by: Olivia Bowser, CEO & founder of Liberate
As a mother, spouse, and entrepreneur, I know it can be easy to get lost in daily obligations. Finding time to take care of one's self can be hard. Like any practice, I’ve found it important to make space to nourish my own well-being, especially when I feel like I don’t have time. The good news is positive mental health just starts with a moment.
At LA-based mental wellness studio Liberate, we talk a lot about taking and celebrating #MentalMoments. A Mental Moment is anything you do to exercise and take care of your mental well-being. From adding gratitude to your daily routine to finding a new hobby, there are so many ways to make room for more Mental Moments in your life.
Here are a few #MentalMoments that we really enjoy:
Spend 20 minutes a day in nature. Being in nature can help reduce stress, and observing the natural beauty of the world helps us keep perspective. This is especially important during COVID-19 when many of us are cooped up inside and may feel disconnected. Nature includes anything outdoors that you have access to, so a short walk around your neighborhood park also counts!
Add a gratitude practice. Paying attention to bad or dangerous things kept us alive evolutionarily, but now negative thought patterns may hinder us from being successful at work or in relationships. The good new is is that positivity is also something we can cultivate. By practicing gratitude we can actually train ourselves to spot the positives in life, opening ourselves to more of what is possible. Each day, right before you open your eyes or close your eyes, think of 3 things you’re grateful for.
Go on a social detox. Put. Down. The. Phone! Social media is a wonderful tool to help us connect with others, but it can also be destructive to our self-esteem and overall mindset. Give yourself a #MentalMoment by going one hour without social media. If that feels good, you can upgrade to one entire day. Trust me, it'll feel amazing once you break the habit.
Connect with other humans. Now more than ever, it is important to take time to connect with people you love, co-workers, strangers, whomever. Human connection is what inspires us, changes us, sparks us. Set a daily alarm to reach out to someone in your life.
Explore something new. In these challenging times, it is easy to feel trapped. Seeking new experiences out can help recharge us and give us inspiration. We just need to look for them. This can be as simple as ordering from a new restaurant, walking home using a different path, or trying a new activity. Shaking up our routine may be just what you need to help rejuvenate your spirits.
Try virtual therapy. Talking things through helps release tension and build positive habits. Sometimes an outside perspective is just what we need to make the necessary changes in our lives. Therapy can even have an amplifying effect on other Mental Moments. That’s why we’re such big fans of reflect and their mission is to make therapy more accessible. If this seems intimidating, allow yourself to try just one session without any expectations. Check in with yourself afterward - how did that feel? How do I feel now? Would I do it again? You might be surprised at what you learn.
Mental Moments help us increase our connection: connection with your own minds, bodies, and other human beings. What resonates with each of us may be different. Explore this list in any order and see what resonates with you. Just remember, you don’t need a lot of time to start, so try something new today.
If you’re interested in building a positive mental health habit, I invite you to try a Liberate class, which can be done remotely during COVID-19. Use code REFLECT for 50% off a 3-Class Pack. This is your #MentalMoment!
And follow us at @liberatestudio for more Mental Moments!