January is Mental Wellness Month; a good time to make your emotional health a priority and freshen up your routine to help maximize your mental health. Here are some quick tips to incorporate into your daily practices that can provide a boost to your mental well-being.
1. Be kind to yourself: We are often our own worst critics. Giving yourself a gentle reminder each day through self-affirmation that you are human and deserve respect and compassion can do wonders for your mental state.
2. Exercise: You don’t have to put in an hour at the gym to increase serotonin and dopamine in order to improve your mood. Even a short walk can do wonders for your daily outlook.
3. Begin with reflection: Find even just 5 minutes each day to sit in quiet, pray, be still and listen to whatever it is you need to hear to push you forward.
4. Sleep: This is an area of struggle for many! But, we all know that sleep is of utmost importance in improving health and mood. Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier and gradually push the time forward until you are getting the amount of sleep you need.
5. Connect with others: Connecting with others is a powerful tool in creating a positive change in one’s mental well-being. We are created to be in relationship with others, so find time each day to be in the presence of someone else. Whether it’s a pet, a friend, a loved one, or even a stranger; if you have a quality connection, keep it going!
6. Practice gratitude: Write down one to three things for which you are thankful each day. This can be a quick note in your phone or a journal you keep by your bed. This practice can help you notice the many little things in your life that bring you meaning and joy.
7. Live in the present: When you find yourself dreading what’s to come or ruminating on something from the past, stop and take a look at your immediate surroundings. Notice the sights, smells, tastes, feelings and sounds that can help bring your brain into focus on the here-and-now.
8. Catch your unhelpful thoughts: Everyone has thoughts that can be more harmful than good. When those thoughts creep in, catch them and toss them in the garbage and then work to reframe them into something more useful.
Our wish for you this year is that you experience complete health and wellness, which includes your mental health. If you find yourself struggling for an extended period of time or need additional support, Beacon of Light is here to help.