New Self-Care Tips for Mental Health Awareness Month
by Nicole Scherr
Take a walk. Call a friend. Eat healthy. We’ve been hearing the same self-care tips for months, maybe years, but as parents, employees, and individuals – we ALL need self-care now more than ever as we near the end of a year full of confusing challenges and unexpected stressors. It’s time to supercharge your self-care routine For Mental Health Awareness month, we’re here to help spark new self-care ideas with fresh and modern tips that you might not have heard of before.
Remember that no act of self-care is too small to make a difference in your life. Whether you spare a few moments per day for meditation or dedicate entire days to relaxation rituals, we’ve got self-care ideas that are designed to fit you and your busy, technology-filled life.
For Your Digital Life
Make a folder on your phone with your favorite photos and look at them when you need a pick-me-up. Even just a few photos of treasured memories can bring you a boost when you need it most.
Schedule daily reminders in your phone to do something you love or to do a self-care activity. Make a schedule for breaks in your day and do your best to stick to it!
Spring clean your digital life. Delete apps you don’t use, unsubscribe to emails you don’t read, unfollow people on social media that don’t bring you joy, turn off push notifications that stress you out. Block social media/apps with an app blocker and check in with how you feel without them. Turn your phone on airplane mode and ignore all texts, emails, calls, and messages for a period to give yourself a break.
Start a group text with friends you don’t see very often. All it takes is a simple “Just checking in!”
For Your Surroundings
Update and change the spaces you see every day. Add new plants or swap out photos in frames to refresh your space. Incorporate a new scented candle, light fixture, or paint a new accent wall to brighten things up and re-energize the spaces you spend the most time in.
Enjoy the outdoors in a new way. Try a new outdoor activity like Geocaching or birding as a way to interact with nature in a new way, or simply pick a new walking or hiking trail in your area that you haven’t explored before.
Volunteer your time or resources. Go through your closets or belongings and find some things to donate or sell – a great way to declutter your space and help others at the same time.
For Your Social Life
Connect with coworkers in non-work ways. Schedule a virtual coffee, lunch, or socially distanced walk to catch up on life – even just 10 or 15 minutes can help you connect with colleagues in a meaningful way.
Go old-school with staying in touch. Write letters to a friend, mail a care package or swap books, schedule a phone call instead of checking in via text. Changing the way you connect can help it feel new and more meaningful.
Create boundaries. Say no to things if you don’t feel you have the energy or headspace to take them on right now. Your time is valuable, don’t be afraid to protect it.
If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression or grief, be honest when someone asks how you are. We’re all experiencing degrees of change and uncertainty right now, and being honest can help start a dialogue and opens the door for you to give and receive support.
Just for You
Make time for sensory rest. Our senses are bombarded all day long with glowing screens, endless advertisements, and more. Cover your eyes and lay in a comfortable, quiet spot to give your senses a true rest.
What did you like to do when you were a kid? Did you like to fly kites, color, or solve puzzles? Did you have a favorite movie, book, or TV show back then? Were you fascinated with topics like space or animals? Bring back an old activity you liked to do and enjoy the feeling of nostalgia it brings.
Start a new gratitude journaling practice. This is a great way to reflect on things that bring you joy and happiness throughout the week. Take a quick intro course on gratitude journaling here.
Learn a new way to take care of yourself. Try cooking a new recipe, giving yourself a spa treatment, working in a garden, or practice meditating. Build a skill and invest in taking care of yourself at the same time.