Pandemic or not, the fall and winter seasons can get stressful. Focusing on your mental health should always be a priority, but in 2020, you may be feeling more out of sorts than usual. Because October 10 is World Mental Health Day, here are a few Toad Tips (disclaimer: we're def not doctors) for improving your emotional well being and keeping it together amidst the chaos. Be well, friends.
1. MAKE IT A PRIORITY
The key to accomplishing anything is making the time to do it.
2. DON'T OVERDO IT
Less commitments, less presents, less events... oh look, less stress.
3. GRILLED CHEESE
Honestly, when has a grilled cheese (or any comfort food) NOT made you feel better? If you like garlic, give this recipe a try, and if you're feeling a little gourmet today, try the Toad original Frankenfromage (you won't regret it).
4. 4-7-8 BREATHING
Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 7, breathe out for 8. Ahhhh.
5. TAKE A HIKE
Or a walk or a fresh air break -- ignore your screens and connect with nature, even if it's just for a few minutes. A little sunshine goes a loooong way.
6. CREW CHECK-IN
Check up on friends/neighbors/family to let them know you're thinking about them. A little 'hey, how have you been?' can go far for both parties. Because even in times of social distancing, social well being is just as important as ever.
7. DANCE IT OUT
Move, feel, stomp, jump, breathe, listen... let the music set you free, baby. Here's a favorite Toad playlist for movin' and groovin'.
8. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
If one day you feel like conquering mountains and the next you'd rather snuggle up in front of the TV....or if you said you were going to cook but decide to get take out...know it's a-ok. Self-compassion (aka taking it easy on yourself) is a key factor when thinking about how to improve mental health. And self care can take all types of different forms.
If you're a newbie, it might seem intimidating, but luckily there are many different types of meditation, and it's a great way to improve your mental health. So if transcendental meditation sounds scary, the good news is that you can start slow with something like mindfulness meditation or yoga meditation. Check out this blog post on how to meditate for beginners, from our own Sustainable Materials Manager/resident meditation expert Natalie.
10. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Expressing gratitude has direct ties to improving mental health. We think a gratitude journal is one of the best, tangible, ways to make this a priority.
So, there you have it. Some of our favorite activities and habits to help improve mental health and overall well being. Stay well!
If you're worried about someone or would like emotional support yourself, the free Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United states. Call: 800-273-8255