3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Daily Mental Health
I'm no stranger to stress. As a business owner and mom of two, my daily life can get a little... hectic. To say the least. Running on and off our factory floor and in and out of my office may be great for my quads, but it takes a real toll on my mind. While professional mental health therapy is a real necessity that shouldn't be overlooked, I thought I'd share some of the my favorite little tips I've learned for working through daily stress.
1. REPLACE BAD HABITS
I know what you're thinking- you want me to stop stress eating goldfish NOW??? Of all times??? Wouldn't a diet just make me even more stressed?!
Well don't worry, and don't throw out that box of goldfish just yet! We all have little habits that help us cope with stress. From reaching for the cookie jar to picking at our pores, we itch for something physically satisfying to make us feel better mentally. I don't recommend a complete overhaul of your entire routine and natural habits, but I do think it's worth taking a closer look at your behavior. Think more carefully about how you react to a stressful situation- and make your response conscious. When you're stuck on a problem at work and get up for a snack, ask yourself if you're really hungry, or if you just want to feel a little better.
Once you're aware of your actions, start thinking about how you can replace these habits with better ones. Instead of grabbing a sugary snack, do some stretching, or give yourself a little massage. Instead of picking at your nails, paint them a pretty color. Instead of going out for a smoke, go out and appreciate the fresh air and sunshine.
It may take a little practice, but in time you'll find that replacing a potentially harmful feeling of physical satisfaction with a healthier one will drastically improve your life.
2. START A RITUAL
We all practice little rituals throughout the day. From detailed skincare routines to brewing the perfect cup of morning coffee, these routines keep us grounded and bring us joy in a chaotic world. They can be the one thing that encourages us to get out of bed on a hard day, and they give us a healthy sense of control and predicability.
My all time, absolute favorite daily ritual is lighting a candle. The smell of the sulphur from the match, the slow, warm glow when flame first hits the wick, and the gentle release of a tantalizing fragrance in my room. It brings me deep joy on a daily basis to catch whiffs of lavender, grapefruit, or earl grey while I'm typing away at work or reading in bed at the end of a long day.
If you're looking for a new daily ritual, we always recommend lighting a candle, taking the time to flip your diffuser reeds, or taking a break to wash your hands and apply some lotion.
3. PRACTICE FORGIVENESS
The best advice I could ever give is simply: be kind to yourself. It's so hard to stay focused, healthy, and happy in a stressful time, so make sure you aren't beating yourself up about every little thing that goes wrong. When you start to fixate on all your problems and mistakes, take a step back, breath deeply, and let those thoughts pass. You have your whole life to get better and be great, so don't punish yourself for not being good enough right now.
Don't forget to be kind and forgiving to others as well. They have all their own problems and struggles, and showing patience and compassion will help everyone in the long run.