Spring cleaning doesn’t just have to mean cleaning your room! It has been an extremely difficult year, and things are just now looking up. Just like with our physical spaces, its important to maintain our mental health on a regular basis.
If you’re feeling down right now, use this post for ideas on how to help take care of yourself. You may be in a difficult situation, and its okay to acknowledge that. If you’re feeling great right now, put together a toolkit of ways to take care when you are feeling low.
1) Focus On Your Strengths
It is really easy to get fixated on all of the things we feel we are getting wrong. During these moments, its important to remember that you are still surviving. You have unique strengths that make you who you are- celebrate them!
How to do this: Values Activity
- Write down 5-10 values that feel important in your life. If you can think of more, that’s great! If you’re struggling to think of words, there are plenty of lists online, all you have to do is google “list of values,’ and plenty will pop up.
- Think about people you admire. What you you like about them? What values do they embody?
- Refer back to this list when you’re struggling. This can ground you in your present, so you can focus on building a future that feels meaningful to you.
2) Grounding Yourself
When we’re having a difficult time, it can be hard to control our thoughts. Grounding ourselves in the present is a way to remind us of what we can and can’t control. By dealing with today, we’re taking one small step forward. Practicing mindfulness, chatting with a friend or family member, and journaling are all ways to center the present.
How to do this: Write a Letter to Your Future Self
- If you don’t like writing, you can always record a video or your voice. You can also type it out as an email instead of writing it out by hand.
- This letter can include reminders, goals, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes the most soothing voice we need to hear is our own.
- Use this to talk about feelings you are experiencing right now. Talk about what headspace you hope to be in. Remind yourself about the plans you have for your future.
3) Move Your Body
Sometimes we might feel really stuck or stagnant and getting moving can help with that. Moving your body does not have to mean exercise. There are endless ways to get active and sometimes it just takes a little time to figure out what your body enjoys. When you get into a routine while you’re feeling good or normal, its easier to keep it up or go back to it when you’re having a difficult time.
How to do this: Make It Fun
- Go on a walk. If you need motivation, download an app like Pokémon Go or SpecTrek to help make it feel like a game.
- Dance to your favorite song, or learn a guided dance from YouTube. Have an all-time favorite music video? Learn the dance from that!
- Practice some yoga. There are a ton of free streaming services out there, and yoga is a great way to double up on getting moving and grounding.
4) Find Moments of Celebration
When we are struggling with our mental health, even the smallest tasks can feel really difficult. Whether its depression or just feeling down, it is completely normal to sometimes struggle with the small things. When we feel that way, it is helpful to make some room for a little grace and kindness for yourself!
How to do this: Noticing Accomplishments
- Make a list of three accomplishments: one big, one small, and one middle of the road.
- What’s a task you accomplished recently that you’ve been struggling with? It could be doing the dishes, getting some fresh air, or texting a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Anything counts, big or small! Notice it, and say out loud that you’re proud of accomplishing it.
- When you’re feeling down, it can be really difficult to take care of yourself. Completing tasks centered around hygiene and personal care are still accomplishments and deserve acknowledgement!
5) Talk It Out
Talking about your situation out loud can help inspire a new way forward. You are important and your voice deserves to be heard.
How to do this: Reach Out
- Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or adult in your life. There are people in your life who care about you and what to help make things better.
- Write a journal entry to yourself or record a voice memo. Treat it like you’re talking to your best friend or someone else you really care about. Read it back to yourself.
- If you need confidential support, you can always reach out to us. We’re available 24/7 and its completely free. We can connect you with resources, discuss safety plans, or just listen. Whatever you need, we are here for you.
We hope you take some time this spring to reflect on your mental health and make some plans to protect it. If you’d like help coming up with a mental health plan, reach out to us! You can click the buttons at the top of the page to call, chat, email, or check out our forum. We are here to listen, here to help.