May is Mental Health Awareness Month. More than ever, it's important to take care of our mental health, especially so when many of our coping mechanisms such as travel, social activities and more have been limited.
Here are some ways you can be kinder to your mind which are easy to incorporate into your daily life!
Sweat it out
Multiple studies have shown exercise can have a positive impact on our mental wellness. Even if you cannot hit the gym in person, there are options available to work out safely from the comfort of your home. Go for a short run in the park, climb up and down the stairs in your block, sign up for a live yoga class at home or tune in to the many workout videos available online for any exercise you're interested in! Of course, a set of activewear you feel comfortable in can lift your mood as well!
Break up your routine
If you are working from home or taking time off, it is important to stop and take regular breaks. Take those annual leave instead of saving it for the end of the year. Adopt some plants to shake up your daily routine, get on an online Netflix party with a group of friends, take a moment to appreciate a good cup of coffee, or simply schedule time to do nothing.
Get enough sleep
The drama shows won't go away, but your concentration due to poor sleep will. It's important to get enough rest for our body to be performing at its peak. With enough sleep, you'll be more alert, your memory improves and your mind is more equipped to deal with stress. Throwing in a short workout during the day can greatly boost the quality of sleep and reduce the amount of time we take to fall asleep (sleep onset). A good practice to have before going to bed at night is to set up a wind down period 15 – 30mins, and if you want to, incorporating a stretch before sleep can be highly beneficial!
Many of us breathe shallower than we would have expected. Outside of physical exercise, breathing exercises can be easily done from anywhere. Mindful breathing can alleviate stress, and all it takes is just 1-3 minutes to reap the benefits!
To yourself, as well as to other people. If you tend to overthink, blame yourself and spiral downwards when things go wrong, then this is for you. Remember, you are allowed to choose the kinder way forward for yourself. You have the power to transform any mistakes into a lesson to better yourself instead of wallowing in self pity.
In Rupaul's word, "If you can't love yourself, how the hell you're gonna love somebody else?"