Anybody need a mental pick-me-up these days?
With August coming to an end, and back to school changes settling in, it’s time for a quick mental health check-in. How are you doing? Have you fallen into a bit of a rut? Are the days dragging on and on? If you’re feeling a little dissatisfied with life, and start and end many days more frustrated than peaceful, you need a mental pick-me-up. Here are some ways to turn blah days into more meaningful and pleasant experiences.
Ask for help with something you have been putting off
Asking for help is a difficult thing to do. But this important life skill is essential for our individual growth as well as the health and well-being of the communities we are part of. Additionally, if you are living every day with big tasks looming over your head, that burden will contribute to your mood and the atmosphere of your day, making it heavier and darker. Having a little help to lighten the load of a looming to do might just lighten everything about your day.
Brighten someone else’s day
A surefire way to break through a heavy cloud that surrounds you is to put your focus on someone else. To whom could you send a surprise “thinking of you” card? Can you bring a pumpkin spice latte to the person who posts obsessively about all things autumn? Whose porch should you leave a chrysanthemum plant on as a little pick-me-up? Helping someone else can put your anxiety in perspective as well, a win win.
Take some Vitamin D
Most of us don’t get enough of this essential vitamin, so make the effort to replenish it. You can do this either orally, with a vitamin, or you can try full body immersion by walking outside when the sun’s out. Honestly, just do both. It’s amazing what a little vitamin boost and fresh air can do for a weird mood or heavy state of mind.
Change something in your routine
Try the slower commute or go to bed half an hour earlier. Put your phone away at 8 p.m. or don’t open any app other than texts before noon. Making a little change, especially if it gives you more rest or helps declutter your brian, can allow you to reframe part or all of your day.
Take greater care with your daily responsibilities
Spend a little extra time on a task that you do mindlessly. Maybe that is a job you have at work or maybe that’s a chore you do at home. The little things that we do matter tremendously, and the better we take care of the mundane tasks that don’t seem to matter that much, the better equipped we’ll be to tackle the bigger, seemingly weightier, responsibilities we have.
Appreciate the small beauties hidden in each day
Can you picture that off-white hand towel with the powerful fake floral scent that hung in your Uncle Gus’s bathroom that read “Take Time to Smell the Roses” with an embroidered rose on it? No? That was just me? Well, I think you know where I’m going with this. Smell that rose, waste a few minutes petting the neighbor’s dog, drive down the street with your favorite garden on it. And then at the end of the day, jot down the beauty you noticed in your day. Was a coworker particularly and unusually kind today? Come to think of it, that neighborhood bike posse of kids were delightfully carefree and joyful. Noticing the little good things in life will help you develop a gratitude habit that can carry you through many of life’s ups and downs.