Things That Have Massively Improved My Mental Health


Hey! Today I thought I would talk about mental health because it’s relevant for most people and seems to be even moreso with COVID, quarantine, and the end of the holiday season. Mental health is an area that like most people I've had my fair share of struggles with. For me, mental health struggles manifest as a large amount of anxiety, perfectionism, and intrusive thoughts (the latter being something most people aren’t that educated about). My mom is a counselor, so early on in my struggles I had access to resources that helped me understand some of what I’ve been experiencing since the time I was a kid. In the last year, I’ve seen my mental health improve leaps and bounds and likely it has to do with a number of factors, but I thought I would share a few things I’ve been doing in particular. 

Projects Outside of Work 

I have a massive amount of anxious energy which can make work hard to sit still through. I will get random ideas at work and get really bored with whatever I’m doing at the time. Like I’ll be in a meeting and suddenly my brain is like “you should start a furniture upcycling business” and I’m like “yassssss” and the logical part of my brain is like “no shut up we have to work.” It’s a constant battle haha. But one of the things that gives me purpose and an outlet for all my energy is creative projects outside of work! If you follow my insta you see all the projects I do and it’s honestly because it is a great outlet for my anxiety and anxious energy. When I feel anxious, projects have a way of pulling me outside of my brain and bringing me to the present moment. I would highly recommend really focusing on a hobby (if you have the capacity to do so, it’s not always easy) when your mental health is acting up. Check out some of the projects that I've posted about for ideas! 

Getting Outside No Matter the Weather

My mom has always said that on days that are drab and cold the best thing you can do is get out in it anyway (obviously not if it is dangerous haha). The idea is that once you get moving, get your blood flowing, you will feel better than lying around in the stuffy indoors. Nordic culture actually has a word for this concept, "friluftsliv." The actual translation of the word is "open air living." For me getting outside whether it is sunny or not and practicing this form of "open air living" seems to do a lot for both my mental and physical health. If you're struggling to get outside because of work try using your lunch break!

Cutting Back on Caffeine 

I would be lying if I said that I am good at this. In truth, I am still working on getting caffeine consistently out of my life. When I was studying for the LSAT I found that it was easy for me to cut it out for my test-taking anxiety. Now that I've finished up with the LSAT it has been a bit harder to stick to avoiding caffeine with the work load that I have going on at my job. I did find that when I was successfully able to cut out caffeine it didn't get rid of my anxiety but it definitely lessened the acuteness of it. So if you're considering this as a method of managing your mental health I would definitely suggest it. Switch to tea! There tons of fun tea flavors out there. 

Being Kind to Myself

This is another suggestion that I have been working on to improve my mental health, but by no means have mastered. It can be incredibly hard for me to practice this one sometimes. In a world of high expectations it is easy to get in a negative pattern of thinking about yourself and the things you do/don't do. At the end of the day beating yourself up over things will only make it worse. Bringing radical empathy to yourself is the answer to being happier and ultimately more productive.