Start a gratitude journal. Recording positive things about your day, whether major achievements or simple pleasures, can reduce stress, improve sleep and even foster better relationships by building a sense of empathy.
Take five deep breaths. Changing your breathing pattern can bring your body back into balance decreasing stress, pain, blood pressure and increase immunity.
Keep a light therapy lamp on your desk. Circadian rhythm regulates your sleep-wake cycle which affects bodily and behavioral responses. Exposure to sunlight, especially first thing in the morning gives a nice boost in energy and mood.
Drink water. Our bodies are made up of 60% water, yet up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Label what you’re experiencing. Studies show naming your emotions can reduce stress by 50%.
Turn your skincare routine into self-care. Give your skin some extra love and attention and while the ingredients penetrate the skin, light a candle, listen to music, read a book or lay down to let your body be nourished.
Spend time outdoors. Breathing fresh air is good for the body and mind. Mindfulness in nature can boost your mood.
Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Take time to unwind at least 30 minutes before bed to help get a good night’s rest.
Spend a few minutes stretching. Even if working out is too much for you, add stretching to your daily routine. It can help lubricate the joints, improve posture, boost energy and encourage better digestion.
Give acupuncture a go. Studies show that acupuncture can help decrease stress and anxiety. If that isn’t for you, try another ritual that fits into your routine.
Ask for help when you’re overwhelmed. Reach out to people and be direct. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help.
Remind yourself that someone else’s mood is not your responsibility. When you don’t take on somebody’s mood as something they are doing to you, you’re creating more peace in your life and theirs.
Volunteer. Volunteering has been shown to reduce stress. It’s a great way to give back and make a difference.
Plant a garden. Gardening helps with mood, concentration and focus. Mental health flourishes when spending time in nature and sunlight.
Call or visit a friend. Be intentional about spending time with the people that matter most. A good conversation or day out can increase your sense of belonging and purpose.
Watch a funny movie. When you’re feeling down or need a boost of energy, watching something funny can be a great pick-me-up.
Perform an act of kindness. Generosity is key to positive mental health and helps you to understand your own difficulties, increase empathy and gain some perspective.
Be mindful of your social media use. Notice how long you are on social media and how it affects your emotions. If it’s increasing negative emotions limit your viewing or change the content on your feed.
Meditate. Even on the busiest of days, finding just five or ten minutes to meditate can be beneficial. Meditation helps to increase the grey matter in the brain, which helps with mood-related disorders.
Drink more green tea. Studies show that it can reduce anxiety and enhance cognition and focus.
Talk to a therapist. You don’t need to be in crisis to benefit from therapy. Mental health experts can help you manage stress and find ways to cope with problems.
Behavioral Health Systems is the parent company of Safety First. BHS offers Mental Health and Substance Abuse benefits to employers along with Employee Assistance Programs.