We are here for normalizing the mental health conversation.
One in five adults in the US live with a mental illness.¹ That means, if you’re struggling with your mental health, you are not alone.
We’ve compiled some proven tips to help you take the best care of you, because you are worthy and deserving of it, babe.
1. Find an outlet.
Research shows us what we innately know: doing things we love is good for us.
When we commit to doing things we love as regular parts of our routines, they become hobbies, which help reduce stress and improve our overall mental health.
Engaging in a hobby can improve your social connection skills and facilitate the development of deep friendships and bonds, which can help alleviate depression and anxiety.²
Think about what you love to do. What comes to mind? Make a list of the top three things and think about how you can actively integrate more of them, in any way, into your life. Hobbies, aka outlets, really are as simple as that: consistently doing what you innately love and are drawn to.
2. Try meditation or breathwork
Both breathwork and meditation help you tune into your inner self and active deeper awareness.
Meditation is a way to quiet your mind by tapping into the power of your sympathetic nervous system. This activates physiological as well as spiritual healing within.³ There are many different types of meditation, and you can begin to experience the benefits by starting with just five minutes a day. We recommend the free app Insight Timer for amazing guided meditations.
Breathwork involves controlling your breathing in order to release stored emotions and stress.⁴ Breathwork facilitator Shelsea Sanchez defines breathwork as, “a powerful healing modality that involves consciously using your breath to bypass your mind and enter an embodied state of awareness.” The benefits of this practice include improved mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing.
According to Shelsea, “Breathwork is the portal to the body which is a warehouse of stored emotions. Through inviting in the breath, you clear out old stagnant energy that no longer serves you. I like to imagine that breath is like a broom that sweeps all of the old energy out.”
3. Try therapy.
Therapy is a collaborative method of treatment where you work with a trained therapist to gain deeper insight and awareness into any problems you may be having, no matter how big or small.⁵ This process will help you explore your inner self and become conscious of your thoughts, beliefs, and patterns so that you can lead a happier, healthier life.
4. Intentionally disconnect
We’ve all heard how important it is to unplug and disconnect in today’s tech-obsessed society, but this reminder always bears mentioning because it’s so easy to forget. We’re all on our devices like, all day long, and this can take an unconscious toll on our psyches.
Even things as seemingly innocuous as online shopping can actually fuel dysfunctional thought and behavioral patterns if we don’t check in with ourselves to be sure we’re consuming consciously and intentionally.⁶
Challenge yourself to pay attention to your screen time daily, and monitor which apps you’re using and why.
It may be unavoidable that you’re on Instagram all day because you’re a social media manager or influencer, but if you see that you’re using other apps in excess, such as a gaming or shopping app, consider why you’re spending your time there, and ask yourself if you can disconnect for that same amount of time and get away from the screen.
5. Practice mindfulness.
The purpose of mindfulness is to be completely present in the moment. This practice is simple: get still and notice everything that is occurring. In essence, you become the observer and allow your mind to focus on the present moment. This can be done in the form of meditation, or simply by becoming more conscious of where your mind is during normal, everyday tasks.
As you become more mindful, you’ll be able to compassionately observe your thoughts and gain more awareness about your innate sense of being.⁷
Overall, the most important part of any mental health regimen is that you remain consistent. Although it can take time to reap the full benefits of some of these wellness practices, such as meditation or therapy, the investment in yourself and your mental well-being is worth it.
Dallas-based therapist Erica Thomason says, “A daily mental health regimen is as essential as the physical tasks, like brushing your teeth or wearing deodorant. When you care for your mental health every day, you can create an emotional cushion for the difficult days and cultivate a supportive practice that helps you to weather life's challenges.”
We couldn’t agree more.
We encourage you to take care of you. You are always worth the utmost care and attention, especially when it comes to your mental health.
By Bridgett Pittman