Feeling better mentallyThink of boundaries as being something for you versus rules you impose on others.
Lately, folks on social media have been conflating having boundaries with being controlling. In actuality, boundaries are something you enforce on yourself, not on those around you. For example, if the way your friends act when they get sloppy drunk at a bar makes you feel uncomfortable, you can decide that you’ll simply leave when that happens. You’re not saying they can’t drink (that would be controlling); you’re just deciding how you’ll react if they do. Not only will having a plan in place ease your anxiety in social situations, but it’ll also set a healthy standard of communication for your relationships. —Jessica Kasparian
Take a shower.
When you’re having a tough mental health day, week, month, whatever, getting yourself to prepare a meal, make your bed, answer texts, or work out can feel beyond difficult. You can let go of a lot of those tasks (this is what takeout is for!) but one thing that’s pretty much always good for your body and mind is to take a shower. Just get in! Even for two minutes. You don’t need to shampoo, shave, or scrub—just stand (or sit) there for as long as you can, do as much as you can or feel like doing, and get out. Why? Because you will actually feel better—even if only a little bit. You might still be depressed, but at least you’re clean. —HP
Find small ways to connect with nature regularly.
You don’t need to be an avid hiker to reap the benefits of getting outside (although hiking is a perfectly wonderful way to do that if you’re into it). Going for strolls in your neighborhood park (without your headphones!); picking up an outdoorsy hobby like birding, foraging, or gardening; or even bringing the outside into your home with lots of houseplants are all great ways to spark awe, be more mindful, and restore your spirit. If that feels too daunting, consider making it even easier for yourself: Watch the sun rise or set, gaze at some stars, go leaf-peeping in the fall, float down a river in the summer, collect shells on the beach…. All these things count! —AH
Give yourself permission to be a lazy meditator.
Sure, a nice long meditation session can do wonders for your stress levels, but chances are you don’t have an extra 20 minutes (or longer!) every day to sit in silence. (Also, 20 minutes is way too much if you’re new to this!) Instead of waiting until you have an extended period of peace and quiet, start practicing what you might call half-assed mindfulness: Meditate for one to five minutes each day. Even taking just a few minutes to center yourself can make you feel less anxious. —WG
Know that a boring therapy session doesn’t mean it’s not “working.”
Nor does it mean that you just wasted 45 minutes. You might have simply had a particularly good week or just weren’t in the mood to talk. Every session, dull or not, builds the connection between you and your therapist and teaches them more about you (and teaches you about yourself)—and they should get to see you on your good days too! —Ayana Underwood
Remind yourself that everything is temporary.
It’s been said many times in many ways, but it’s just true: Everything—every feeling, experience, moment—is temporary. This mindset can change your life in two ways. The obvious one is that it provides a sense of comfort when you feel incredibly anxious or otherwise awful; it doesn’t instantly take the feeling away, but remembering that you’ve felt this way (and gotten through it) before really takes the edge off. The less obvious way is that it also helps you appreciate the good things: When you’re belly laughing with someone you love, reading a book on a cozy Sunday, or having a blast on vacation, mentally noting that you’ll never live these exact moments again helps you savor them. —CK
Ruthlessly get rid of clothes that make you feel like shit.
If you’ve ever put on a pair of shorts after a long winter and questioned your entire existence, we get it. But remember: It’s not your body—it’s the clothes! It can be extremely hard to part with items you once loved, but it’s normal for your body to change, and things that don’t fit you right now don’t serve you anymore. So for the sake of your mental health, be brutally honest: If you haven’t worn something in a year, it’s too big or too small, you don’t like the color or shape, or it simply doesn’t feel like you, donate it. You’ll open up space in your wardrobe to slowly curate clothes that help you show up as your best self—and you’ll eventually always have something to wear that makes you feel good. —AH
While you’re at it, divest from the idea that being fat is a problem that needs to be solved.
Being fat isn’t actually a death sentence. And more importantly, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, regardless of their weight. The sooner you really internalize this idea, the sooner we’ll all be free of the body policing and shame-driven rituals that slowly sap our joy and make us less healthy, mentally and physically. (P.S. We’ve got tons of great reading on this topic to help you get started.) —RWM
Make a point to be politically active this year and not just on November 5.
One of the best ways to combat the anxiety and existential dread that is now par for the course during US presidential elections is to get involved at the state and local level. That’s where so many important decisions that affect our everyday lives—and health!—are made, and it’s an area where individuals can have real, meaningful impact. So identify a cause or candidate you care about, find a local group that is organizing around it, and make a plan to work with them all year. You’ll feel so much better come November, I promise. —RWM
Treat your hobbies like they actually matter—because they do.
When you’re pressed for time (so always), hobbies tend to be the first activity on the chopping block. Since they usually aren’t tied to your job, social life, or day-to-day survival, they can feel frivolous. But if you really love a hobby—and especially if it impacts your mental health positively—you should consider it a priority. That might mean saying no to the things you’re not terribly excited about, but it’s worth it if it ensures you have time for crocheting, baking, or another little hobby that feels essential to your joy. Think of it as happy homework. —GM
Source : Self.com