Let’s face it: 2020 has taken a toll on just about everyone’s mental health. From the pandemic and quarantine to riots and political unrest, it’s safe to say that many of us have experienced moments of anxiety, fear, or even depression over the past few months.
When we talk about self-care, diet, exercise, and sleep usually get the most attention. But staying mentally sharp (and sane) is just as important.
Not sure what self-care for your mental health should look like? Incorporate these five tips into your daily routine!
- Connect with family and friends. Various studies have shown that strong social ties can improve your health and decrease your risk for depression. Making time to connect with family and friends on a daily basis, even if it’s only for 15 minutes, is fantastic for self-care!
- Find something to laugh at every day. In times like these, laughs seem hard to come by. That’s why it’s so important to find something to make you grin, giggle, or guffaw. A funny internet video, a stand-up comedy show on Netflix, sharing a good joke, or just taking the time to be silly with your family will help support your mental health.
- Focus your thoughts. Whether you meditate, write, journal, read, color, or draw, focusing your thoughts on one thing stops your brain from going in a thousand different directions and can slow down racing thoughts.
- Learn something new. Big or small, you should strive to learn something new every day. Read about a place you’d like to visit, watch a YouTube tutorial on a recipe you would like to cook, or learn to play a new board game. It doesn’t matter what you learn as long as you’re constantly learning!
- Spend time outside. When the weather is less than perfect, the last thing most of us want to do is head into the great outdoors. But there are plenty of benefits to spending some time outside. Take a stroll around the neighborhood, go for a bike ride, or plan a day trip to a nearby lake, park, or forest. You won’t regret it!
A Fun New Activity for You
Last week, I discovered a site called Zentangle. I’ve tried adult coloring books in the past, but I just didn’t enjoy them the way I thought I would. It began to feel like a chore to force myself to stick with it. Zentangle art is completely different!
My six-year-old niece and I watched a short video on Zentangle.com and within minutes, we were both sitting at the table creating our first Zentangles. I love it because while there are a few basic principles to adhere to, there aren’t any rigid rules. And the more I do it, the more I stretch my brain to think of different ways I can create. It helps me focus my mind, clear my brain, relieves stress and anxiety, and gives me a feeling of accomplishment when I finish!
This is the perfect example of how one activity can check multiple boxes on your self-care habits list. With Zentangle, I connected with my niece, focused my thoughts, and learned something new. We could have even done our artwork outside, checking one more box! I highly encourage everyone to give it a shot.
Taking care of your mental health is a huge part of self-care. And it doesn’t have to take much time out of your busy day. Start developing these habits today and before you know it, you won’t need to think about it at all!
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures.