There is a lot going on in the world right now, much of which is contributing to the mental health crisis we've found ourselves in. While it would be fantastic to snap our fingers and jump out of our rut, that's not exactly how these things work. Thankfully, small, sustainable steps can make a huge difference in your mental wellbeing.
1. Start a new TV series
Typically, watching TV isn't my go-to for most situations, but one day when I was stressed, I dropped everything to start a series and I was hooked. It helped to have my mind distracted for a minute and I ever discovered anime (I know I am late to the party). I've definitely noticed that cartoons are the best medicine to help ease your mind so time can pass.
2. Clean out your phone
I never would have thought that my phone could be so detrimental to my health. Phones are great and all — I couldn't live without mine — but sometimes we fail to realize how much toxicity is really in our device. Maybe you've been meaning to organize your home screen or go through your socials and unfollow anything/anyone who promotes something bad. Maybe your storage is full because of the random games you forgot about years ago. Take time to clean it out! It gave me a break from my thoughts, so it could possibly help someone else, too.
3. Buy a plant
Plants! Plants! Plants! They are truly amazing. Plants can bring so much to the table for someone. I started with one and in a month, I had eight! Caring for a plant is like caring for a friend — with all the positive energy you put into them, the more you can watch them bloom and grow! Not only that, but bringing plants into your room can improve the air quality, so it's a win-win! Plus, researching the right plant for you can be quite fun, even if it means you walk around a plant nursery until you find one that matches what you can provide. I mean it when I say adopting a plant can be so therapeutic, there are so many psychological benefits to owning one!
4. Exercise and practice yoga
This tip may be a hit or miss for some, and that's perfectly okay! I'm not big on exercise either, but I did start yoga to help my muscles and it's actually enjoyable! Plus it's free. You can also try meditation — just to focus on breathing for yourself! There are so many home workouts and yoga sessions listed on YouTube, meaning there's always something for everyone! Just a 10-minute session can boost your mood and energy drastically.
5. Re-do your room
"Your room is a reflection of your mind." That's a quote that's stuck with me throughout this pandemic. Trust me on this tip — it's way more fun than it seems. Re-decorating your room can be so thrilling. Your room is your safe place, so decorate it the way you like! Want to hang a bunch of tapestries everywhere? Then do it! Want to hang up lights and have a party in your room? Do it! Your room is your oyster and you deserve to love your space! If you are looking for inspiration, I definitely recommend Pinterest! Pinterest is a lifesaver. There are so many boards of room inspiration and I can spend hours upon hours looking up creative ideas.
6. Start a new art project
There are so many forms of art to try! From music to painting, it's limitless. With the pandemic still at large, you may seem bored just being stuck in your house (or dorm) with nothing to do. So why not pick up a new hobby? A few new things to try could be resin art, painting, learning an instrument, journaling, photography, or digital art. You can do whatever you put your mind to! Don't limit yourself! Art is your path to self-discovery, you never know what doors you could open up with it.
7. Listen to music and let your emotions out
Did you know music is a total brain workout? Crazy, right?! Who knew blasting Tame Impala into my ears could help strengthen my mind. Music can do way more for you — listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain, as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory! It blows me away that music has this much power to heal, it's such an amazing tool to deal with stress, it's a great coping mechanism.
Finally, the most important tip — rest. Rest is so, so, so, SO important for your mental health. You deserve to recharge and refuel. You may not want to sleep a full eight hours, and that's okay! A small nap will do. You may not want to eat a lot or you may want to have a whole buffet. There is nothing wrong with that! Be intuitive! You deserve nourishment at any level! Take that homework break you need, chill with yourself for a minute, sit and read in a comfy place. Do what you need to rest your mind! Do it out of love for your mental state!