There are many ways we know of to increase our physical health, but our mental health sometimes gets ignored in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. Here are five luxuries you can provide yourself with to create daily routines to increase your mental wellbeing.
1. Sleeping Mask $5-10
Ah, sleep. Our favorite past time. It's the most amazing thing we do to regenerate our bodies and snuggle up, but it's the first thing that gets skimped on when life gets busy and stress consumes our worlds. Purchasing a sleeping mask, I recommend a beanbag eye pillow pre-scented with lavender, can help our eye muscles relax when it's time to go to bed. By relaxing our eyes, our other body parts slowly get the signal to release, allowing for deeper sleep and increased productivity the following day.
2. Fresh Flowers$4-12
Real, live, cut flowers are an amazing thing to keep in the rooms of your home. I like to keep mine in most places I can see them by separating two bundles into four and placing small vases into the bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining room table. The vases do not need to be fancy, mason jars work just fine. Fresh flowers make us happy upon looking at them, and in feng shui beliefs, it reminds us that nothing in life is permanent. Pretty cool investment for under $12, if i say so myself.
3. Journal 3-10
It can be awkward at first, but slowing down before bed each night and connecting to yourself by writing in your journal (with a real pen or pencil, on real paper) can help you get all the stuck thoughts out of your head and onto paper before going to sleep (with your sleep mask, of course). This process when repeated nightly leads to a better sense of self and overall well-being. You can even go back after a few weeks and reread your entries, maybe you discover a pattern your repeating.
4. Hardbound Book $8-15
Another great nightly ritual, or even during a sleepy Sunday afternoon, is reading a real book. We have enough screen time in our lives. By choosing a real book over a lighted screen phone, we can easily fall asleep at night. The bright lights of your phone or tablet, engage the mind and make it hard to fall asleep. There's also something satisfying about closing a real book at the end and putting it on your bookshelf, or returning to your local library.
5. Reminder App and Notes App *Free
You may have thoughts pop in your head throughout the day if you are a human. "I need dog food" "I need to get a dress for that wedding" "I should start doing barre with Jill"- if any of that sounds familiar, the reminder app may be your new best friend. Next time your brain pops in telling you to do something, get out your phone and place a reminder "Get dog food, 5pm Tuesday"- the buzzing thought is out of your head and you have a plan in place to get what you need. You'll never forget what you came in the room for again (no promises).
These are five small ways you can make a big impact on your mental health by jotting down how you're feeling, decompressing at the end of the day and jotting down things as they pop into your head. Try one or all five this week and see if you feel just a little bit calmer in your day to day life (after your restful sleep, too!).