CW: This article discusses topics of mental illness which could be distressing to some readers.
Using positive language towards yourself is key; if you would feel mean saying something to someone else, there is no reason you should be saying it to yourself.
Making your favourite treat is a fun and relaxing activity, whilst also requiring a certain level of focus so that your mind doesn’t drift too far back to whatever you’re going through. It also will always have an end product, so can feel rewarding.
Whilst it’s important to remember not to feel pressure and a need for perfection with this activity, sometimes a small clean can actually be very helpful in feeling positive and productive. A tidy space really does help create room for a tidy mind.
Whether it’s a quick doodle or a detailed sketch, getting things down on paper using imagery is a brilliant way to speak your mind without using text, as often in times of distress you feel the emotions so strong, yet can’t find the right words to fully describe t
Personally, dancing or heading to the gym helps me, but whether you would rather take a group class or go for a solo bike ride, keeping moving is proven to significantly reduce the frequency of poor mental health days experienced.
You may prefer going to the shop and buying yourself a bunch to arrange in a vase, or planting some seeds in your garden, but either way flowers can make a huge difference in brightening up your home and mind.
Have a laugh with friends or put on a comedy program, anything that will make you giggle and release some endorphins.
Always make time for doing the things you love, they will make the rest of your time more manageable.
Being physically unwell will only worsen your mental state, so ensure you take in the right nutrients in order to maximise your immunity.
Blast your favourite song and jump along to release any pent-up emotions and energy.
Doing a kind deed for someone else will not only make them feel better, but you’re likely to feel good about yourself too.
Playing music or podcasts through some headphones can be really healing.
My favourite way to relax has to be getting a deep tissue sports massage, not only are there brilliant physical benefits such as increased range of movement and pain reduction, it also directly reduces your blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels, so is the perfect opponent to battle against anxiety and calm you right down.
Taking a walk to your favourite outdoor space, or exploring somewhere new are both full of rewards: the access to fresh air, the beautiful things that you may see along the way and the smalls sounds you will notice such as the wind rushing through the trees or birds above calling out to each other are all the little gems of nature we should value.
Whether you do a little or a lot, anything you tidy is one thing more than you had the day before, so it should always leave you feeling successful.
Get creative and explore the possibilities of paint; you could use face paint to paint a design on your body, acrylic paint to paint a pebble or complete a satisfying paint by numbers.
A partner, a parent, a sibling, a friend; whoever that special person is for you, making time for each other will allow you both to feel loved, wanted and needed.
Whether you choose a fiction or non-fiction text, reading a book can transport you to another world entirely, putting your current worries on pause and allowing images of happier times to form in your head. Another bonus is that with technology developing you can now read books from a small device such as your phone, so even if you’re out in public you can still read a little bit of your book without needing to carry an extra item around with you. I have to say though, for me, nothing beats the sensation of turning the pages of a real book and holding an exciting story right in your hands.
Retail therapy is real. Trying on silly outfits in the dressing rooms with a friend, just window shopping or getting a new piece of stationery for yourself, can all be a fun day out.
Talk to someone you feel comfortable with and trust, or a health professional if you need further support, but whoever you choose to speak to, never be afraid to have those important conversations.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be a journal of how you are feeling, but it absolutely can be if you feel this is what you want to write. For some this can feel too intrusive so instead you may like to write a short story, poem or even a descriptive piece of something that is right in front of you or from your imagination. Just processing words and focusing on writing something down can reduce heightened stress levels and help regulate your emotions.
Saying no to anything that has a negative impact on your mental health is a scary but vital step towards wellbeing.
If you want to wear the latest yoga outfit and to go to a popular class you absolutely can, but equally if you follow along with some online tutorials from your laptop and stay in your pyjamas, the stretches will still be beneficial for both your body and mind.
Make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep for your body’s needs, not only will sleep itself make you feel better, it also will help you have a clearer head the next day to take on any new challenges that come your way.