will tell us when we should go outside and take a walk. All we need to do is be willing to find them and give them a try. Sometimes it takes practice to make something stick, but from my experience, if you take ten minutes every day for 30 days and do any one of these things, you will see some improvement in your mood, or general health and well-being.
1. Get outside and into nature if you can
Even if you live in New York City, find a park or go to the closest river. Being outside in the fresh air can really help if you're feeling stressed, or sad. Studies have proven that being in nature reduces anxiety as well. Maybe try walking to work, if that's possible, or taking a walk on your lunch break. Add some music to the mix if that sparks your fancy.
2. Put down your technology
We've all heard about how technology is addictive and can cause depression and loneliness. Social media has created a FOMO monster in all of us at one time or another. Try putting down your phone and turning off your computer so you can focus on the people and things around you.
3. Try ten minutes of meditation
I was told to meditate for years before I made it a practice. Ten minutes a day turned into guided meditation classes. Today, I can't go more than two weeks without a good soundbath. All the great leaders meditate, it does great things when done properly. Try it.
4. Any exercise ritual, including simply walking for 10-20 minutes.
Exercise helps raise endorphins. That's a fact. I also know people who struggle with anxiety who exercise every morning because they believe the rhythmic breathing helps set them straight for the day. Whatever it is, when you want to get out of your head, get into your body!!
Everybody's talking about it for a reason. Whether you're into mani-pedis and massages, or learning new things and growing your recovery, take time to do the things you love, and that makes you happy. As you stay in recovery, self-care may change and turn into financial accountability or becoming a Vegetarian. Whatever works for your mental health.