Making Self-Care Part of Your Routine During Mental Health Month
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Self-care can go a long way toward soothing our minds and souls, especially after more than a year of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Start doing something good for your mental health each day! Here are ideas to promote self-care from the professional staff at NewBridge Services:
Get outdoors. Go ahead and touch grass and tree trunks. Savor the scents of fresh air.
Garden. Gardening activates something called “involuntary attention,” lowering cortisol levels and boosting your mood.
Make your shower a mindful, calming experience. Notice the water’s warmth, the scent of the soap, the sound of running water.
Exercise your brain. Do a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or other brain teasers. Try games like Chess or Boggle.
Keep a gratitude journal. End each day on a positive note, writing down a few good things you experienced. It can help you overcome negativity, decrease anxiety and increase satisfaction.
Play. Do something you enjoy just for the pleasure of it. What delighted you as a child?
Try the 5-4-3-2-1 coping and mindfulness exercise. Stop what you’re doing and observe 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste.
Take deep breathing breaks. Inhale deeply, exhale slowly. Do this for 60 seconds and build up to a several minutes. Notice the air moving expanding your abdomen. You are meditating!
Try meditation, yoga or other relaxation techniques. Here’s a link to some simple meditations. Try yoga for beginners here.
Exercise 30 minutes a day. It’s just as important for your mind as your body. Walking, gardening, and dancing all count!
Sleep on a schedule. Establish a regular sleep routine of 7-9 hours a night. Relax the half hour before you head to bed.
Keep in regular touch with family members and friends. You and they will feel cared about.
Add green to your living space. It’s the color of balance, harmony and growth, and can revitalize you when you are physically and mentally exhausted.
Get professional help if stress and anxiety persist. You don’t have to go it alone. NewBridge Services’ licensed clinicians are available in-person or through telehealth sessions. Call (973) 316-9333 to schedule an appointment. (NewBridge accepts most insurances.)