January Is Mental Wellness Month

January is Mental Wellness Month

What Is Mental Wellness Month?

At the beginning of the year, January being mental wellness month is a great way to remind oneself to care for yourself from the inside out. One in five adults experience a mental health crisis every year. Millions of lives are impacted by poor mental health and/or the inability to prioritize mental well-being. Mental Wellness Month is intended to bring awareness to the importance of good mental health. Similar to Mental Wellness Month, Mental Health Awareness Month is observed in May. 

Keeping our minds healthy is just as important as it is to exercise to keep our body healthy. 

We have put together a list of the things you can do to take better care of your mental health. 

This page is includes inspiration from The Rebalancing Portal

How to Improve Your Mental Health

1. Get Adequate Sleep 

Get Enough Sleep for Mental Wellness

Most adults sleep between 4-6 hours per day. If you're a new parent or one with small children, that amount goes down. While everyone requires a different amount of sleep, most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night for good health and mental functioning.

Why Is Sleep Important?

Sleep is a vital function that allows your body and mind to heal, recharge, and reset. When you wake up, you should feel alert and refreshed. Adequate sleep also assists your body to stay healthy and fight off diseases. Have you ever noticed that when you have been sleep deprived that it seems like it's easier to feel unwell or catch a stomach bug or even a cold? 

If you do not get enough sleep, the brain will not function properly. So when you have not been sleeping for several days and the banana you just peeled is randomly on the counter by the keys instead of in your smoothie? Yes, that is your brain not working properly.  

This can affect your mood, and negatively affect your ability to focus, think clearly, and remember things. 

How To Maximize and Get Better Sleep?

Our work schedules, day-to-day stressors, bedroom environment, and medical conditions can all prevent us from receiving enough sleep. For most, a healthy diet and positive lifestyle habits can help us get enough sleep. 

If you don't already have some of these items, look into sleep accessories such as  eye masks, dark curtains, ear plugs, mouth tape, and comfortable sheets and pillows. All of these can play a role in your quality of sleep. 

Sleeping at an appropriate hour is also in your control. While it may not seem like it at times, you have a choice in establishing a bedtime ritual and getting to bed at a certain time. See our Top 10 Products for Better Sleep. 

2. Hydrate

hydrate for mental wellness

Having adequate hydration affects your entire biology—how well you are able to digest your food, transport blood throughout your body, oxygenation of your entire bioenergetic system, expelling waste and more. You may also feel tired and hungry when you are not properly hydrated. 

3. Eat Well 

eat healthy for mental wellness

Healthy eating not only affects your quality of nutrition delivery to your body, but your mental wellness and mood also. Eliminating processed foods and choosing organic whenever possible is a great way to start. 

4. Take Breaks

take breaks for mental wellness

While getting into the flow is an amazing feeling and a state to aspire to be in as much as possible, taking breaks will allow this to happen more frequently. Sitting or working in general for hours at a time without taking any breaks is not only tolling on your mental concentration, it also affects your health in more ways than one. 

Why Is It Important To Take Breaks?

Taking breaks has been shown to be important to helping to recover from stress. As a result, this can improve your performance in anything that you do. Recovering from work stress can restore your energy that you deplete the longer you are working on something. If you do not take breaks, your eyes, head, and heart can feel the strain. In addition, you can reduce or even eliminate the development of fatigue, sleep disorders, or even heart related heath problems. 

5. Meditate 

meditate for mental wellness

Breathing can be extremely beneficial to your health and mental well-being. Meditation does not have to be a mystical or mysterious practice. Simply sitting quietly for a few minutes at a time without talking for occupying yourself with anything can be incredible relaxing. 

How To Do A Breathing Meditation

6. Change Your Environment

change your environment for mental wellness

If possible, change your environment, even if it's for 5 minutes. When you go on vacation away from where you live, doesn't it feel good to experience new things and try new things? There is an automatic shift in your mindset because you are somewhere different that you are used to. You somehow feel more joyful and positive. However, the truth is, you haven't changed, and nothing in your life has really changed. It's your mindset that has made a shift, opening you up to new possibilities for a good mood and positive experiences. 

So get outside for a walk or go to a park or calming place you have not been to before. If you have grown accustomed to staying home, make it a point to get away for the weekend. If obstacles or reasons for why you can't come up, consider what they are and if there is a way to have it addressed safely and responsibly so that you can get away. 

7. Do Something You Are Good At and Love To Do

do something you love for mental wellness

A sense of accomplishment in doing something pleasing to you naturally feels good. Enjoying yourself helps relieve stress. If you enjoy doing something, you're most likely good at it and this helps boost your self-esteem. Having a good self-esteem automatically counters feelings of self-doubt and negativity. Doing something you enjoy also gets you present to the moment and in a flow state. 

Focusing on a favorite past time like jig saw puzzles, gardening, a sport, gardening, or word searches can help you forget about your troubles for a bit. In addition, it is a great way to change your mood positively. 

8. Connect With Other People 

connect with others for mental wellness

How does connecting with others improve your mental health? Having strong relationships with family and friends gives us a sense of belonging and stability. It can also be a safe space for us to share our feelings and feel understood. Sometimes when we are going through a tough time, feeling as if we are the only one in the world this is happening to—and feeling misunderstood—can be the most isolating and empty feelings in the world. If we dwell in this space without having a healthy release or reflection from others that we aren't alone—and understood—we can easily downward spiral toward believing that our burden is too great to overcome.

So even if you don't feel like it at first, reach out to someone positive you are fond of and grab a cup of boba, or coffee, or tea. You will feel better after getting some stuff off your chest and simply sharing a few laughs. 

