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It’s mental health month.
For me, every month is mental health month. It’s so important to maintain mental wellness and to always consider that others are going through their own struggles.
Social distancing is beginning to take its toll, so here are the top 11 things I’ve been doing to try and stay mentally healthy:
1. LSW Mind Cards
I bought these* when I noticed I was starting to struggle.
I didn’t have super high expectations, but I was hoping they would help me re-align and focus on the positives a little better.
I’ve grown to love these!
It’s incredible how much of a positive impact one tiny, daily activity can have on your mental state.
There are 5 categories: Ritual, Journal, Kindness, Gratitude and Reflection.
After shuffling well, you pick one card each day and complete the activity on the back.
Being on lockdown has meant having to adapt some of the exercises, which is very simple to do.
Example: Day 2 – “On your way to work, make a note of 5 things that make you smile” – I made this 5 things that made me smile throughout the day.
I’m an anti-social and introverted person by nature, but these cards ensure you get a little socialising in here and there (even on lockdown) and they help build up the confidence to express yourself.
I find it extremely difficult to tell my family and friends how grateful I am for them, how much I admire them and that I love them. No idea why, but I’ve been like this all my life.
These cards have been amazing at cracking that shell.
I’m prone to losing my sense of purpose and not really knowing why I’m getting up each day. Currently, I find myself looking forward to the next day’s task and if that’s the only glimmer of hope I can find, I’ll absolutely take it.
I highly recommend giving these a go if you’re struggling in similar ways or you want to add a little positivity and gratitude to your days.
The founder is a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, so this really is no-nonsense stuff.
I’m sure most of you have heard of Yoga with Adriene. I’ve always gravitated towards her yoga videos; she has a really warm aura.
I started one of her 30 day yoga challenges. Though I’ve been taking breaks here and there instead of doing 30 consecutive days, I’m loving this.
I can’t bring myself to do proper workouts like I used to at the moment, but yoga has been a great way to keep my body moving a little whilst I’ve been cooped up in the house.
3. Learning New Things
Sometimes it helps to get completely absorbed in learning a new skill.
Knitting, web development, SEO, anything at all. This contributes to self development and makes you feel good about yourself whilst you’re being productive with your time.
Udemy, Coursera & Youtube have been great for me.
Of course you should be sure to listen to your body/mind and take time out when you need to.
4. Calm: The App
There are some recordings available for free, but I’ve had a subscription to this for years and I think it’s worth every penny.
Meditations, sleep stories, relaxing soundscapes, chill music – I use this primarily to help me sleep. I’m not very good at meditation, but I’ll fall asleep to them.
There’s also a breathing circle which helps calm anxiety. It works wonders.
I have 5 free passes for a 30 day trial, giving full access to all features of the app.
I don’t gain anything from this, but if anyone wants to give it a go you can click this photo:
5. Self Help Books
Currently reading Solve for Happy by Mo Gawdat and loving it. Also loved Good Vibes, Good Life (Vex King), The Little Book of Clarity (Jamie Smart) & A Beautiful Mind, A Beautiful Life (Lindy Tsang)**
A lot of people will roll their eyes at self help books, but I find them super helpful. Even if something seems “obvious” or like “common sense,” reading the words helps reinforce what you subconsciously know but struggle to practice. By bringing awareness to these things, you can work on them.
Similar to learning new things, it can feel great to dive deep into blogging (but again, don’t overdo it!)
|Chit Chat: Me, My Blog & I|
|Chit Chat: Burns, Breakage & Holidays|
|Do You Really Need 2L of Water a Day?|
Planning future posts, getting ahead on writing, taking & editing photos – the whole process. Keeping productivity up as much as possible can be really helpful. This leads to connecting with new people which is nice too.
7. Tidying Up
Having a clean and organised space has a massive impact on my mood.
I try to get rid of things I no longer need on a regular basis, and make sure there’s an order to what I’m holding onto.
Marie Kondo rubbed off on me… A little.
8. Going for Walks
I rarely leave the house at the moment.
My longest streak is just over 3 weeks indoors, but I listen to my body.
My body will tell me when it’s time to get some fresh air; this is typically when I get persistent headaches.
When I do go out, it’s really nice to just take in my surroundings, look at all the greenery and take deep breaths of fresh air (which is feeling a lot cleaner at the moment).
9. Calming Scents
I love a calming scent and candles are my #1 weakness.
I also have an oil diffuser which has a number of benefits, but using some of my favourite scents has a really relaxing effect and that’s enough for me: jasmine, peppermint, ylang ylang, lemongrass and my #1 fave, total de-stress (geranium, orange & nutmeg)
The most cliché self care activity, but it really does help.
Switching off from everyone and everything and just enjoying 15mins to treat yourself.
Sheet masks have been great for this, but I also grab for my Body Shop Rose Mask often too.
11. Keeping Work Within Work Hours
I work a 9-5, but I’ve been doing it from home since the end of March.
Working from home can easily lead to the habit of tuning into work after hours or on weekends, but I’m determined to not let myself slip into that.
I keep my work between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. I also observe bank holidays.
These are the main things I’ve found super helpful, particularly recently with the weird state of the world.
What do you do to pull yourself out of a rut and keep yourself on track?