Let’s Talk Mental Health: How to Improve Your Mental Well-Being in Minutes

Let’s Talk Mental Health: How to Improve Your Mental Well-Being in Minutes

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In a world where a work “emergency” vibrates us into hyperdrive via an alert on our watch, it can feel like we never get a focused minute alone to just be. For many of us, the idea of taking a time out can feel more stressful, not less.

We’ve found that the key to finding and maintaining a sense of serenity is that it shouldn’t feel stressful, naturally: Doing this type of self-care should fit easily into your day and feel enjoyable, not like a chore. Our aim is to relax, connect with others to boost our moods, shift our perspective and get out of our heads, and feel better using the mind/body connection.

Here, we’re exploring easy-to-try, time-efficient ways to take short breaks for our minds that will help us move towards a more positive, calm outlook.  

1. Write A Letter

In these days of texts, emails, and communications via meme, letter writing sounds downright archaic. Still, it can be a great way to process your emotions and feel more connected with loved ones.

Getting started is easy: Keep some stamps handy and, if you’re so inclined, find some stationary that motivates you to want to write. Reaching out can be as simple as saying hello, or updating them about your life, or even sharing about a great meal you made or movie you saw. The exchange doesn’t have to be all-inclusive of every bit of news since you last spoke, just a simple hello will do. 

Even better: Your act of self-care will make someone else feel good at the same time. After all, who doesn’t love receiving a letter in the mail?

2. Spend 10 Minutes Outside Every Day

Getting out into fresh air for even just a few minutes a day can have profound benefits to your mental health: Being around plants (indoors or outdoors) offers compelling benefits to decrease anxiety, and sunlight boosts your serotonin levels (that’s the feel-good hormone) to increase energy and keep you more calm and focused. So, swap your next doomscrolling session for a quick burst of sunshine.

Not sure where to go? Don’t worry (that’s the point, after all). If you’re an urban dweller, you can start with a few simple strolls around the block, saying hello to neighbors as you pass and noticing the trees, buildings, and sounds. If you’re near green spaces or the suburbs, finding a short, wooded trail can make a ten-minute walk feel like a two-hour reset.

If you find your mind wandering back to your to-do list, consider a walking meditation. If all that sounds like too much, start by just sitting outside of your home and breathing slowly in the fresh air.

3. Stay Hydrated

You knew this would be our favorite way to help our mental health, and it’s also the easiest. Studies have shown that maintaining proper hydration can ensure proper serotonin production, decrease anxiety, and improve sleep hygiene. It also reduces brain fog, keeping you sharp. We don’t know about you, LIV Fam, but when we feel sharp and focused we also feel less stressed, as we’re able to handle more tasks successfully instead of trying to muster up the motivation or struggling through a murky mind to grasp ideas that are usually simple.

Plus, we’ll just say it: With so many flavors options of  Hydration Multiplier (like Sugar-Free White Peach, Tropical Punch, and more) you can’t help but get a little rush of joy with each delicious sip.

4. Join A League

Bocce, anyone? How about pickleball, bowling, or some beach volleyball? Joining a casual sports league can do wonders for your mental wellness, thanks to increased activity, more social connections, and ample opportunities to make new friends.

Think about the types of sports you’re interested in: from walking to roller derby to flag football, you can find something that suits your interest and skill level. Not feeling particularly sporty? Local chess clubs often convene in parks for some added outdoor time.

The bonus of this type of self-care is that you don’t just do it for yourself—your commitment to your club means you prioritize your leisure time, too, so you always need to log off and make time, even if just for a little while.

5. Affirm Yourself

If the thoughts about yourself circulating your mind are leaning more negative, there’s an easy way to quiet them: Speak (aloud) louder than they do. A daily practice of affirmations can help you to shift your thinking from the negative to the positive, and reshape how you think and feel about yourself. Try simple, direct, and short statements morning and night, such as “I am a loving friend,” or “I am getting the good things I deserve.” When you find your negative self-talk has taken hold, catch yourself and flip the thought. Instead of “I made a stupid mistake,” reframe your sentiment to a more positive, “Mistakes happen, and I have the power to fix this.”

Our tip: As you get used to thinking more positively, post a few affirmations on note paper around your house where you’ll see them: the cabinet with the coffee cups, on your bathroom mirror, or near your work computer. Then read them out loud as you go through your day.  

6. Make A Self Care Jar

If you’re not quite sure how you can make space for self-care today, consider that empty jar that’s lingering in your kitchen. On slips of paper, write short, five-minutes-or-less activities that make you feel good and put them inside. Then, pull from when you’re feeling uninspired. Here are some ideas to get you started:

- Lay down and listen to Weightless by Marconi Union, a song believed some experts believe can reduce anxiety through its use of ambient soundscapes

- Read for five minutes

- Call a friend, especially one who may be having a hard time

- Do a 5-minute meditation

- Lay on a yoga mat and stretch (or just relax in savasana, lying on your back)

- Do a crossword puzzle

- Do a three-minute breathing exercise

- Put on your favorite song and dance for five minutes

- Sit outside for five minutes

- Hug someone you love

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November 16, 2023 · 4 minutes

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