7 things to do each day to benefit your mental wellbeing
We're sharing seven tips you can incorporate into your daily routine to help maintain mental wellness
Looking after our mental wellbeing goes a long way to leading a fulfilled life, tuning into our minds and bodies, and supporting our physical health. But maintaining good mental wellness can be a challenge in the hustle and bustle of daily life and we are all susceptible to pushing it to one side if we aren’t consciously checking in with ourselves. Fortunately, there are several things we can do to maintain mental wellness as part of our daily routines.
1. Start the day right
Getting out of bed can be difficult, particularly during the darker winter mornings or if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep the night before. But getting up and making your bed is a great way to set your day off on the right foot. Having a tidy bedroom brings a wealth of benefits to our mental wellbeing, such as resetting focus, increasing productivity, reducing stress and improving our mood. Although it might only seem like a small accomplishment, making the bed is a little win that will likely see you completing another task, and another...
2. Avoid checking emails first thing
Since the pandemic, far more of us are working from home and, whilst this brings many benefits, it can be easy to fall into the trap of checking your workload before your day has even started. Anxiety can be heightened first thing in the morning with the unknown of what the day might bring, so ensuring you're up, washed, dressed, and ready for the day before logging on will prevent you from encountering a potential stressor before your working day begins.
Exercising doesn't have to feel like a chore. Not only is it a great way to reap the benefits of the outdoors and being in nature, but it can also help you to clear your mind and recharge. Whatever time of day you decide to do it - on your morning commute, your lunch break, or after your working day is done - try and do around 30 minutes of exercise a day. Exercising releases feel-good hormones and helps you feel energised, so you can do more of the things you enjoy.
4. Take a lunch break
This tip might seem obvious, but with 56% of workers not taking their full lunch break, we thought it was worth a mention. As the way we work becomes more flexible, it can be easy to lose track of time and stay sitting at our desks. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, try and stand up, move about and get some fresh air. Most importantly, make sure you’re fueling your body with the nutrients it needs to carry on with your day. It doesn't just have to be whilst you’re working either; ensuring you’re making time to take a break even on your days off is key to mental wellness.
5. Make a list
Whether it's for work or personal life, you can beat a good old ‘to-do’ list. Lists create order, relieve stress, and allow you to organise your time and set priorities - all of which contribute to maintaining good mental health as we’re able to break down our day into more manageable tasks. Just like making your bed in the morning, setting smaller, achievable goals will help you stay focused and see you achieve lots of little wins.
6. Take a moment to just... Be
Living in the moment can be tricky to do when our minds are so consumed with thoughts of what happened yesterday or what’s to come this week. But, taking a moment of mindfulness each day (even just for a couple of minutes), to completely switch off and be present can do wonders for our mental health. By focusing on the moment you’re currently experiencing, there’s no room to worry about the past or future.
In this video, Happiful content creator Kat Nicholls shares a five-step exercise to ground yourself in the present moment.
7. Check in on yourself
Checking in with yourself. How often do you really do it? Getting into the habit of checking in with how you’re truly feeling can help you to be more in tune with your body and recognise when you might need to take a step back. Often referred to as ‘self-enquiry’, many people find that the best way to keep tabs on how they’re feeling is by journaling.
Try taking a moment in bed before you head off to sleep to reflect on your day. What was good about it? What was perhaps not so good? What are you grateful for? What’s one thing you could do to practice self-care? How do you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally? The more you ask yourself these questions, the more you’ll learn to understand your body and when you need to draw more attention to your mental wellness.
If you are finding it hard to maintain mental wellness, you could benefit from speaking to a counsellor or life coach. They can help you recognise any potential triggers that might disrupt your daily wellness routine and teach you techniques to start building self-care habits.