It’s been several weeks since my last blog post, so I wanted to ease my way back in with a post on caring for our mental health. In today’s world, it is so easy to get distracted by reports of politicians wearing blackface, the latest diet craze, and viral videos on social media that we fail to pay attention to our needs and what we are feeling. In the midst of the chaos, it is important to remember that we are our most valuable assets. We matter. Our minds matter.
Here are a few ways that we can take care of our minds each and every day:
1) Getting enough sleep
I cannot stress enough how important sleep is for us to function well and be able to fulfill day-to-day responsibilities. Getting enough sleep allows our bodies and minds to rest and recover. Think about it--we spend about 15-17 hours working, exercising, eating, caring for loved ones, etc. Our bodies need and deserve a chance to recharge after all of that.
2) Spending time doing things that bring us joy
Ask yourself: What brings me joy? What do I love doing? Writing brings me joy. Eating sushi brings me joy. Sleeping brings me joy. Intimate time with my partner brings me joy. Spending time with my nieces and nephews bring me joy. Make a list of all of the things that bring you joy, and try to do at least one of those things everyday.
3) Tending to our emotions
Whether journaling is your thing or whether you would prefer to go sit on the couch of a licensed mental health professional like myself (I highly recommend doing both!), it important for us to recognize our feelings when they come up rather than ignoring them. Our thoughts and feelings matter, and it is healthy to express how we feel. Some emotions are more difficult to grapple with than others, but even the most difficult emotions need to be dealt with. If you are having a hard time dealing with your emotions on your own, it may be a good time for you to seek professional help. The time is always right for you to take care of yourself.
4) Treating ourselves like the human beings that we are
Ok, this may be news to some, but I will go ahead and say it anyway. We are human beings, not robots. We have emotions, physical needs, spiritual needs, etc. It is important that we treat ourselves in a humane manner. In a practical sense, this means taking a lunch break at lunch because we need to eat vs. working through lunch just because we have an important deadline to meet. It means getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night vs. always “burning the midnight oil”. Trust me, there will be time to do things tomorrow. We do not have to have everything figured out today.
5) Eating nutritious foods and drinking enough water
Our minds and bodies are connected. Without the mind, the body cannot function. Consuming foods that refresh and revitalize us is essential for the optimal functioning of our minds.
Caring for our mental health is of the utmost importance. Mind your mind, and the rest will follow.
As always, Live Mindfully. Love Intentionally. Thrive Splendidly.™