Adulthood comes with a lot of responsibilities, and every once in a while, it becomes an overwhelming and dreading experience. If you study or work, chances are that you recognize how deeply our bodies are affected by stress; shoulders get tight, feet become swollen, and headaches tend to make a special appearance. Demanding responsibilities drive people to the comforting idea of taking me-days, which could include activities as fancy as getting a massage or going to a spa, or something as simple as sleeping-in and staying home all day, eating fast food while watching movies.
Taking a break is an appropriate response to deal with stress, it allows people to recharge and get the energy they need to get back in the game. However, our mental health is usually neglected on me-days. Modern life demands a lot, and it takes a toll in our minds, which influences our behavior and compromises our cognitive responses; exhaustion, moodiness, and sleep deprivation are just some of the symptoms of an overwhelmed mind.
It is evident that our minds need a break just as much as our bodies do, which is why you might want to include mental health in your me-days, allow yourself to enjoy a “spa for your mind”. To do so might be confusing, and the following steps will help you to achieve such tricky enterprise:
+ The first step is to create a relaxing environment for yourself. Clear your agenda, turn off your phone, and avoid social media for the rest of the day. The last step might seem trivial, but the fact is that nowadays we live in a constant state of urgency. Thanks to the Internet, there is always a tweet to read, a chat message to respond, or a YouTube video to watch; and even though those are recreational activities, engaging on social media is becoming a responsibility rather than an entertainment, hence unplug your laptop and turn off your phone, your followers can survive a day without you.
+ Now it is time to clear the air and untangle all those feelings and thoughts that are wandering around in your head, therefore weighing you down. Our busy lives keep us from paying proper attention to many of our worries and emotional needs, thus pushing them down in order to keep our production levels as optimal as possible; which do wonders to our performance, nevertheless, it is awful for our mental health.
Hence, it is imperative to address this issue. And in order to do so you can vent to a friend/relative, or write down your worries. Moreover, if you have the resources to do so, make an appointment with a psychologist, they will provide you with professional insight, as well as healthy and effective coping tools.
+ Once you are done with all the mind-chores, it is time to have some fun, however, try to pick engaging activities! Avoid Netflix or Hulu, you want to do something that allows you be present at the moment. Watching movies and series is fun, but they are passive activities and your brain yearn some action.
Enroll in cooking classes! Organize a picnic with your friends in your local park, go dancing, or perhaps joining a tour at the new art exposition in your favorite museum is more fitting for you! The options are endless, and it is up to you to choose something you will enjoy.
+ Speaking of engaging activities, exercise is one that you should definitely include in your itinerary. It is well-known that exercise do wonders with our health, but it also benefits the mind; it boosts self-esteem, improves our mood, and it is a protective factor from mental illness.
The best part is that any physical activity will do the trick, you can walk in your neighborhood, go to the gym, or ride a bike; it will all work as long as you are active. Furthermore, yoga deserves a special mention, since it combines physical activity and mindfulness, both excellent allies to improve your mental health.
After a well-deserved break, you must feel terrific and like a new person. Although, I think you will agree that you should make a habit out of it! Why take care of your mind only when you are overwhelmed by life events? Taking care of your mental health is an everyday activity rather than a once in a blue moon kind of thing. Therefore, try to incorporate some of the aforementioned steps on your daily life, and you will definitely see some good changes.
Finally, it is important to mention that you should ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed to the point where you feel on the edge. Do not hesitate to seek professional help. Mental health professionals are available to help you however you need
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