Caring for Your Mind: 20 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

6 May 2022

1. Check in with yourself – We’re always asking other people how they are, but have you asked yourself lately? Take a moment to check in with yourself everyday, to be truly in touch with what you’re feeling. Helpful questions could include: “What could I do today to improve/maintain my mental health?” or “What’s one thing I could do that would make me happy today?”

2. Cuddle with a furry pal – Apart from being absolutely adorable, they can also reduce stress and lower your blood pressure! If you don’t have a pet, hang out with a friend who does or volunteer at your local animal shelter.

3.  Art Jamming – There’s sure to be a therapeutic art jam activity near you. From pottery to sneaker painting, take your pick and unwind for a few hours. Bonus? You get to walk away with your very own work of art!

4. Journaling – Writing down your feelings can help you understand why you feel the way you do more clearly. Don’t restrict yourself to writing though. If you’re more inclined to drawing, a doodle journal can also be super therapeutic!

5. Colour – Colouring is no longer a kids’ activity. With a plethora of themed adult colouring books, and free printouts, this serene activity is perfect for quieting your mind and having a bit of “you” time. 

6. Laugh more – Laughter really is the best medicine! Switch on your favourite standup comedians or the best cat fail videos, and allow yourself some time to experience joy.

7. Sleep more –Did you know that sleep has some very real mental health benefits? Make bedtime a priority with a night time ritual to get you relaxed and in the mood to snooze. Cool tip: Keeping your room at 18-20 degrees celsius is what sleep experts recommend!

 

8. Try something new – Pick up a new hobby, sport, or even commit to trying a new type of cuisine (and even trying to cook it!). Experiencing new things is a great way to hit “refresh” on life, and could unlock a passion you never knew you had! 

9. Unplug – It’s not as hard as you think! The perfect time to do this is when you’re engaged in that hobby you’ve picked up. Time will fly by, and you won’t even notice you missed a work email on the weekend, or yet another recommended follow from Instagram. 

10. Explore your community – Take a walk, but with an objective. Hunt for a cool new spot for coffee, or a small local business you never knew existed. Hot tip: score some high-quality goods on a secondhand ecommerce platform, and walk or cycle to the seller’s house to collect, where you can explore a whole new hood. 

11. Spend time with family and friends – This one might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s something easy to forget. Make time after work or on the weekends to see your loved ones. In fact, people who’ve spent 6-7 hours with friends and family are reportedly 12 times more likely to feel happy after doing so! You can also assign a friend to be your accountability buddy, to remind you to take some time off and hang out with the rest of the crew.

12. Get some sun – Haven’t spent any time in the sun lately? You might want to change that. Not getting enough vitamin D could be the reason you’re feeling a little gloomy.

13. Eat healthy – Can you believe that there are foods that actually boost your mood? Omega 3 rich foods (like salmon), nuts, leafy greens such as kale and spinach, all have the ability to aid your mental health.

14. Forgiveness – Forgiving can be a great path to feeling at peace. If you’ve got a grudge you just can’t seem to let go of, find the time to work it out. Forgiveness is always more beneficial to the forgiver, so for your own sake, you could consider letting it go.

15. Do something you’re good at – If you’re feeling low and need a win, return to something you’re good at! It can help to restore your confidence. Who doesn’t need a little self-esteem boost once in a while?

16. Travel – With the world opening up, travel is finally possible again! More than a break spent café-hopping, travel can have very real benefits for your mental health! According to WebMD, it can help boost your mood and your creativity. Time to book those plane tickets, folks! 

17. Do something you’re good at – If you’re feeling low and need a win, return to something you’re good at! It can help to restore your confidence. Who doesn’t need a little self-esteem boost once in a while?

 

18. Take a break – If you’re a hard worker, getting away from work is important to avoid burnout. More than feeling tired, burnout can have you in a persistently low mood, lacking energy and even getting sick more often. Trust your colleagues to keep the ship running and take your well-deserved break. Don’t even think of checking your inbox; trust us, it’ll be there when you get back.

19. Practise mindfulness – Lots of us get swept away in the business of life, and just go through the motions on auto-pilot. Mindfulness is the practice of being fully, mentally present in each moment and processing your emotions as they come. Intrigued? Read all about the benefits of mindfulness here.

20. Seek help – If your low mood isn’t going anywhere, it may be time to get the pros involved. Therapy or counselling can be a useful tool to help you manage emotions, stress or traumatic experiences. Even if it may seem daunting, it may be the best course of action if you just can’t seem to get out of that slump.

Feeling inspired yet? We hope you found some useful nuggets about caring for your own mental health! We’re biassed, but we also highly recommend smiling more, which also has a few hidden benefits up its sleeve!

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