Ever experience stress, both good and bad? Ever had difficulty concentrating on something or found yourself distracted even when facing a task you love? Ever had pent-up energy or not enough energy? What about wanting to socialize or just wanting to be left alone for awhile? If you’re human, you likely have felt all of these and more, and it’s equally likely that you’ve felt frustrated and discouraged because of these, too.
And you know what? That’s okay. Admittedly, it doesn’t always feel okay. Yet there’s great news: you have the power to make it okay. Even when things are going wrong around you, you can take control of what’s going on inside of you. It’s possible to take action to improve your mood and enhance your mental health and wellbeing. Here are a few ideas to take control of your inner world. Pick one, pick several, or create your own strategies to add to the lists. The important thing is to find something to do not only in times of difficulty, but in good times too in order to maintain optimal mental health. Doing so leads to power and control over our wellness. You choose what works for you!
THINGS TO DO TO CALM YOUR MIND AND BODY
- Take 5 (or 15 or 25) minutes to breathe deeply.
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Take a shower or soak in a tub.
- Dim the lights, light a candle .
- Go somewhere quiet (a room in your house, a favorite spot outside) and get away from stimuli.
THINGS TO DO TO RELEASE PENT-UP ENERGY
- Exercise indoors (with a video at home, in a gym, on your own equipment).
- Listen to peppy music and dance (even if, like me, you really don’t know how).
- Get outside and walk/run/bike/hike/climb/garden/wash a car.
- Do jumping jacks.
- Listen to or watch something funny and let yourself laugh.
THINGS TO DO TO IF YOU WANT TO BE ALONE
- Go for a walk.
- Read a book.
- Write in a journal.
- Go for a bike ride.
- Go for a drive.
- Color a picture.
- Work on a craft or other relaxing project that brings you pleasure.
THINGS TO DO IF YOU FEEL LIKE BEING SOCIAL
- Do any of the above with a friend, spouse, partner, or child.
- Call a sister, brother, friend and talk on the phone.
- Invite someone over for an afternoon/evening of coffee/drinks and board games.
- Hmmm. This one’s trickier because I’m not the most social person in the world. Basically, get a hold of someone you like and go do something you find fun!
Find something you like to do, and pick yourself up or calm yourself down. You are in control of making that happen! Whatever you do, make your weekend a good one!