By Karina Wensjoe
In light of Suicide Prevention Month, and the ongoing pandemic, being inside all day can increase mental health concerns, and finding methods in which to distract ourselves can be difficult. With the consistent, lonely feeling due to the lack of communication with others or even due to the stress of having to socialize; both can be harmful to an individual’s mental well-being. In writing this piece, we found it important to discuss ways to prevent deteriorating mental health and boost stamina, longevity, and happiness.
Going on a Walk
Whether you’re trying to get your daily steps in or just a breath of fresh air, believe it or not, going on a walk around your friendly neighborhood is a stabilizing method to release frustration and depression. After sitting inside all day, walking can improve the circulation of your blood flow, which relieves stress and anxiety, slowing down mental decline. Going out for an hour can improve your bodily functions and breathing exercises while you do so can enhance positive thinking, feelings, and health. The simple act of walking can also improve your sleeping habits and work as a superb method of exercise. Not only is walking a good way to stretch your muscles, but it is also the perfect break to replace discouragement with positive energy for the mind, body, and soul.
Getting in this habit is tricky and can sometimes feel time-consuming, but journaling is a perfect strategy in releasing inner frustrations boiled up inside that need to come out. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can reduce stress and mental health anxieties, keeping your memory sharp and fresh right after. The power of journaling is soothing and acts as a mood enhancer for maintaining stable mental well-being. Not only does this reduce depression, but the simple act of writing things down can also be excellent in enhancing your writing abilities and producing serotonin. Here is a list of soothing journaling books that can push away unhealthy thoughts and furnish comfort.
● The Five Minute Journal by Intelligent Change
● The Well Journal by Anthropoligie
● The Intention Journal by Ariana Ost
● Hello Revival Devotional Journal
Playing a Sport
Not only is playing a sport a great form of exercise, but it is also an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety. Although playing in teams or clubs is currently not in the cards, finding a playing partner or two can be a perfect way to socialize and decrease harmful thoughts taking over your mental health. There is also an array of solo sports one can play if you’re taking precautions concerning the pandemic. Playing a sport can also stimulate endorphins to release stress and even aid in getting a good night’s sleep. Try to get into this habit of going outside and getting your fitness in to promote a healthy mental state.
Refraining from Screen Time
Several social media applications now provide the service to input a time usage reminder, which can help you refrain from scrolling through your phone longer than usual. A difficult habit to break but not impossible. Set your phone, computer, or television aside for some time during the day and take a break to hang with a friend, paint, or go outside. Social media is a huge contributor to destabilizing mental health and can increase poor eyesight in the future. Take a break from your screen and enjoy a day in the sun or a good read indoors.
Fostering a Pet
Although a huge responsibility, fostering a pet during quarantine has become a trending success. Not only are you fostering a dog without a home to call their own, but fostering can also be an excellent way of having company and comfort while alone. In doing so, you are also promoting your fitness and well-being while taking your pet on a walk or to play outside. Dogs are typically enlightening pets and automatically share the joy they encompass. A positive pet promotes a positive human being, boosting serotonin and dopamine levels. While doing a service to the community’s little creatures you are also doing a service to your mental health. You begin to form a warm bond with the pet you are fostering that promotes joy, satisfaction, and a positive outlook.
Karina Wensjoe is an editorial intern who is knowledgeable in all things travel, beauty, and sustainability.