At Aurora, we believe mental health isn’t only about mental illness. It also has to do with feeling good about yourself, about the people surrounding you, and about life in general. And with all our daily stressors, it’s easy to forget to check in with yourself. In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week we’ve listed five suggestions on how to keep your mind on the right path.
1. Take care of yourself
One of the most important ways to feel good about yourself is to take care of your body. This means eating well, exercising, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep. On top of that, you should be taking care of yourself emotionally as much as physically. Try being less critical of yourself. In other words, respect yourself.
2. Enjoy the quiet
Stress may be an unavoidable element of day-to-day life for most among us, and getting away from the constant buzz of activity isn’t always easy. To escape your usual stressors (whatever they may be), we suggest going for walks, journal writing, or meditating. Take a moment out of your day to undertake a quiet hobby, or simply leave your mind blank. It’ll only take a few minutes of your time and can greatly improve your state of mind.
3. Try something new
We’re all familiar with the feeling of being stuck in a routine. Beginning this week, it’s time to perk up your schedule with a new, creative activity. Start a daily crossword puzzle, plant a garden, learn to play an instrument or to speak a different language. If learning a language sounds a little daunting to you, fear not. Trying something new can be as simple as changing up your jogging routine or choosing a different location for your daily stroll.
4. Set realistic goals
While creating goals for yourself is an incredibly healthy practice for mental well-being, it’s important to set ones that are realistic. You should aim high, but try not to bite off more than you can chew. Start by writing down your goals – whether academic, professional, or personal – then following up on a regular basis to see how far you’ve come.
5. Create a support system
Whether you struggle with issues surrounding mental health or not, the importance of surrounding yourself with people who respect and care about you is immense. Family, friends, acquaintances – as long as these are supportive people who make you feel good about yourself. If you’re looking to meet new people, try joining a club, class, or support group.