50 Things To Do For Your Mental Health

by Elizabeth Smith

Our mental health is everchanging. We have up days and down days, but in an ideal world we want to reduce the latter. Fortunately, there are little things that you can do every single day to prioritise your mental health. Whether that be to step outside into the fresh air or giving yourself some time to slow down and just breathe. We have compiled a list of 50 things to do for your mental health, that hopefully just doing one of these things, will leave you in a happier and healthier headspace.

  • Learn to accept change: Change can be a daunting concept. We want to live in the comfort of our own bubbles and avoid any obstacle that comes our way. But we tend to forget that change, in many ways, can bring a lot of good. It brings new opportunities, new experiences and leads you to a new chapter in life. Accept that the unknown is actually a pretty exciting thing…
  • Try to focus on goals: When you are feeling a little down, it can really help to think about what you want to achieve. Write down your personal goals and a list of things you can do to get there. When you have a collection of things you want to accomplish you will shift into a more motivated and productive headspace.
  • Journaling: Journaling is a great way to get feelings out of your head rather than keeping them locked up in the mind and body. When you spill your emotions out onto paper, you will begin to understand why you are feeling the way you are. Set some time aside each day to release your inner thoughts onto paper, which will lead you to a cathartic state.
  • Self-help resources: There are many resources out there that give advice on mental health. It may be a written book, an audiobook or maybe even a podcast. Listening to people who have experienced similar things to you will remind you that you are not alone. There are other people who understand the way you are feeling and want to guide you along the way.
  • Breathe: When you feel stressed, an effective thing to do is to control your breathing. Taking some time to be calm and to practice a series of breathing exercises will combat the anxiety and tension cooped up in your body. Try to practice mindful breathing every day, which will result in a clear and present headspace.
  • Talk to someone about how you feel: All too often, we bottle up our feelings until it gets overwhelming. It’s so important to recognise your feelings and tell someone about them. Someone is always out there who wants to listen to you and give you a shoulder to cry on. Once you let your emotions out, you will instantly feel less stressed. Whether you talk to your friends or a family member – talking it out will make you feel a little better.
  • Add structure into your day: There are times where life just seems to catch up with you. A sense of chaos and disorder can overwhelm you, yet having a structure in your day can help you to feel more productive and clear-headed. Carve time out to complete work but also ensure that you save plenty of time for yourself. Creating a work-life balance is vital to protecting your mental health.
  • Get some sunlight: We all need a little bit of Vitamin C! Take some time out every day to step outside and soak up some rays. Sunlight releases endorphins and serotonin into your body, in turn boosting your mood and helping you to feel energised. Sunlight is also proven to reduce depression and help you to get better sleep.
  • Exercise: When you are feeling a little down, get up and do some exercise! Whether that be taking part in a Zumba class, going on a long woodland jog or dancing around to your favourite playlist – be active. Frequently exercising is so important in looking after your mental health. You will feel so much better once you have completed a workout and be proud of yourself for doing so!
  • Avoid too much caffeine: Consuming too much caffeine is said to have numerous negative effects. For example, it can increase levels of anxiety, the likelihood of experiencing insomnia and rapid heart rate. If you are a lover of coffee, try to have just one cup in the morning and fight the temptation throughout the rest of the day!
  • Focus on the small things that make you happy: When we are feeling overwhelmed with life, we can forget about the little things that genuinely make us happy. Whether that be putting on your favourite outfit or reading a good book – think about the way that makes you feel. Once you start to recognise the small treats and delights of life you will shift into a positive mindset.
  •  Avoid spending too much time on social media: If you are feeling down, the last thing you want to do is scroll through social media. Flicking through aimlessly at what looks like picture-perfect lives is extremely counterproductive. Instead, shut your phone off for a few hours and do something that you enjoy. Perhaps there’s a new Netflix series you’ve been dying to watch or a new recipe you want to bake. Do it! You will feel great once you’ve given yourself time for the things you love.
  • Write affirmations: Writing daily affirmations is the perfect way to remind yourself of your self-worth. Every day, carve out some time to note down the things you are proud of, what you have accomplished and a list of things you love about yourself. Reminding yourself of this will help you to look at yourself with a fresh perspective and get you on the track to self-love.
  • Listen to music: When the world feels like it is on your shoulders, sometimes all you can do is put on your headphones and shut off. Music creates a sense of diversion that helps you to wind down and distracts you from your worries. So, put on your favourite playlist, turn up the speakers and get singing and dancing!
  • Eat good food: Eating healthy and nutritious foods is vital to your mental wellbeing. Enrich your body with plenty of fruit and vegetables every single day. You will be rewarded with increased concentration, higher energy levels and overall just a better mood! You could even try making a smoothie for an extra boost every morning!
