Mental health check ins are more important than ever. We are all so caught up in our daily routines and attending to so many thoughts that it becomes difficult to assess our mental health. There are many different mental health activities and exercises. Don’t be afraid to try a few and see what works best for you. The key here is to be mindful and present in the moment.
This can be harder than it looks sometimes, but no worries, practice definitely makes perfect. Start off with 30-60 seconds. Sit, close your eyes and have concentrated breathing. You have the option to practice in silence or with sounds. If you prefer sounds, try the "Meditation" Pandora radio station. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the process. Here are three specific types of meditation to explore: focused attention, body scan and visualization.
- Focused Attention: This form of meditation uses your breath to focus your attention, anchor your mind and maintain awareness.
- Body Scan: This technique is designed to unite body and mind by performing a mental scan, from the top of the head to the end of your toes.
- Visualization: This type of meditation invites you to picture something or someone in your mind.
The practice of yoga is all about mindfulness. Each pose emphasizes breathing and getting closer to the earth and present moment. Start off with seated and laying poses then move to standing and inverted. Get started with some beginner at-home yoga sessions and get acquainted with some instructors. Be patient with yourself and kind to yourself.
The best part about this activity is that there are no rules! Grab a pen and a notebook and write whatever comes to mind. Express yourself with words as freely as possible. Not sure what to write or how to get started? Think about the day you’ve had or the kind of day you’d like to have and start from there.