The Mental Health Guide
Being founded upon the desire to help inform and advocate are key themes which form the visual aspects of the pieces created and being the reason behind our mental health talks over on our YouTube account and talks we deliver in person. Creating information that is accessible outside of helplines and medical care, is also hugely important due to financial and class barriers which often leaves many of those in need of support experiencing delays when it comes to accessing medical support.
The mental health guide are tips that can be utilised for those who may be struggling or wanting to get practical tips written by Jennifer McGregor.
Mental Health Break Fun
Stressed. Uptight. Stretched too thin, Reached your breaking point.
Does any of that sound like you? Then you don’t just need a mental health day off of
work—you need a mental health thing to do. Staying out of work and doing the same
thing you do all the other days of the week is not going to get you the relief you need.
When you’re stressed, it’s hard to think of a way out, so Art by XRDH has some ideas for you to try and see if they can help you escape your funk.
Be Part of a Team
Speaking of ways to escape your funk, how about putting your detective, puzzle, and analytical skills to work inside an escape room? You need a team, so you’ll work with others to find a solution. Although these unique rooms provide fun thrills, they’re also an excellent way to work on your teamwork, communication, and collaboration skills.
This is also an excellent way to combat loneliness.
Being part of a team is the perfect balance for times you’re feeling like it’s all on your shoulders. And you lose your sense of helplessness because you’re actively working on a plan. The same thing can be said for joining a bowling team because forcefully knocking things down with a heavy ball just screams stress relief.
Make the Most of Decluttering and Organizing
Cleaning your room, on the surface, seems like the dumbest idea ever for getting to your happy place. But—you’ll be surprised to learn just how not dumb it is. Clutter is proven to make us feel depressed and the very act of taking charge of all of that, sorting, tossing, and organizing, reduces anxiety by getting rid of all that bad energy. See? Your mother was right, after all. This also applies to gardening, since pulling weeds from your garden can be the perfect metaphor for pulling weeds from your life too.
Fun with Pets
There’s a reason your dentist has an aquarium in his waiting room. The sounds of the
drill in the next room should send you running for the parking lot, but then, there’s all
those pretty fish swimming ‘round and ‘round their little castle to hypnotize and soothe you. Not only does science tell us that keeping fish improves our mental health according to The Doctor Weighs In, so does coming up with a cool theme to decorate the tank. If not fish, you can still get hours of relaxing time watching your pet hamster run on his little wheel because you’ll probably be able to relate.
Additionally, pets can provide companionship and emotional support for people who live alone or who struggle with loneliness. Studies have shown that pet ownership can have numerous health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, boosting immunity, and even improving heart health. In addition, pets can help to foster a sense of responsibility and routine in their owners. For people who live alone or have reduced mobility, taking care of a pet can provide a sense of purpose and help to stave off feelings of isolation.
Whether it's taking a dog for a walk, playing with a cat, or simply watching fish swim in
an aquarium, spending time with a pet can be a calming and satisfying experience.
Go On a Treasure Hunt
Who can’t forget their worries when they’re on a treasure hunt? REI explains that geocaching is basically playing hide and seek with your cell phone’s GPS, looking for little hidden treasures. It’s everywhere, literally, the game is global. There are rules, of course, and etiquette to follow but it’s something you can do alone, with friends, or with your kids, whichever makes the game more fun for you. If you’re out with your binoculars trying to find that hidden treasure, aim your glasses up, and presto! You’re now birdwatching, which is the coolest-geekiest way to get your Zen back. Bring a notepad and some colored pencils and sketch what you see to absorb yourself in the moment.
Optimize the Outdoors
It’s not exactly news that being out in nature is good for us both mentally and physically, but what may be new to you is the concept of forest bathing. From the Japanese, shinrin-yoku, it’s the practice of bathing in the atmosphere of nature. Not hiking through it, photographing it, or setting up camp in it, you’re supposed to just be in it.
And you don’t need an actual forest. A park, a beach anywhere you’re away from an artificial environment and into a natural one will do as long as you can stop and let your senses rule the moment. If you’ve got a tube and a nearby river, letting the current take you away while you watch the clouds float by is hard to beat for improving one’s mood and you might just get some of that forest bathing in while you’re out there.
Also, keep in mind that there are also many ways that people with mobility issues can enjoy the outdoors. One option is to use a wheelchair. Wheelchairs come in a variety of sizes and styles, and they can be outfitted with features like off-road tires or storage baskets. Many public parks and hiking trails now have wheelchair-accessible paths and ramps, making it easy for everyone to enjoy the outdoors. Another option is to use a
motorized scooter. Scooters typically have a longer range than wheelchairs, and they can be easier to maneuver on rough terrain. However, they can be more expensive than wheelchairs, and they may require a valid driver’s license to operate. Whichever option you choose, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors!
Start a Non-profit
Know how great you feel when someone opens a gift from you and they’re super excited to have it? Imagine how it would feel if you could do that on an ongoing basis, and not just for one or two people, but for hundreds, thousands, or even more. Starting and running your own non-profit can give you all the good feels you could handle.
It’s easier to get public grants and funding when you’re a nonprofit as well as giving you tax-exempt status. But you have to have a stated aim, appoint a board where you’ll have regular meetings, prove there are no conflicts of interest, and keep meticulous records.
Find a cause you’re passionate about, choose a way to turn that into a charitable organization, and soon your own problems will fade into the background.
There are a lot more ways to improve your mental health, like eating vegetables (that’s not a typo) or practicing yoga and tai chi, or even coloring with your box of 64 Crayolas.
The important thing is to try something new and see if it works. Then do that again.