Many of us try to eat a balanced diet or maintain a healthy weight. But have you considered maintaining your mental health? It requires the same kind of regular care and maintenance, too. Here are five tips from Burnalong to give your mental health a tune up.
- Pause and Observe. Consider what competes for your attention throughout the day. It can take a toll. To feel more grounded, focused and less stressed, try this technique: the 5-4-3-2-1 method. Find five things you can see around you. Look for four things you can touch. Listen for three things you can hear around you. Recognize two things you can smell. Find one thing you taste. Getting in touch with your senses can help calm anxiety and bring you back to the present.
- Be Mindful. Focus on a single task at a time. For example, when you are cooking, turn off any music or television. Be in that moment. Experience the sounds, smells, and textures of your creation.
- Take Short Breaks. It might feel difficult to step away from work or tasks at home, but taking short breaks can refresh your mental health and build resiliency for those times when you cannot get away. Try changing your scenery or going on a quick walk every couple of hours.
- Invest in Relationships. Have coffee with a friend or pick up the phone, if only for a quick conversation. Healthy relationships with people who can encourage, listen, and comfort are vital for strong mental health. Providing the same care for those around you can have the same effect.
- Unplug. Experiment with taking an hour or an afternoon away from screens. Put your phone away, avoid social media, forget emails for a bit, and turn off the television. Check in to see how you feel after that break. Refreshed? Calm? Try a screen vacation for a little longer next time.
Maintaining your mental health does not need to be time-consuming or complicated. But regular “tune-ups” can help make you more resilient in the face of a crisis. Just as it is crucial to rest our bodies, it is just as important to give our minds a chance to rest and recharge. Taking a class on mindfulness might be a great place to start.