Ready to imporve your mental health? Have you been feeling extra stressed lately? A little anxious? Maybe even depressed? It happens…to a lot of people.
You are not alone.
Nowadays it seems like a lot of people are pouring from empty cups.
We are giving so much of ourselves away and forgetting that we need to replenish ourselves. Often leading to grumpy moods and mom burnouts.
If you are a mom check out 5 Self Care Tips Every Mom Should Do Daily
Our society is trained to move at such a fast pace that we are forgetting to take care of our basic needs. Our body and mind are trying to tell us “hey, slow down, take care of me!”.
This is also true for children.
Most of the time our children’s tantrums are a sign that something needs replenishing in their mind or body as well. Don’t forget your children’s mental health matters too.
Implement these 10 tasks into your self-care routines to improve your mental health.
Feeling a bit off? It’s time to head outside! Simply being outside for 20-30 minutes a day can drastically reduce your stress levels.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), children who spend more time outside are often less stressed, physically healthy, more creative and are able to concentrate better.
That goes for us adults too!
Being in nature does wonders for our brain. Our brains need a break from our fast-paced living to just process everything.
In the past year, I have really started to implement this in our lifestyle.
I have a hard time handling stress and I have found that the outdoors helps me a ton!
My favorite place to go is a nearby beach. We go pretty often, I would say about once a week when the weather is nice. Our beach is in a small town and is rather small but that is why I love it.
My daughter loves it too as it has a playscape right off the beach. We spend many evenings here as a family to just unwind together and take in the beauty.
Activities to do while outside:
- Play with your kids
- Sit on a porch & read your favorite book
- Go to the beach
- Music in the park events
- Go for a walk
- Have a picnic
- Ride a bike
One of the best things you can ever do for your physical and mental health is to move.
MOVE YOUR BODY.
It doesn’t matter in what way or how fast as long as you are being active.
I used to think that physical exercise had to be exhausting in order for it to be effective. But that is simply not true.
Some of the calmest ways of moving your body, like yoga can be the most beneficial for your mind and body.
Physical movement allows our body to release oxytocin, which is a hormone, that lowers stress and improves our mood.
Activities that get you moving:
- Lifting Weights
Drink Up Water
Have you ever heard of Rachel Hollis?! She is an amazing author and motivational speaker that gives some good advice on this topic.
She says we should be drinking half of our weight in ounces of water per day.
So if you have 140lbs you need to be drinking 70 ounces of water per day!
Sounds like a crazy amount right? When I first heard this, I thought that it was crazy! I would be peeing all day! And night probably.
But that is the point. Our bodies need to be flushing out all of those toxins that are being absorbed into us. The only way for the body to be able to effectively flush is by hydrating.
If our system is bogged down by toxins we are going to feel like crap.
Go get yourself a water bottle with the ounces of it and start keeping track how much water you actually drink per day.
I bet it is safe to say it is a lot less than what you should be drinking!
Put Down Caffeine
There is something heaven-sent about my morning cup of coffee. I don’t know if it is the delicious smell or the warmth I get from the cup when my hands are hugging it.
But I get all of the happy feels from it. My morning cup of coffee is one of my favorite things, especially in the winter months.
If I could, I would drink coffee all the way until lunchtime. Then maybe have a pick me up cup later in the afternoon. But I can’t.
My body would literally be shaking and my heart would be racing. Which is crazy because I grew up on sipping Diet Pepsi ALL DAY. (Thank goodness I got out of that habit.)
Caffeine can wreak havoc on your nerves. It acts as a stimulant in your body and initiates the fight or flight response in the body.
Often increasing anxiety systems or even triggering an attack for individuals that have a sensitivity to it.
The best thing is to pay attention to how you are feeling.
If you are an individual that is a bit anxious try stepping back from the caffeine for a bit to see if there is an improvement.
I think it is safe to say that the majority of us could clean up our eating habits a bit. Busy schedules can make it challenging to make sure meals are prepped and ready to be cooked at home.
Often times we are looking for convenience rather than quality, especially moms that are moving from one thing to another.
Our nutrition and our children’s nutrition should be one of our top priorities. What we nurture our bodies with determines our mental and physical health.
