Your day may be filled with unwanted stress and anxiety because it’s busy and filled with tons of stuff that you need to accomplish. But, this stress and anxiety can lead to a number of mental health issues, including depression. To keep your mental health in optimal condition it’s important to remember to relax and enjoy life.
Life may be busy, but you have 5 minutes here and there and what you do with these free minutes can have a significant impact on your mental health, by helping to reduce your stress and anxiety.
1. First thing in the morning, make your bed – this may seem like a chore, but it will actually help you to create a stress free bedroom environment. When you go to bed, you’ll have less anxiety walking into a neat and tidy room with a bed that’s made. This will help you to get a better nights’ sleep.
2. Prioritize your day – you have so much to do and you don’t know where to begin – does this sound familiar? This can create unwanted (and un-needed) stress! So sit down with your morning coffee and make a list – what needs to get done today and what can wait until tomorrow? Number your tasks based on importance and tick them off as you complete them. By tackling the important tasks first, you will ease your mind and decrease your stress levels.
3. Clean your desk – clutter can create unnecessary stress and anxiety. De-cluttering can help to create a calm feeling which will help to keep your mental health in check.
4. Listen to some music – play some tunes in your car, at your desk (quietly) or while you exercise. According to WebMD, the effects of music can help to lower your blood pressure, decrease stress and improve your mood.
5. Sniff a lemon – according to research from Tel Aviv University, citrus scents can help to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve your mood. Scents such as basil, juniper and lavender can also have a calming effect, helping to relieve stress.
6. Put your phone down and shut your computer off – simple, right? It should be. Putting down all of your gadgets that keep you in touch will help to settle your mind and decrease stress. This is especially true before bedtime. Turning your phone off and answering your emails and text messages in the morning will help you to have a more restful sleep.
7. Be thankful – stop and think about all of the little things that are great in your life (even if it was how delicious your morning coffee was). If it makes you feel better, keep track of all the little positive things in your life in a diary and read it often. Being positive, even if it’s for a few minutes a day, will help to relieve the stress and anxiety that you may have from all of the things that don’t go just right throughout your day.
8. Take a breath – it may seem simple, but many of us don’t do it. Sit and relax for a minute or two and meditate quietly to help decrease stress and anxiety levels.
9. Give someone a hug – your spouse or a friend is the perfect hug partner. You can even hug yourself by wrapping your arms around yourself. A big hug can help relieve stress and anxiety because it can release your “feel good” hormones.
10. Donate – according to Prevention giving money (even a fewer dollars) to a good cause can boost your mood and decrease stress. So pick a charity or cause that you’re passionate about when you’re feeling down and donate a couple of bucks.