  • Go to bed early: There are many reasons why staying up late can be damaging to your mental health. For example, your body will try to function on an insufficient amount of hours sleep. This can lead to decreased concentration and a greater likelihood of experiencing negative thoughts. Try to give yourself a strict night-time routine where you go to bed at the same time every day – this will do wonders to your health.
  • Tick something off your to-do list: Give yourself things to do throughout the day and plenty of time to complete them. When you tick something off, you will feel productive and motivated to keep pushing through the day. Your to-do list can consist of simple and easy things such as making yourself a cup of tea. But once you tick it off – you’ll feel good about it!
  • Spend time with four legged friends. Research shows that stroking an animal for just 15 minutes helps to relieve feelings of anxiety and lowers stress levels. Giving your pet a cuddle or just letting them sit beside you for a while, is bound to instantly put you in a better mood.
  • Create a Worry Wobble Time: Choose a set time and place for worrying. It can be a small part of your day and schedule it in like everything else. Make a list of everything that is worrying you and go over that list during that time. When you look at worries in a structured way and almost allow yourself to ‘indulge’ in the worry for a short period of time, you minimise the impact on the rest of your day.
  • Practice gratitude: When things aren’t working out it’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of only noticing the bad things in life. Gratitude helps you acknowledge the good stuff too and has some great benefits. To practice gratitude think of 3 things you’re grateful for that day. They could be small things – like the fact that you had your favourite recipe for lunch. The important thing is to connect to the sense of gratitude as savour it.
  • Colour or paint: What better way than to nurture your mental health than through creativity? Using creative outlets such as colouring and painting allows you to regularly express your feelings and emotions without words. So, why not pick up a paintbrush or an adult colouring book and immerse yourself into creativity?
  • Take time for yourself: It is extremely important to take some time to be with yourself and yourself only. Not only does it gives you time and space to think about what’s going on in your life, but it also helps you to reconnect with yourself. Remember that it is ok to take a step back from the chaos going on in the world. This will give you the time to need to recharge.
  • Declutter and clean your space: Decluttering your environment is quite possibly one of the most liberating feelings in the world. Getting rid of the things you have been holding onto for no particular reason is so refreshing. It can feel like a brand new start. Give away the things you no longer have a use for or donate to charity, the feeling of freedom amongst your space will be like no other!
  • Meditation: You might hear it all the time – but meditation is amazing. The health benefits are countless, but it also helps you to connect with your inner self. Designating even five minutes a day to meditation is said to help increase your self-awareness, find inner peace and encourages you to be present. If you aren’t already doing so, try to incorporate a meditation routine into your self-care ritual!
  • Take up a new hobby: Starting a new hobby or project can help you understand what it really is that you enjoy. Whether that be baking, walking or reading, finding a new hobby will enrich your life in some way. Not only will you gain happiness, but you might also find others who have a passion for the same hobby as you, which will ultimately expand your social bubble!
  • Find your purpose: It can be hard to think about what your true purpose is in life. But there are some pointers to help you get there and to achieve a more aware, healthy and happier life. Finding deeper meaning in life can be done by looking at what you have and how you make others feel. Learn how to taking ownership of your life. Take the time to examine what makes you the happiest in life and focus on that more and more every day.
  • Drink water!!!
  • Remember your worth is not defined by your accomplishments: When we define ourselves by what we have or haven’t achieved, then we look at ourselves through an inward perspective. We only focus on what we were in the past. Instead, use your previous accomplishments as fuel to develop and grow even more. Recognise that life is ever-changing and there are many more chapters to come.
  • Allow yourself to really feel your feelings: As hard as it can be, don’t bottle up your feelings. You should let yourself feel any emotions that are cooped up inside of you. You need to let yourself process and express any negative thoughts or feelings. Once you do, you will be on track to a clearer headspace.
  • Practice self-care: Whatever form of self-care you enjoy – do it! Whether that be soaking in a bubble bath or watching your favourite Netflix series, give yourself to time to do what you love. It can be easy to forget to put yourself first, but it is so important to your mental and physical health. Let yourself relax and unwind frequently to avoid feeling burnt-out.
  • Recognise when you’re being self-critical: Being self-critical is a part of human nature. We are so familiar with putting ourselves down and picking apart the little things we wish we could change. It’s easy to forget that this self-critical voice overpowers and undermines self-love. Learning to shut off negative thoughts about yourself will boost your confidence and help to improve your self-esteem.