To make healthier eating choices easier to implement, try finding a meal plan routine that works for your family.
We have just started doing this in our home and it has been a huge help. We eat out less, save more money on our groceries, and the best part is that I am not always wondering “what should I make for dinner tonight”.
I seriously hate deciding meals every night!
Tips on Eating Clean:
- Avoid processed foods as much as possible
- Limit red meat
- Limit sodas
- Increase daily servings of fruits and veggies
Ah screen time…where do I start?
First off, I believe technology is such a blessing and a curse.
There have multiple studies saying that excessive use of technology leads to poor mental health and less satisfaction in life overall.
However, there have also been studies to show that individuals feel less anxious and depressed when using technology often.
Then there are studies about the effects technology has on child development.
Basically, there are a lot of variables in determining the effects of technology.
Technology has exploded so fast that research on the effects are still new and need further studying to be sure.
What we do know is moderation is key.
Set limits and boundaries on technology use.
Think about if you are using your phone purposefully or mindlessly.
Remember it is okay to put your phone away for a bit and be free from the notifications. It might feel weird at first, but once you do it a few times it will feel relieving.
Looking for motivation to change your mindset and live a positive life? Check out: 15 Inspirational Quotes for a Positive Life
My mom recently told me that she heard on the news that 30% of millennials feel lonely and that they don’t have friends.
In a time where we can be connected to each of more than ever, we feel lonelier! Mind-blowing right?!
But that is because our technology can sometimes act as a barrier to forming real authentic relationships.
Screen-free time allows you to build deeper connections with the people around.
Real connection is crucial for our mental health as we all crave a sense of belonging.
How many times do you see couples or families out to eat and they all have a device in their hand?
Too many people are doing this all the time. Those individuals are missing out on quality time with people that matter most in their lives.
Now I am not going to lie, we give our daughter our phone once in a while when we are out to eat to calm her down. During that time my husband and I are making sure we are communicating and having intentional conversations.
I don’t know about your toddlers, but our’s hates when we try to talk to each other. It seems it is impossible to get a word into each other at times so we take it when we can.
Next time you meet up a friend for brunch, go on date night or meet a colleague for drinks be intentional about the time you spend with them.
Ask questions to get to know them better and LISTEN.
Lighten Your Load
Before I had kids I was famous for filling my schedule with work. Work was my number one priority. I allowed it to occupy the majority of my time, robbing myself of everything else that mattered to me.
Since my panic attacks and having my babies I realized how precious my time is.
Read more about my journey with anxiety here.
I no longer overschedule my time. I re-evaluated my commitments and started saying NO to tasks that didn’t serve my family or me.
Identify your values and review your calendar. Is your time aligning with your values?
If not, it is time to make some life changes.
If you are looking at these tasks and thinking you do not have time to incorporate these into your life, it is time to make a change.
Do you have a hard time sitting still?
Geez I know I do. My mind goes crazy thinking of everything I could be doing instead. It is a real problem for me.
If I decide I am watching some TV, most likely I will be folding some laundry while doing it.
I have the hardest time just being still.
But our bodies and mind need it.
As much as it is beneficial for us to get moving, it is as important to be still.
It allows our brains time to unwind and process everything that has been happening. Allowing the stimulation from our senses to calm down, especially from technology.
Try meditating five minutes a day to give your mind that break. Or sit outside for five minutes in silence with your eyes closed.
Be still and recharge! Any little bit will help.
You will resume feeling lighter and refreshed ready to continue taking on life.
I saved this one for last because I believe all these tasks are forms of “self-care“.
Self-care is any activity that we do to reduce stress and enhance our well-being.
These tasks do just that. They make sure you are physically, emotionally, and socially fulfilled.
In order to maintain good mental health, ALL of our needs must be met.
Other forms of self-care:
- Reading a book
- Engaging in a hobby
- Being creative
- Soaking in a bath
- Trip to the spa
- Mani and Pedi
Maintaining self-care is important for everyone to incorporate into their daily routine. Because when you feel good, you do good.
This is especially true for moms!
If you are not feeling like you are your best self, you will not be giving your children the most patient, loving, and fun mom that you could be to them!
Go invest time into yourself, for it will be relayed to the rest of your family!