We all feel the effects of our modern, fast-paced, technology-centric lives. The work hard, play hard mantra can take a brutal toll on our mental health. As we are increasingly connected through our computer screens and smartphones, it seems as though we are losing the ability to switch off and live satisfying happy lives.
If you’re feeling the grind and are looking for a positive way to reconnect with the people around you and yourself, here’s a mental health checklist you can download and keep around. None of the things on this list are mandatory, but by reviewing it and checking off what you’ve done, we hope it can help you focus on what really matters: you.
Download the checklist and keep it handy. Continue reading for more information on how these things can improve your mental health.
A Note from GR8NESS
We hope this checklist helps you with the challenges life can throw at you. It’s normal to feel sad, lonely, depressed, and anxious sometimes. However, if these feelings become overwhelming and last for long periods, reach out to your doctor to discuss your symptoms.
Regular exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Yet, so many of us struggle to fit it into our schedules. Sometimes it’s time, sometimes it’s energy, and sometimes it’s both. Finding time for exercise in your busy schedule can be a big challenge.
To make this healthy change without completely upending your schedule, try exercising first thing in the morning. Just 15 minutes in the morning will give you a noticeable boost in energy. Another option is to find a gym close to you and exercise right after work. Or, change into your exercise gear before you leave work and join a friend for a walk or run a few nights a week.
Unplug from Your Devices
Constant text messages and notifications can hijack our attention and make us anxious. By unplugging your self from email, social media, your phone, and any wearable tech, you’ll begin to feel more in touch with the physical world. Going on an internet fast, detaching from social media, and ignoring your phone every once in a while lets you spend more time experiencing your surroundings.
Check-in with Yourself
Check-in with yourself to see how you are doing. You can do this daily, weekly, or whenever you feel you need to. Find a calm, peaceful place to meditate or just relax. Without distractions, you can look inward and focus on yourself, your emotional needs, and your goals. Do a full-body scan to see how you are feeling. If any negative thoughts come up, acknowledge them, and let them go.
Self-honesty is probably one of the hardest things to do. Too often, we tell ourselves little fibs, make assumptions about something, or don’t say what we really feel – even to ourselves. Make an effort to be truthful about how you are feeling and be as honest with yourself as possible. You’ll soon find that some of your baggage has more to do with your feelings about yourself than anything else. And you’ll be better able to find ways to resolve it.
Talk with a Friend
Schedule a convo with a good friend, someone who’s advice you trust, or someone who just makes you laugh. Share stories and give each other advice. This helps you build a support network you can count on to help you get through the tough times and share the good times. When you share on a deeper level, you will always have someone you can call on when you need them. And, there is value in being there when needed.
Do Some Stretching
If you sit all day, as many of us do at work, a few minutes stretching is good for the body and soul. Take some time at the end of the day to do a few simple yoga poses for beginners. Or just stand up every once in a while at work and reach your arms up above your head to stretch your spine.
Find Time to Be Playful
Finding time to play can give you a break from things that are bothering or worrying you. It also gives us a sense of joy. Dance around the house, make goofy faces at yourself or do something silly to get rid of the effects of a bad day. Play with your dog or children, it’s hard to be down when you see how joyful they are naturally.
There’s a whole tradition of forest bathing in Japan that is catching on in many other countries. This simply means walking outside and just taking in nature. And, breathing fresh air makes us naturally feel better. Take your dog on a longer walk, take a short walk at lunch, or even a nice evening stroll to get some time outside in the fresh air.
Cook a Meal from Scratch
Cook a meal from scratch. It doesn’t have to be fancy, something simple is fine. There’s just something self-affirming about knowing you can make one or two dishes to feed your body and your soul. Try one of these foil packet dinners. Nothing could be easier, just toss in the ingredients, wrap everything up in foil, and bake. Up wrap and enjoy.
Get Good Sleep
Getting good sleep can change your life. Yet, many people don’t get enough. When you are lacking sleep, it can affect your ability to focus, think, feel, and act clearly. How you set up your bedroom can help you sleep better, as well as getting to bed earlier, turning off screens at least two hours before bed, lowering the temperature, and turning off the lights.
Write Down Your Compliments
When people say good things peoples say about you, you feel happy and proud of yourself and get a boost to your self-confidence and self-esteem. Writing these things down can make them a part of you. Or, if you prefer, you can record them in your own voice and play it back to you when you need a little extra boost in self-confidence.
Documenting good things people say about you boosts your confidence and makes you happy and proud of yourself. You can write down or voice or video record the comments from people to read, listen, or watch later.
Self-care goes beyond just your physical health, so it’s crucial to listen to what both your mind and body demand. Use this checklist to practice self-care for your body, mind, and spirit.