Welcome to my first ever monthly mental health Monday! Once a month on a Monday I will post something related to mental well being and overall health. This topic is something very important to me and I can’t wait to share with you all the ideas I have. For this month’s mental health Monday, I want to talk about ways to destress. This is obviously easier said than done, and definitely differs person to person. The ones I’m sharing with you today are what I have found to be some of the most beneficial ways I use to destress or help ease my anxiety. They are by no means a catch all cure, or intended to be anything other than a simple recommendation if you find yourself in a rut when it comes to how to relax. (please enjoy the peaceful picture of a summer sunset on Lake George above)
When you’re laying in bed at night, or alternatively, when you’re at work/school and you’re thinking about all the things you wish you could be doing, what is it that you desire the most? It is a massage? A face mask? A manicure? A nap? All of the above? Well, no matter what is, this is the time to do it. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and just need a break, do the one thing you always wish you had time to do. Now I know it’s not always easy to go get a manicure if it’s 2am and you’re writing a paper, or can’t sleep because you’re thinking about your never ending to-do list, but if can find the time to schedule some much needed self care, not only will you finally be giving yourself the relaxation you deserve, but now you have something to look forward to as well. Side note, I recently have downloaded the Simple Habit app for meditation, and let me tell you they have so many topics that I never even thought would be available to meditate to. From having a long day at work, to PMS, to food related issues, relationships, there’s something for every mood and every person. Plus, most of them are less than 5 minutes, so even if you think you’re super busy, try to spare 5 minutes and give it a try.
☆Call your favorite person
Do people actually call each other anymore? Some people hate talking on the phone, while I personally love it. Whether you purposefully avoid making phone calls and much prefer texting, or could spend 5 hours on the phone, picking up your phone and talking to your favorite person is almost guaranteed to put you in a better mood. Call your mom, dad, best friend, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, etc. I can bet that after you hear there voice, maybe talk through what’s stressing you out, or just give your mind a distraction, you will feel 100% better when you feel supported and close to someone you care about.
☆Put on your favorite comfy clothes
This may seem obvious….but I still want to mention it. For me, the first thing I do when I get home from work is take off my makeup and put on my sweatpants. Doing that instantly makes me feel like I’ve transitioned from work mode into at-home-relaxing mode, and it always lifts my mood. Even if you’re in a super bad mood and stressed beyond belief…..at least you’re comfortable right? That’s probably really lackluster advice, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction to creating a calm, comfortable environment.
☆Re adjust your perspective
If you find yourself overwhelmed, bogged down by a mountain of assignments, a parade of unopened emails, and 3+ piles of laundry on your floor, and you feel there’s no end in sight and you might as well give up now (well first, don’t) it’s time to readjust your perspective. Sit down with yourself and be realistic. What needs to get done right now in this moment: do you need to answer that email or text right now? Will you run out of shirts if you don’t do your laundry tonight? Once you can prioritize your to-do list and really hone in on what needs to get done, and what can get done at a later date, I swear you’ll feel better. I like to make to-do lists specific to the days of the week, and figure out what is a priority that needs to get done each day, and what can fall off the list if I run out of time. Additionally, you should definitely schedule time to relax or unwind. Even if it’s only 15 minutes or it’s getting ready for bed a little earlier so you have an extra 20 minutes to watch youtube videos before you go to sleep, you need to set aside time for yourself. Running yourself down will get you nowhere, except very tired and probably with all your to-do list items half done, or not done well. Invest your time wisely, readjust your perspective and remind yourself at the end of the day, another day you don’t do your laundry will not kill you. (But remember….still eventually do your laundry..)
☆Get off social media
I love social media, but I can never say I would describe it as relaxing. Aimlessly scrolling through instagram or twitter usually leaves me judging other people (we all do it…..just saying), feeling bad about myself, or feeling compelled to go out and buy or do something I saw someone else doing. Social media will be there tomorrow, and when it comes to de-stressing, try to find something that takes your mind off the rest of the world, and focus on yourself.