Ideas for how to start the New Year with helpful mental health activities
Last week I published a blog all about how I wasn’t setting any resolutions this new year. Basically, I decided to set ONLY ONE resolution for 2021:
Every day I will do at least one thing that is good for my mental health. No lists with main goals and secondary goals, ordered by priority like I always do. No, not this year – 2020 was hard enough.
I wanted to share some helpful ideas for mental health that have been working for me that might work for you:
#1 Connecting with Nature
Something that makes me feel happy when I am under stress is taking time to talk with Mother Earth. Whenever I need a break, I like to take some time to tend to my potted plants. Watering them, picking out the dead leaves, rearranging the rocks around them, and just enjoying the sight of them is a nice break every once in a while. I meditate and imagine that the dead leaves I am picking away are pieces of my current challenge. There is a natural healing power in nature that you could benefit from.
#2 Take a Break and Watch an Old-School Favorite
At the end of a long day, I love sitting down to watch a movie or show. If I had an extra stressful day, I LOVE to plop onto the couch and watch Inuyasha, an old-school anime that I have seen at least a dozen times. Sometimes, watching the same old stuff and knowing what is coming next (even down to the exact spoken line at times) can be a nice way to decompress.
#3 Find a Way to Move Your Body That Makes You Feel Good
I know, I know… everyone always says, “exercise will help fix this” or “working out will help with that,” etc. When you are down in the dumps, you may not want to be told to do a workout… BUT, getting your body moving does help your mental health because it increases the levels of good chemicals in your brain, like serotonin and endorphins. Giving your mind those happy chemicals will help tremendously, so doing that workout will be worth it in the long run.
Again, I know you probably didn’t want to hear that (neither do I most of the time) but just finding the right kind of exercise for your body can help you feel motivated to do it. I like to do restorative yoga because it doesn’t feel like a workout to me. It doesn’t make my body ache like it does for other workouts and I actually look forward to it now that I can feel the difference it makes for me, mentally and physically. So, find some way to move your body that makes you feel good and that doesn’t make you uncomfortable.
#4 Get help from your furry friends
One thing I do to boost my mood is hang out with my pets. I will go cuddle and talk to my two cats until I feel better enough to face the world again. Sometimes just looking at those sweet, fuzzy faces can make any fear I have feel so small. Not only do I feel better, but the cats don’t mind either 😊
Go get some much needed snuggles from a pet if you need some comfort, whether it be a dog, cat, bird, reptile, fish.