Have you ever heard that phrase “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb? This is reference to the blustery cold days of winter leading to the beauty and gentleness of spring. At the beginning of the year, in the dead of winter, many people make New Year’s resolutions.
A common one is to “get healthy”, go to the gym more often, start running or biking, to mention a few. One area of our lives that is often neglected until we have a crisis is our mental health. Our day to day lives can be challenged with stress from work, family, intimate relationships, personal struggles. Most of us just hunker down and deal with it. Sometimes through drinking alcohol, isolating oneself, being irritable or cranky.
We are challenging our mental health by not taking care of our self in all areas of our life. I know that we are very busy but take a moment to consider these ways you can improve your mental health and while improving your quality of life.
- When stressed do a grounding exercise to calm
your mind and body. Try this:
- Think of 5 things you can see
- Think of and imagine 4 things you can hear
- Think of and imagine 3 things you can taste
- Think of and imagine 2 things you can touch
- Think of and imagine 1 thing you smell
- Then take a deep breath in and slowly let it out.
- Do something you enjoy for 5 minutes – just 5 minutes – no matter what it is – take 5 minutes for yourself. Even if you are in the middle of 101 different things – take this time to make you feel good.
- Take a walk at lunch with a friend – vent about all the things that are bothering you. Call it the “cone of silence” meaning the conversation is just for the 2 of you.
- Think about creating mini moments rather than a big event that lifts your spirits. Mini moments can be texting a loved one a simple message of support or love – or just looking out a window at a beautiful scene. It is the mini moments of our day that help ease the tiredness of our lives.
- When you have a big project you are working on break it down into small tasks and right a to-do list then check it off each to-do as you do them so that you can see how much progress you are making. Then pat yourself on the back!
The focus here is not on roaring around like a lion but creating gentle, uplifting ways of being happy in each moment. Allowing yourself to be filled up instead of emptying. So spring into action by taking good care of yourself and your mental health.
If you find that you are struggling more with stress, worry, fears that are not easily abated by some of these suggestions consider reaching out for help with a licensed therapist. We are here to help.
Mary Ruth Cross, MFT, RPT-S