It’s OK to not feel OK.
a little guidance.
Looking for some quick advice on mental healthcare? Below are a few idea’s to consider.
- Connect with others. Develop and keep strong relationships with people who will support you.
- Play! Plan something fun! – Make time every day to enjoy something you really like to do. Be silly and laugh – laughter can recharge you.
- Ask for help. Everyone hits bumps in the road. Ask a friend, co-worker or teacher for help and advice. Call “Lets Talk” for suggestions. We all need help sometimes.
- Take care of yourself. It’s easier to feel happy if your body feels good. Exercise. Enjoy a good breakfast. Drink water, have a healthy snack and eat a balanced diet. Physical and mental health are tied together. Be good to your body.
- Rest. Sleep restores both your mind and body. Aim for 7 hours of sleep at least. Go to bed and get up at a regular time each day. One hour before bedtime turn off your phone and computer. Take some time to relax and wind down from your day. If you have trouble sleeping, only lay in bed for ½ hour then get up and go into another room, or sit in a chair and read a book or watch TV (no computer or phone as the blue light can keep you awake) for a ½ hour, then try to go back to sleep again for a ½ hour.
- Deal with stress. Pay attention to what makes you stressed, where you feel it in your body, and how you react to it. This will help you to better manage your stress. Learn to express anger when it’s “small” instead of allowing it to build. Relaxation breathing, yoga or meditation can help.
- Think about today. Too often we are thinking about the past or planning for the future instead of living in the present. Focus on living “in the moment.” Outside, notice the sun or wind on your face, or feel your feet on the pavement. Inside, feel your body in the chair, or your feet on the floor. Make a real effort to be aware of the world around you today. It is important for your mental health.
- Give back. Volunteer for a cause or an issue you care about. Help out a co-worker, neighbor, or friend. Find ways to contribute, it can help you feel good about yourself and who you are in the world.
- Challenge yourself. Learn a new skill or set a difficult goal. Try something different, commit to fitness or a healthy eating goal, learn to cook something new, or learn a new computer skill. Learning improves your mental fitness.
- Drink less alcohol and avoid all other drugs. Sometimes people misuse alcohol and other drugs to feel better, but, alcohol and other drugs can make problems worse.
That is because breathing deeply tells your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. The things that happen when you are stressed, such as a fast heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe in and feel your stomach muscles relax.
- Hold it for a moment.
- Purse your lips, and breathe out slowly as if you are slowly blowing out candles on a birthday cake. Feel your stomach muscles tighten as you empty your breath.
- Repeat, SLOWLY, 2 times or more as needed.
Tension in your muscles? Reduce feelings of stress and worry and improve your sense of well-being with these simple steps.
Find a quiet place where you can be completely by yourself.
Lie down on your back, feet apart, arms by your side. If it feels good to you, turn your palms upwards and gently close your eyes.
Slow your breathing down, and breathe smoothly—with a few deep breaths in and out.
Now think about the top of your head. Feel your scalp. In your mind, tell your body to release tension from your scalp.
Next gently bring your attention to your face. Feel your forehead. Tell your body to release tension from the forehead. Now feel your eyes and your eyelids. Ask your body to release tension in that area. Do this next with your chest and your jaw.
Now, turn attention to your neck. Ask your muscles to let go of all the tension in your neck. Breathe slowly and deeply and concentrate on releasing the tension in your neck.
Think next about your shoulders. Feel the tightness and ask your muscles to release tension in your shoulders. Feel the tension releasing. Be gentle. Continue breathing slowly and deeply.
Next, move your attention down your arms to your fingertips. With a deep exhale, release tension in that area. Now inhale and return attention up your arms into the shoulders.
Now, bring your attention to your chest. Breathe deeply as you think about your chest. Feel the tension leaving your body.
Next, think about your hips. Take a few deep breaths and each time you exhale, ask your body to release the tension from your hips. Continue with this through your pelvis, thighs, calves, ankles, feet, and toes. Feel the tension leaving your body, replacing it with a sense of peace and calm.
When you have let go of the tension from all the parts of your body, continue breathing slowly. Be gentle. Feel the peace and relaxation flowing freely through your body.
When you are ready, bring yourself to the present moment. Wiggle your toes, your fingers, open your eyes, and stretch out gently. Enjoy the sense of quiet and how relaxed your body feels. Return to this muscle relaxation technique often. With each practice you will feel more and more relaxed.
- Breathe. Take a big breath in and feel your stomach muscles relax. Hold it for a moment. Purse your lips, and blow your breath out slowly as if you are blowing out candles on a birthday cake. Feel your stomach muscles tighten as you empty your breath. Do it again 2 times or more if needed.
- Smile- even if you don’t feel like smiling! Smiling releases natural chemicals that lowers blood pressure and increases relaxation.
- Relax your Mouth. Let your tongue go relax and slightly open your mouth. This sends a message to your brain to turn off the stress hormones.
- Laugh! Laughing increases blood flow and boosts your ability to fight sickness.
- Give yourself a hug. Hugging releases hormones that keep you healthier.
- Shrug your shoulders. Bring your shoulders up to your ears for a slow count of 5, then release.
- Exercise. Do some quick squats, jumping jacks, running in place, etc.…Exercise releases chemicals that help with depression.
- Peel an orange – seriously! Then inhale the smell. Research shows that the smell of citrus relaxes people.
- Say Thank You. Really. Think of things you are grateful for. It is a well-known stress reducer.
You can do any activity mindfully, simply by slowing down and focusing.
- Mindful sitting – Sit comfortably. Take 3 slow deep breaths. Bring your attention to how your body is feeling: what it feels like to sit where you are, whether you are feeling warm, cool, etc. As you feel yourself sitting you may be distracted by thoughts or other things. Just notice them without judgement and let them go, then return your attention back to what it’s like to be sitting.
- Mindful walking – Take 3 slow deep breaths. When you are ready to start, bring your thoughts to how you feel standing up. Feel what it’s like to feel your feet on the ground. Slowly start to walk and feel what it feels like to pick up your feet and take a step. Walk slowly so you experience all the sensations. As you walk mindfully you may be distracted by thoughts or other things. Just notice them without judgement and let them go, turning your attention back to what it’s like to be walking.
- Mindful eating – Sit comfortably. Take 3 slow deep breaths. Bring your attention to your food. Experience what it’s like to eat your food, use all your senses to experience it. Before and as you eat notice the look, smell, texture, sounds, and taste of your food. As you are mindfully eating you may be distracted by thoughts or other things. Just notice them without judgement and let them go, turning your attention back to what it’s like to be eating.