May falls almost in the middle of the year, making it a good time to reassess your values and priorities. It is also Mental Health Awareness Month, where mental health needs take center stage. So, during this time, what are you doing to prioritize yourself and put yourself first? Maybe it is closing your work computer at 5 pm every day, making the time to catch up with friends and family or taking daily walks outdoors. Or, maybe you want to take more time for yourself, but are not sure how. Whether or not you already have some healthy habits, or want to get started, check out this article for some ideas!
How to Get Started
The first step to putting your well-being at the forefront of your life is identifying your goals. Do you want to trust yourself and what you are capable of more? Is dealing with stress more effectively a goal? Do you want to be more productive in your life or do more to contribute to the well-being of society? Think about what your top 3 goals are and speak to a trusted friend or family member about them. They can keep you accountable, help come up with a game plan and maybe they will join in to help reach their goals as well.
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Get Rid of Things That are not Serving You
Whether it is a toxic job, relationship or other thing that is not serving you anymore, make steps to start fresh and make sure you are surrounded by people who care. Start putting out job applications, respectfully tell someone you are going in another direction and get rid of things that bring up unpleasant memories. Take the time to reflect, but move on with your life. You deserve it.
Try a One Month Challenge
If a year (or multiple months) of mental health exercises sounds like a lot, try out a one-month challenge. Aim to do one thing for yourself daily. Who knows, maybe you will like it and want to continue!
Some Ideas of What Can Be Done to Help Your Mental Health
Looking for ideas? Try these to start!
- Make a list of things you have accomplished: Take a moment to write them down. You will be proud of yourself once you see all that you have done or your “wins” of the day.
- Spend 15-30 minutes getting physical activity in at least a few times a week: Get moving and out in the fresh air and see all that you accomplish!
- Look at how you spent your money in the last month and aim to do better in the future: Did you really need another pair of fluffy slides?
- Check things off your to-do list or make a new one: Stay calm and feel accomplished when you check some things off!
- Meditate: Use an app or guided exercise to help center your brain for a bit.
- Break out the colored pencils and color:Tear out the children’s page from the newspaper or get some adult color books! Coloring sheets can also be printed online.
- Create a photo album of a fun time: Look at the fun times you had and have fun editing the photos. Once it is done, share it with the other people who joined you. They will likely appreciate looking at those images, too.
- Work smarter, not harder: Do what you need to do to stay focused, get your work done without procrastinating and use the remaining time to do what you really wanted to do all day: catch up on your favorite show, make a new recipe or get in touch with that mentor who you do not get to speak with often.
- Donate unused foods or clothes: In this time of need, donate nonperishable goods and old clothes to shelters, food shelves and those in need. You can also donate them to places like Goodwill, where profits are used to help others.
- Take a risk (safely): Apply for that reach job, try singing that song you always wanted to but were afraid to or take a class for a new sport. Maybe you will get or learn something from the experience of doing something out of the ordinary.
- Call a friend: Take 30 minutes (at least) out to catch up with a close friend. See how they are doing and offer to help them with what they may need. If you are running into dilemmas, they can help you troubleshoot as well!
- Decide which goals to stick with:At the end of the month, or your first goal session, take some time to truly think about which activities worked out for you and which did not. Identify 1-5 goals that you would like to stick with in the long-term, and try your best to do so. You may feel happier, healthier and more fulfilled than before.
Stop just doing things to benefit others and put yourself and your health in focus. You deserve clarity and peace, so get out and take steps towards getting them.
Spread the word about what can be done to put mental health first. Did you find this useful? Feel free to bookmark or post to your timeline for reference later!