How to Spend World Mental Health Day in Serenity
Oct 13, 2021
Did you know that October 10 was World Mental Health Day? October, in general, seems like not only the perfect time to raise awareness about mental health issues but also a great opportunity to take a moment to assess our own mental health and take a few steps toward ensuring we’re balanced and ready to cope with whatever the world is about to throw at us.
First, let’s discuss what is self care and how mental health awareness can make our lives easier and more enjoyable.
What Is Self Care?
Self-care is all about doing something that improves your baseline quality of life, including your physical and mental health. As such, self-care helps you manage stress, become more resilient, have more energy, etc.
The trick is that most self care activities don’t take much time and can be layered on top of each other, with a cumulative positive effect working in your favor.
Since the idea of devoting some quality time to oneself is different for everyone, here are a few self care ideas you can pick and choose from every World Mental Health Day or really anytime you need to clear your mind.
Get Extra Sleep
It’s getting darker earlier every day! So make sure to catch up on sleep by getting at least eight hours of it. In general, sleep is critical for pretty much everything in your body as well as your mood to function properly.
Make sleep a priority. Create a schedule (for anywhere from seven to nine hours) and stick to it no matter what. To improve your sleep quality, cool down your bedroom with fresh air, take a hot shower before going to bed (helps lower your body temperature) and get off all devices that emit blue light at least one hour prior.
Exercising is a true secret weapon, as close to a magic pill as you can get. And it doesn’t even matter that much which type of exercise you’re doing — as long as you’re elevating your heart rate for a prolonged period of time (around 30 minutes), you get most of the benefits.
You can swim, lift weights, dance, practice yoga, try martial arts, climb, run and even just walk briskly outside. All of these self care activities are guaranteed to boost your mood and benefit your overall health.
Spend Time Outdoors
Nature is so important for our wellbeing. Even just walking around the block or to a nearby cafe can help us look at things differently. If you can, try getting out of town on the weekend, whether it’s hiking a local trail, going to the beach or camping.
Overeating and over-relying on unhealthy snacks and fast food is often the first thing we do when we are anxious or stressed out, which generally makes us feel worse and starts a downward spiral.
Regular healthy meals and proper hydration (at least eight glasses of water a day) fuel our bodies with all the necessary nutrients and give us energy to deal with anything else that comes up in our lives.
If possible, try to limit caffeinated beverages, soft drinks and alcohol as well, and you’ll see an instant and sustained boost in your mood.
Limit News and Social Media
Constantly scrolling Instagram or trying to stay on top of all the news spikes our dopamine levels out of control and can even lead to addictive behavior — since all the dopamine receptors are firing, all you want to do is more, more, more.
So go the other way. Take a break. Reach out to your friends or family members and meet offline. Nourishing meaningful connections leads to a longterm boost in our happiness levels.
Organize a Spa Day at Home
If you just want to spend the day by yourself, it might be a perfect opportunity to properly relax. We’ve already written about meditation, self-care and refreshing rituals, so feel free to borrow some self care ideas there. We’ve also written about self-care practices for your hair and facial massages to try right now.
Not sure which haircare products work for you? Take our quick Hair Quiz to receive a personal haircare plan.
In general, it would be great to start your day with a short meditation and mindfulness practice. Then reflect on all the things you cherish in your gratitude journal. That would help you stay focused on positive things throughout your day.
Seek Professional Help
At the end, we should mention that if you’re feeling low for an extended period of time, there’s no substitute for seeking a qualified professional. Working with a therapist can help you untangle all the negative thoughts and see your goals and priorities anew.
Likewise, if you know someone who’s struggling, being there for them and letting them know that there are professionals who can help them is very important. Let’s raise the level of mental health awareness together.