  • Smile: There are many reasons why you should smile more! It can instantly change your mood, reduce stress and decrease depression. Whether you bump into your neighbour, a stranger at the local shop or catch a quick glimpse of yourself in the mirror – smile!
  • Wake up earlier: Getting up early has numerous pro’s (although you may only remember the cons when you wake up!) Waking up early gives you time to plan your day. It also gives you time to re-energise and provides plenty of time for breakfast. Getting up before others in your household also means you have some time for peace and quiet!
  • Say “no” when you need to: If you are feeling overwhelmed or overloaded, you need to practice saying “no”. We live in a hectic and busy world, where we feel pressure to get everything done to avoid disappointment. It is okay to say “no” to that event or to that favour someone’s asked you to do. It’ll give you time to clear your head.
  • Do something kind: Doing a good deed for someone else will really make you feel good about yourself. Knowing that you have put a smile on someone else’s face is bound to lift your spirits. So, whether you hold the door open for someone or bake a friend some brownies – just remember that you have a good heart!
  • Online Support Group: There are others out there who are feeling a similar way to you and are in need of someone to talk to. There’s something very healing about connection and community. Look in your local area and see what’s going on and find out if you can discover a group to join. 
  • Take a break: If you can, take a mental health day. All too often we prioritise work over mental well-being, but it is important to break out of this cycle. Weigh up but really needs to be done right now and what can be replaced with some mental self-care. Take a day to do the things that truly energise you and boost your mood. 
  • Listen to podcasts: There are hundreds of podcasts out there! Whether you want to laugh, find out more about something your passionate about or just zone out – there is a podcast for it! Engaging your mind with something interesting will distract you from your woes. Whether your commuting to work or making dinner – pop on a podcast to suit your mood!
  • Budget for little indulgences: There are times where retail therapy is simply the answer. Set some money aside to buy yourself something that will cheer you up. Perhaps that’s a new candle or a new bottle of luxury bubble bath – get it. Treating yourself will remind you of how important self-care really is.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others: You’ve probably heard this before, but comparing yourself is completely and utterly ineffective! You can’t physically change who you are and you have to learn this to achieve self-acceptance. You are you – and this is more than enough.
  • Decorate your space with things that make you happy: After you have spent some time decluttering your space, fill it up again with items that make you happy! Whether that be colourful posters, plants or pretty furniture – make your space reflect positivity. You will love being in an environment that is full of the things that make you feel content.
  • Create a daily goal: Every day, think of one thing you would like to accomplish. It can be as little or as big as you like! Set yourself one target to complete, whether that be replying to a bunch of emails or going on a bike ride – it’s up to you. But once you do it, you will feel productive and accomplished!
  • Learn to be alone: Being alone doesn’t have to equal loneliness. Sometimes, being alone can really help you to connect with yourself and learn how you are really feeling. Learn to enjoy your own company and fill the time on your own by doing activities you enjoy. Once you accept that being on your own is okay, you will be on the path to self-love.
  • Create a mood diary: Tracking your moods can help you to work out what positively and negatively affects your mental wellbeing. Using a mood diary will encourage you to take the steps to avoid negative situations. You can write one out yourself or try an online one such as MoodPanda.
  • Consider therapy: Therapy can sometimes seem like a last-minute resort. But it can actually be an extremely safe space to share your feelings. It is a proactive way to check in with yourself, vent to others and create healthy habits. Finding a therapist that is right for you is important, take all the time you need.
  • Set boundaries: Creating boundaries for yourself will help you to live a healthy lifestyle. Think about the things that need structure and control in your life. Whether that be work, technology or relationships – consider your needs and priorities in all aspects of life. You might limit yourself to one hour of social media a day or not answering work emails on the weekend. Creating limits in your life will help you to remember how to prioritise your well-being.
  • Always have something to look forward to: When you have something you’re excited for, you gain a sense of purpose and motivation. Whatever you feel like doing – plan it! Whether that be planning a camping trip or even a movie and takeaway night, having a special event to look forward to will do wonders for your mental health.
  • Stretch: When you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, your body will coop up those feelings too. To release that built up stress, try to incorporate yoga or simple stretches into your everyday routine. Stretching your body will help to relieve your body of any tension, in turn improving your physical health as well as your mental health.
  • Know that this too will pass: The way you are feeling right now won’t last forever. You are strong enough to get through this and come out on the other side happier and healthier. Even if it doesn’t feel that way right now – you have got this.
  • Start today. You have the power to take positive steps right now to improve your resilience and emotional health. Don’t wait until you’re in a crisis to make your mental health a priority. Pick something from this article that resonates with you and try it. Then, try something else. Slowly putting in place routines, habits, and regular patterns will help you feel better through gradual change.

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