Guest Blog by Julia Merrill of BefriendYourDoc.org
Image via Pexels
We live in a fast-paced world, and it’s easy to forget about our mental health. We get so bogged down with work, school, and other commitments and fail to take care of our minds as we do our physical health. But the truth is, we must find ways to foster our mental health, or it will impact our entire lives. Julia Merrill and Duncan MacLeod share eight unique ideas and activities to boost your mental health and overall well-being:
1. Go forest bathing
Nature has a way of easing anxiety and reducing stress. Forest bathing is a practice that involves taking a walk in the woods and immersing yourself in nature (full disclosure: you can also get away with lying down or sitting in nature and calling it “forest bathing”). Take a break from your hectic life, and spend some time in the great outdoors!
2. Try art therapy
Art therapy is a form of therapy where you use creative expression to improve your mental health. It can be as simple as painting, doodling, or coloring. The primary benefit of art is that it helps you process your emotions safelyand healthy.
3. Start a nonprofit organization
Starting a nonprofit organization to help others can be incredibly rewarding. It can give you a sense of purpose, help you connect with others, and boost your mental health by reducing your stress. Plus, it’s easier to get grants and public funding as a nonprofit! Choose a cause you’re passionate about and start making a difference.
Creating bylaws is an essential step when setting up a new nonprofit organization. Bylaws are a set of rules and regulations that govern the internal workings of the organization. They outline the procedures for elections, meetings, decision-making, and other important operational aspects of the nonprofit.
Be sure to get input and feedback from all key stakeholders when creating bylaws, including board members, staff, and volunteers. You should write bylaws in clear and concise language, organize them in a logical format, and ensure they comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
4. Decluttering your home
Clutter can cause significant stress and anxiety. Decluttering your home can help you feel more relaxed and at ease, and it can cultivate a more positive atmosphere overall. Start by going through your things and getting rid of anything that no longer serves you. Here are a few other tips to consider:
- Take it one step at a time and start small by decluttering one room or area within a room at a time.
- Sort your belongings into four boxes labeled: “Donate,“ “Sell,“ “Trash,“ and “Keep.” This will prioritize your items and reduce decision fatigue.
- Stay focused and limit your decluttering sessions to a specific time frame — such as 20 to 30 minutes — by setting a timer.
- Be honest with yourself and consider whether you’ve used or worn an item in the past year. If not, it’s probably time to get rid of it instead of holding onto it just because of sentimental value or a “what if“ situation.
5. Take a walk with no agenda
Walking for the sake of walking can be surprisingly liberating. Don’t worry about where you’re going or how long it will take. Put one foot in front of the other and enjoy the journey (and the health benefits!).
6. Read a book for an hour
Reading has been shown to lower stress levels and improve mental well-being. Choose a book that you’ve been meaning to read, and spend an hour getting lost in its pages. This could be the perfect time to dive into a Duncan MacLeod adventure!
7. Bake a new dessert
There’s no denying that a sweet treat can make your day. But baking can also be therapeutic and significantly reduce stress and anxiety. Research recipes and try one that you’ve always dreamed of making; then, spend an afternoon whipping up something delicious!
8. Purge your social media
Social media can be a major source of stress and anxiety. Take time to go through your accounts and unfollow anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself or your circumstances. Surround yourself with positivity and people who lift you up!
Taking care of your mental health is vital, and there are many ways to do it. Try some (or all) of the outside-the-box ideas above to take your mental health and overall well-being to the next level. Whether it’s forest bathing, decluttering your living environment, or unfollowing people on social media, you might be surprised how many strategies work for you!