We’ve all used the term, “I’m taking a mental health break,” when we take a needed day off from work. But simply “not working” is not the same as doing something positive for our mental wellbeing.
As Noam Spencer Ph.D. said, “Mental health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.”
What’s Involved in a Mental Health Break?
Removing yourself from stressful situations, like anxiety at your workplace, is a good way to start. But then what? Your brain is still hard at work trying to resolve those issues you thought you distanced yourself from.
Getting yourself healthy, whether physically or mentally, requires you to be proactive in the process. When your body is in need of alignment, you call a qualified chiropractor, like Dr. Randall Holmes, DC in Houston, Texas, to put things right and get you back in the game. Here, he offers you some suggestions for getting your mental wellbeing realigned too.
Suggestions for Achieving Better Mental Health
Clean your house. That may sound like a terrible way to take a break until you consider how much clutter leads to stress. Try cleaning out a closet or two. It often leads to hours of looking at old photographs and vacation souvenirs, which can be its own little getaway.
Revisit Old Loves. Not old flames, but old pastimes. If roller skating, playing the guitar, or finger painting was something you enjoyed as a child, try picking it up again. You may find they missed you too!
Do Good. Nothing takes us out of ourselves more than investing our time in something outside ourselves. You can volunteer to rock preemies at the local hospital, serve hot meals to the aged, or go all in and start your own charitable organization. It’s possible to get grants if you’re registered as a non-profit.
Fresh Air and Sunshine. It’s been said so often it’s become a cliche, but walking outside is so good for us, it almost doesn’t matter where you walk or how fast. However, combining the walk with being out in nature gives us a double shot of those feel-good endorphins.
Tai Chi. Originating thousands of years ago as a martial arts practice Tai Chi is noted for how well it integrates physical exercise and mental wellbeing. Its slow, deliberate movements focus on proper body alignment, breathing, and relaxation.
Pet a Dog. If your difficulties in maintaining consistent mental health are interfering with your ability to work or simply enjoy life, you may qualify for a therapy dog. The simple act of petting a dog has been shown to lower pulse rates and blood pressure while relieving stress, anxiety, and depression. Or if you’ve been thinking of getting a dog as a pet and need another good reason, mental wellbeing could be just a wag and a lick away.
Get Physically Realigned. If your body is out of alignment, you’re in constant discomfort and that’s something you can’t take a vacation from. Visit a qualified chiropractor for needed adjustments before the pain becomes chronic or before you head to a pharmacy.
Plant a Garden. It doesn’t matter if you want to grow petunias or potatoes, there’s something rawly therapeutic about digging in the dirt. Visit a local nursery with a bag full of the type of soil available in your yard along with photos of the area you’re designating for your new garden to give the professionals an idea of the conditions your space offers. They’ll have the best suggestions on what and how to grow your new garden.
Drive to the Closest Beach. We are biologically drawn to water. Nearly 40% of the U.S. population lives within 100 miles of a coastal area. Whether it’s the sea or a lake, we all feel more relaxed near the water. Even the color blue of the water is associated with calmness and relaxation. Wiggling our toes in the sand is the icing on our beach-break cake.
In today’s society, even with all the technology at our fingertips to ease both our physical and mental labors, we seem more anxious and worried than at any other period in history. Maybe that’s a sign that getting back to the basics to improve our mental health is exactly what the doctor ordered.