Be Kind to Your Mind, You Live In It
It’s early, the alarm goes off. As you come to, you start to feel your body and it does not feel good. Chills, stuffed up nose, and O NO! You run to the toilet and hope you make it to the bowl as last night’s dinner comes back up. What’s your next step today? Probably call your boss and let him or her know you will not be in today. Then, you curl up on the couch, call the doctor, have some soup, take some medicine, and take care of yourself. So why is it so different with mental health?
While calling out of work might not be an option every time you’re having a bad mental health day, taking care of yourself is always an option. Having practices in place to help you clear your mind and figure out what your body really needs will give you an upper hand, but anyone can help themselves. I’ve listed some ways I help myself when I'm having a bad mental health day but the options go on and on. The bottom line is, if your body is sick you would treat it, and nurture it back to health. Do the same with your mind, respect it, you live in it.
Ways to be kind to your mind:
Go for a walk - Walks always calm me down. They allow me to get out any built up energy I haven’t been able to get rid of. It’s also very easy to motivate myself to take a walk because I will be out in the sun and it will give me a sense of accomplishment. A walk is also not super exerting, another reason why it is easy to motivate myself to take one.
Palo Santo / Sage - This one might be mind over matter but hey, if it works I’m down for it. Why do I think it might be mind over matter? Because often I burn these when I am meditating so maybe I am just remembering that relaxation time. Either way, they bring me calm when I’m feeling anxious.
Meditating - Many times, my mind is suffering because of how full it is. Allowing the mind to rest and do its thing can be just what I need when I wake up anxious.
Breathing- How basic does this sound? But taking a few deep breaths really helps. There are a variety of breathing apps as well. Some of them are free and some of them will cost you a few bucks but if they work it’s worth it ! I’m a huge fan of breathing apps because I know if I'm not in the correct mindset it is very hard to get my breath right. Having an app to follow helps alleviate that pressure and allows you to just relax.
Listening to uplifting music ( and belting to out) - This usually has to be combined with something else but listening to a song that brings you back to a memory or always puts you in a good mood is powerful. Belting it out helps relieves excess energy (but this is optional.)
Coloring - I know this sounds crazy but I have a meditation coloring book that a swear by. When I am coloring I can literally zone out everything and just focus on that. After I am done the sense of accomplishment I have lifts me.
Sound healing- Not readily available to everyone but by far my favorite way to cure any lingering anxiety. I love sound healing because it’s meditating without doing much work. Your mind can wander but often times the sound is so overpowering it forgets to wander because it is so fixated on the noise. When I was having an off day or week, I would treat myself to a sound healing class. Until one day I decided I needed the bowls for myself. Now I offer sound healing to friends and family or anyone who is interested. If sound healing is not readily available in your area there are also little bowls and gongs for sale at reasonable prices online. Anything to bring a little zen into your life. (Full post on sound healing coming soon.)
These are just a few suggestions! But there are dozens more.