We’re in the thick of Spring. Birds are chirping. Flowers are blooming and hopefully that seasonal depression is melting away with the warmer temperatures. While May might put a spring in your step as the official entryway to summer, it is also Mental Health Awareness Month, and for many of us, it will take more than sunnier skies to lift the burden of mental health stresses.
That’s becoming increasingly true for women. In a recent study, 42% reported feelings of anxiety and depression, largely due to the demands of trying to “do it all.” It’s always a good idea to reach out to a professional if you persistently feel these kinds of problems, but if you’re looking for quick tips to de-stress and stay motivated, we’ve got them below!
Daily Dose of Sunshine
Vitamin D is essential not only to our physical bodies but to our mental health as well? Experts say that on top of sunny benefits like maintaining nerve function, bone, and muscle health, and boosting the immune system, adding an adequate amount of D to your day can also boost your mood. Low vitamin D levels are even associated with seasonal depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Your doctor can also test your levels of vitamin D with a simple blood test.
Change Your Mindset
Change your mind, change your life. It’s pretty simple to say, but more difficult to do. This one takes some work. If you are constantly thinking negative thoughts or living in the past, your current life will reflect that. It’s time to focus on the good and what you want to see in your future. We love this book by Dr. Joe Dispenza called “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself.” You will learn how to bridge the gap between science and spirituality and how manifesting your future is as simple as doing the work.
Yes, we’ve all heard this one, but sometimes it feels impossible to stop the doom scroll and put the phone down. But did you know that excessive use of social media has actually been linked to downers like depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem? Taking a break from the constant stream of distraction can allow you to focus on your own thoughts and feelings rather than on everyone else. The benefits of shutting down don’t stop there — reduced stress and anxiety, better sleep, increased productivity, and improved relationships have all been linked to limiting screen time.
If you’re not ready to go cold turkey on connectivity yet, no problem. Start by limiting your use of social media, or take the weekends to go into a ‘do not disturb’ mode. Try deleting apps that you find yourself mindlessly checking, or replace social media with other activities like going for a walk or reading an actual book or article.
Write it Out
Writing down our thoughts, concerns, joys and big decisions is key in releasing it from our brains. When we carry around all that information and emotions, it can overload our minds and clog our emotions. By simply writing out your thoughts in the morning or evening, it allows for bodies to let some of it go. We also suggest making a list of what you want to see in your future. Act as if it is already happening for you.
Throwing some exercise into your daily routine can do wonders for your emotional and mental well-being. Studies show that moving your body on the regular can actually improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. And you don’t have to become a gym rat to reap these benefits. By adding just a 30-minute brisk walk three times a week to your routine, you can experience a boost in self-esteem, improved sleep, and increased energy.
Are there certain people or circumstances in your life that are stressing you out or bringing you down? This is a chance to recognize those triggers and see if there is a way to lessen your exposure to them. Creating healthy boundaries is essential for your well-being. Find a way, even if its slight, to create some space from the toxic or negative energy and focus on the good that is in front of you.
We’re not talking about “liking” a post or fan-girling over your favorite influencer, this is about real-life human connection. Everyone has feelings of loneliness, but if those feelings of isolation become constant, our minds and bodies can suffer. On the other hand, feeling well-connected to others contributes to our mental health, meaning in life, and even physical well-being. So how can we be more connected with the ones we love? Opening yourself up for heart-to-hearts with friends and family is key to building a trusting and healthy relationship. Reach out to say hello and really talk about what you are feeling.
Say ‘Thank You‘
It’s not always easy to feel thankful, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed but studies show there’s reason to lean on the attitude of gratitude. Harvard psychology research finds that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with more positive emotions, the ability to relish in good experiences, improved health, building strong relationships, and the ability to deal with adversity. So how do you cultivate gratitude in your own life? Try starting each day by putting your intention and attention to the things you appreciate in your life, big and small. Savor and enjoy these things as you experience them in your day. By the way, we are grateful for YOU.