Rates of depression, loneliness, and anxiety are rising, and tending to our mental health is essential. The key is to start small. Some studies show that setting small goals can be a useful way to take on new challenges. Whether it is adjusting our behaviors, getting more sleep, spending time with friends, taking a break from your phone, or journaling, they can all help better our emotional well-being. Try doing each of these for the next seven days. The goal is to feel more comfortable and to add them to your daily routine.
Day 1: Get To Bed One Hour Earlier
Some tips to get to bed early are:
- Refrain from watching TV or playing online games in bed.
- Shut off your phone for the night and keep it outside of your room. If it acts as an alarm, try to purchase an old-fashioned alarm clock.
- Keep the bedroom between 60-67 degrees.
- Turn off bright lights
Day 2: Try Some Mindful Meditation
There are smartphone apps like Headspace or Calm that offer mini-guided meditations. Take a look at this article about the different types of meditation there are. Choose the one that is right for you.
Day 3: Take Some Time To Self-Reflect
Use these 3 thought-provoking questions to start off.
- How does fear show up in my life? How does it hold me back?
- What is one way I could be a better friend or partner?
- What is one of my biggest regrets? How can I let it go?
- Try talking to yourself in third person.
Day 4: Go For A Walk
Adding walking into your daily routine can have benefits. Even just a short 20 minute walk can help
- Calm your nervous system
- Reduce stress
- trigger your brain to release “feel good” endorphins
Day 5: Try Your Hand At Journaling
Some Psychologists say that writing about your thoughts, worries, and deepest feelings can help clear your minds. Some journaling prompts you can use are
- One thing I’m grateful for today…
- Today I felt stressed when….but (something) helped me feel better.
- I vow to take care of myself today by doing…
- Right now, I’m holding onto this worry….Here is how I will let it go….
- One random act of kindness I vow to do this week is….
Day 6: Limit Your Screen Time
Taking a break from technology can reset your brain and increase your well-being. Doing activities like meditating, going for a walk, and journaling can help with this as well. Turning your phone off during dinner or while you are out with friends are other ways you can try to reduce that time.
Day 7: Practice Self-Compassion
These are just a couple of things you can incorporate self-compassion into your routine. Remember, throughout this process that you are not alone in feeling that way.
- Think of something that is stressing you out.
- Notice the thoughts,feelings, and bodily sesations that come up as you ponder that stress.
- Acknowledge your suffering.
- Place your hand on your heart and extend kindness by saying:
- May I give myself the compassion I need
- May I learn to accept myself as I am
- May I forgive myself
- May I be strong
- May I be patient
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