Today is World Mental Health Day, a great reminder that we all need to take care of ourselves in order to be well – not just today, but every day.
Here are 10 ideas to get you started:
Give yourself a break
Treating yourself kindly is an important place to begin. And the little things can make a big difference to how you feel.
Give yourself a short break today to do something you find relaxing, whether it’s having a quiet cup of coffee, reading a chapter of a book, listening to music, or something else entirely.
Phone a friend for a chat
We can’t all get together with our friends this year, so pick up the phone this evening and have a chat with a friend you haven’t caught up with in a while. Connecting with them will make you both feel like life is a little nicer.
Find a new podcast
If you’re looking for something easy and fun to do, here’s an idea: go searching for a new podcast.
There are countless podcasts available on every topic you could imagine: comedy, true stories, fiction, and interesting conversations. You’re bound to find some great entertainment to listen to during your next workout or drive to work.
Turn off technology early tonight
Sleep: these are the magical hours that set you up for a day of feeling good and choosing healthy habits.
But it’s hard to settle in for a good night’s sleep when technology – phones and other devices, or the TV – have your brain on high alert.
To give yourself the best chance of a restful night, switch off technology an hour before going to bed.
Eat a vegetable you haven’t tried before
Eating well makes a big difference to our mental wellbeing – and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Many experts agree that the simplest and most effective change we can make is to add more vegetables in.
One way to make that interesting is, next time you’re at the shops, to grab a vegetable that you usually walk by. One that you haven’t tried before, or haven’t eaten since you were a kid. You never know until you try!
Only read or watch one trusted news source today
The news can become overwhelming – especially this year.
Being more mindful about how we consume the news can help, and a good place to start is with choosing one trusted source to read or watch. You can carefully add more news to that in the future, but try a day or two of minimal information to help you feel calmer.
Complete a random act of kindness
Here’s a fun challenge for your day! Choose someone in your life who needs a little boost, and do something kind for them. It might be something really small – a text message asking how they are, tagging them in a funny meme on social media, or putting a tasty treat in their letterbox – but it’s guaranteed to make them smile, and remind you of what really matters.
Write a (realistic) to-do list for your day
Often, it’s the routines and rhythms that give our days purpose.
Stay on track with a good, old-fashioned list – but remember to make it realistic. Write just three things on your list, that need to be done today, and take satisfaction in ticking them off.
Haven’t been feeling like your usual self? Make an appointment with your GP or EAP.
Take a few moments to think about how you’ve been feeling lately. If you haven’t been feeling like your usual self for a little while – two weeks or more – then it’s time to schedule in a chat with a trusted expert.
Your GP or your workplace EAP are great places to start.
Go for a walk before work
It’s no secret that being active is one of the best ways to look after your health. The reality is, though, that sometimes it’s hard to find time to fit it into the day.
Try getting up a little earlier today (or tomorrow) and getting a walk in before starting your work day. It’s likely to put you in a good mood and make you feel like you’ve taken care of yourself.