This article has been written by local coach Kate Flory.
We should be considering our mental health every day, not just today as part of World Mental Health Day. Yet, it’s a good reminder to take a moment today and consider how to make yours and those people around you feel less stressed, happier, more calm, and to feel good about themselves.
So here are my top 21 mental fitness tips in alphabetical order:
Work towards an acceptance of the situation or circumstance you find yourself in. This helps to reduce the internal struggle and avoid the negative feelings of guilt, anger, hurt etc.
Learn to breathe more slowly, and more deeply, or try and listen to the sound of your own breath, which all help you to become more present.
Doodle your negative mood or thoughts in one colour and then choose a calming colour to doodle your more positive thoughts.
Try exercising for 30 minutes three times a week. Research has proven that to reduce depression a little and often exercise is what the doctor ordered, and even better go outdoors and experience the benefit of nature.
Take time to forgive yourself and others for something you’ve done or not done. Learn to show yourself and others compassion, which helps to reduce the negative chatter of your inner Judge and stop those stress related feelings.
Look for the gift from a difficult situation or circumstance. You may not be able to do this right away, but once you’ve picked yourself up, consider logically and as detached as you can be, what learning or positive outcomes are now available to you.
Build up your happy hormone serotonin by thinking about special people, places, pets and peak moments in your life. The more you do this, the bigger the reserve of serotonin you will have, which will help you during times of stress or difficulty. (Ask me for my worksheet).
Tell yourself daily, that I am a perfectly imperfect person.
Take up journaling as a means for deep reflection and to help you take the worry out of your head and onto paper or PC.
Showing loving kindness always starts with you, before others and situations. We know we wouldn’t speak to others or treat them the way we often do ourselves – so instead put yourself first today.
Love yourself unconditionally by remembering who you were as an innocently perfect child.
Work on moving your mindset in minutes by learning to stop the negative chatter and to focus on what your body is doing, feeling, smelling or even tasting in that moment.
Notice what situations or which people invoke your internal negative chatter or feelings of stress, anxiety, hurt etc. With this knowledge, find ways to avoid them, reduce them, or find some support during these difficult times.
Connect with one person today, with a smile, a text or a short conversation as you wait for the bus.
Spend time in the present, rather than focusing on the past or the future, something which we tend to do 47% of the time.
Learn how to quieten down your inner critics (Saboteurs) by noticing and naming them, before choosing a more positive mindset. Take the free online Saboteur Assessment to understand which critics are loudest for you.
Add some relaxation into your day to help your body and mind recuperate from daily stress. Plan something to look forward to and consider the small simple pleasures that you know really help you switch off and unwind.
We all know the importance of sleep, and often our sleeping patterns are a good indicator into our wellbeing. You know how much sleep your body needs, so learn to listen to when you need to take a nap during the day, or to seek out solo quiet time.
Don’t write a to-do list, instead think of just one thing you want to achieve and make a ‘ta-dah’ There’s no time limit, just an intention of achieving one thing today.
When you wake up, think of 3 things you are grateful for, 2 things that are worrying you in the moment and 1 task you want to complete today.
Remember you are in control of your mind and mood, you can always choose another, more positive perspective.