Mental Health Monday: Small opportunities for self-care

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Each Monday in May, I am going to share something mental health related.

Most people would agree that a little self-care is good for our mental health…but self-care means different things for different people. Some people aren’t really sure what self-care even means. Today, I’d like to share a few ideas as to how you can practice self-care effectively and easily.

1. Exercise

You don’t have to spend a lot of time exercising or do strenuous exercise. It’s amazing just how much a 20 minute walk outside can do for your mind. When my children and I were on virtual school (I was teaching virtually and they were learning virtually), we would make it a point to walk for thirty minutes during our break each day. It helped us to recharge, refocus and not feel so mentally exhausted.

2. Get enough rest

I type this with transparency- no one in my house gets an adequate amount of rest. We are definitely trying to improve in how much sleep we get. So far, I notice lots of positive changes.

3. Pamper yourself

Everyone needs hobbies. Do something every day that makes you happy. Get a pedicure. Try a new lotion or hair product. Buy something small that you love just because you can. Every Sunday night, I take a bath with an exfoliator and a face mask. It makes me feel relaxed and ready to take on the week.

4. Disconnect from the internet

OK, this one is hard. Sometimes I just need to put down the phone and take a break from it. Turn off your social media notifications for an hour each week. It’s not a big deal and you’ll be glad you did it.

5. Eat a serving of vegetables each day.

This one isn’t so much for your mental health as it is for your physical health. Studies have shown increasing your greens leads to lower weight, healthier colons and better blood sugars. Ideally, you should eat a serving with each meal, but even eating one a day yields a lot of positive changes.

6. Delight in the simple things

I tend to find that the things that bring me the most joy are the things that don’t cost a dime. Conversations with good friends, spending time with my family, and working in my garden are some of my favorite things to do. My greenhouse is sometimes an escape from everything that stresses me out.

Have a wonderful week. Don’t forget to practice self-care.

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