Mental Health Awareness Month: Improving your environment
As we continue to shed light on mental health this month, let's shift our focus to Mental Health America's theme for this year: Look Around, Look Within. This theme invites us to consider every part of our environment and its effect on our mental health and well-being during Mental Health Month.
Last week, we discussed the importance of self-compassion and recognizing our strengths as part of NAMI's Mental Health Awareness Month campaign. This week, let's take action to improve our surroundings and promote better mental health for ourselves and those around us.
Here are some ways you can do so:
Connect with nature
Spending time in nature has been shown to have numerous mental health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety and improving mood. Nature provides a sense of peace and tranquility that can help us feel more grounded and connected. Consider taking a walk in a park or forest, gardening, or simply spending time outside in a green space. Even just looking at nature, such as through a window or on a screen saver, can have a positive effect on mental health.
Additionally, incorporating nature into our daily routines can help promote mental health. This can include anything from keeping houseplants to taking regular breaks to step outside during the workday. By intentionally connecting with nature, we can improve our mental well-being and overall quality of life.
Create a calming space
Having a designated space in your home or workplace that promotes relaxation and calm can be a helpful tool for managing stress and anxiety. Consider decorating with soothing colors and textures, adding plants or natural elements, or incorporating calming scents like lavender or chamomile. Use this space for activities like meditation, yoga, or simply taking a few moments to breathe and unwind.
By intentionally creating a calming space, we can give ourselves permission to slow down and prioritize our mental health. This can be especially important in today's fast-paced world, where it's easy to get caught up in the demands of work and daily life.
In today's digital world, it's essential to find a healthy balance when it comes to screen time. Excessive use of social media, endless scrolling through news feeds, or binge-watching television shows can take a toll on our mental well-being.
By setting limits on screen time, you can create more opportunities for activities that promote relaxation and creativity, such as reading, exercising, or spending time with loved ones. Consider setting a specific time limit for screen time each day, turning off electronic devices before bed, and taking breaks during the day to stretch or go for a walk instead of checking your phone. By reducing screen time, you can help create a healthier balance in your life and prioritize your mental well-being.
Foster social connections
Social connections are crucial for good mental health, and there are many ways to cultivate and maintain them. Join a club or group that interests you, volunteer in your community, or simply reach out to a friend or family member for a conversation or activity. Even small gestures, like smiling or saying hello to a neighbor, can help foster a sense of connection and belonging.
Creating and nurturing social connections can help us feel supported and less alone, which can improve our mental health and resilience. This is especially important during times of stress or uncertainty, when social support can provide a sense of stability and comfort.
Let reflect help
In conclusion, as we embark on this journey of looking around and within, we recognize the profound impact our environment has on our mental health and well-being. By embracing the theme of Mental Health America's campaign and incorporating actionable steps into our lives, we can cultivate a positive and nurturing environment for ourselves and those we care about.
And if you need extra support, reflect is here to help as always! Our therapists understand the profound impact of your environment on your mental well-being. They are here to help you explore and understand how your surroundings, including your upbringing and the people around you, shape your thoughts, emotions, and overall mental health. Through compassionate conversations, they will guide you in recognizing patterns, triggers, and coping mechanisms related to your environment.
Just click here and let reflect help you find the right match.