It’s been a tough year for everyone and whilst we aren’t all in the same boat we are facing the same storm. There have been many changes in plans, missed time with loved ones and unprecedented uncertainty. It’s safe to say we all need to take care of our mental health just a little bit this year. As we approach the festive season we know more and more people will be enjoying cosy days at home so we’ve come up with some great, mental health-boosting activities that can be done from your lounge.
Whatever you believe in, meditation can help you to relax and keep your mind at ease during these draining times. You can start with the basics simply to help yourself breath and unwind or you can build up to a more complex routine that enables you to stretch out your muscles and build some strength. Meditation isn’t just a good way to relax, it can also help you to reduce your blood pressure, sleep better, feel more balanced and connected, and even lower your risk of heart disease.
The reason that meditation can be so successful is that it enables you to pay more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you. Those thoughts can be happy and positive to take you away from any stress that is causing your mental health to suffer.
We know not everyone has creative ability but doing something creative can help you to feel more positive – even if your picture of a cat looks like a double-decker bus! When it comes to being creative there are so many different outlets you can try which can help you focus on something positive and more relaxing. Creative activities such as arts and crafts provide an outstanding opportunity to bolster your self-esteem. Completing an entire task from start to finish gives you a great sense of accomplishment.
Why not try your hand and making and decoration Christmas cookies or cupcakes. You could write a short story or poetry. My personal favourite is a relaxing adult colouring book – everything from shopping for supplies and completing the design is so satisfying. Once the picture is completed I feel so accomplished and usually take a photo to send to my mum, just like when I would bring home my crafts from school for her to hang on the fridge!
Dance for fun
Dancing bolsters physical and mental health by helping to prevent falls, improve posture and flexibility, lift mood and ease anxiety. It’s also a fun activity that sharpens the mind, increases aerobic power and strength, and can reduce pain and stiffness. You don’t have to push yourself too far out of your comfort zone, dancing alone to your favourite song just for fun is enough to boost your mind. Why not try it at the start of your day to get yourself in a good mood.
Not sure what routine or steps to do? Don’t worry you can simply find ‘Just Dance’ routines on Youtube and pick a song you’d like to dance along with – you don’t need a console and game to have fun. You can just jump online, have a dance and suddenly you’ll feel the weight on your shoulders fall away.
Our final suggestion is to help you focus on something other than the negative news and controversial content being shared online. It’s easy to be sucked into the digital rabbit hole of social media and find yourself scrolling endlessly. But this can be damaging to your mental health. Turning off your devices or even the wifi router completely can free your mental space for something more positive. You could read, listen to music or do a jigsaw puzzle. Why not introduce a ‘disconnect’ evening into your weekly schedule?
Thanks for reading, and stay active! Are there other topics surrounding health, wellness and wellbeing you’d like to read about? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll share it with you.