9. Pay Attention to The Present Moment

pay attention to the present moment for mental wellness

When we are caught up in a circuitous loop in the past or nonexistent future scenarios, we miss a lot of things that are actually happening in real time. Have you ever noticed someone who is so absorbed in their cell phone that they aren't even speaking with the person who is keeping them company? Or perhaps, someone is so caught up in the what-ifs or worrying that they are not even aware of the intentions of those around them. They are taking suggestions and cues from those around them incorrectly or missing them all together. In addition, they 

10. Journal 

journal for mental wellness

Get that stuff out of your head and onto paper. Sometimes it's hard to make sense of fantasy and reality. Our brains literally cannot tell the difference. So do yourself a favor and jot everything you want to say or wish you said or wish you could say until you are completely satisfied. When you are done, shred it and/or burn it, and let it go. 

11. Listen to Music 

listen to music for mental wellness 

Our sense of hearing is an overlooked aspect of our experience of Self and the world. Listening to music can be calming, healing, and relaxing.

Due to its rhythmic and repetitive nature, music engages the neocortex of our brain. This can calm us and reduce feelings of anxiety. 

See our collection of Boundless Gratitudes Relaxing Music

12. Laugh Out Loud

laugh out loud for mental wellness

Look up a comedy show to attend or something funny to watch online at home. There are so many ways to get your laughter going. If you can laugh to the point of tears, that's even better. It's healing, releases endorphins, and if you are with others, it is a form of bonding. 

Laughter is thought to have evolved as a form of social bonding in animals and as a way to express playful intention.

According to Professor Janet Gibson (a professor emerita of cognitive psychology at Grinnell College in Iowa):

"The idea was that laughter was an external signal that can tell the group everything is OK, we can relax. (There is) no need to be anxious or threatened by what's happening around us. And so this would really be a great survival tool for groups of humans."

She also explains, "And the belief is, is that over the centuries, the brain kept these connections so that we now laugh when ... we hear things that are relaxing, funny, surprising, amusing." 

Also keep in mind that while laughter may be universal, what is considered funny may vary from culture to culture. ^.^

13. Be Gentle With Yourself

Be easy on yourself for mental wellness

"Your harshest critic is always going to be yourself. Don't ignore that critic but don't give it more attention than it deserves." -Michael Ian Black

It is healthy to set high goals and aspire to improve ourselves and our life. However, if we are trying to accomplish something and are not achieving the results as quickly as we would like, we may feel down upon ourselves. Negative self-talk, doubt, and feeling bad about ourselves can be helpful if we take our own criticism constructively. However, it is best not to be so hard on yourself. We often underestimate the progress we are making. So enjoy the process and keep going. 

Recommended Reading

The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

The anniversary edition of this beloved bestseller is celebrated in Prefaces by Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou and contains a new Foreword by the author, website links, and a new Study Guide to help readers find even deeper meaning and fulfillment.

The Seat of the Soul encourages you become the authority in your own life. It will change the way you see the world, interact with other people, and understand your own actions and motivations. Beginning with evolution, Gary Zukav takes you on a penetrating exploration of the new phase humanity has entered: we are evolving from a species that understands power as the ability to manipulate and control—external power—into a species that understands power as the alignment of the personality with the soul—authentic power. Our evolution requires each of us to make the values of the soul our own: harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life. Using his scientist’s eye and philosopher’s heart, Zukav shows us how to participate fully in this evolution, enlivening our everyday activities and all of our relationships with meaning and purpose.

The Seat of the Soul has sold millions of copies around the globe, and as it changes lives, more and more people begin to live by the values of the spirit. Indeed, a new world is emerging, and this book brings its message to you.

Practicing Mindfulness

Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday

Calm the mind and find peace with these simple mindfulness meditations

Mindfulness is an evidence-based method for reducing stress, enhancing resilience, and maintaining mental well-being. Even short meditations can turn a bad day around, ground us in the present moment, and help us approach life with gratitude and kindness.

Practicing Mindfulness was created by the founder of One Mind Dharma. He developed these 75 essential exercises to offer practical guidance for anyone who wants to realize the benefits of mindful meditation. This includes expert advice on dealing with distorted or wandering thoughts and how to handle mental blocks.

Early meditations in Practicing Mindfulness take just 5 minutes and are highly accessible. As they progress, exercises grow with the reader, building on previous lessons to develop a transformative mindfulness practice. With meditations designed for specific situations or emotions, even experienced practitioners will have a continuing resource for mindfulness at every moment.

Begin a journey of peace and patience today on the path to a calmer, more balanced life with Practicing Mindfulness.

This Is Your Brain on Food by Uma Naidoo

Eat for your mental health and learn the fascinating science behind nutrition with this "must-read" guide from an expert psychiatrist (Amy Myers, MD).

Did you know that blueberries can help you cope with the aftereffects of trauma? That salami can cause depression, or that boosting Vitamin D intake can help treat anxiety?
When it comes to diet, most people's concerns involve weight loss, fitness, cardiac health, and longevity. But what we eat affects more than our bodies; it also affects our brains. And recent studies have shown that diet can have a profound impact on mental health conditions ranging from ADHD to depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, OCD, dementia and beyond.
A triple threat in the food space, Dr. Uma Naidoo is a board-certified psychiatrist, nutrition specialist, and professionally trained chef. In This Is Your Brain on Food, she draws on cutting-edge research to explain the many ways in which food contributes to our mental health, and shows how a sound diet can help treat and prevent a wide range of psychological and cognitive health issues.
Packed with fascinating science, actionable nutritional recommendations, and 40 delicious, brain-healthy recipes, This Is Your Brain on Food is the go-to guide to optimizing your mental health with food.