This month’s theme is things I have done or still do to stay internally balanced. In the moment, or in general. It is important to have tools to use in the moment when feeling unsettled inside, but it is also just as important to create time in your life to maintain some balance.
It might feel like you are wasting time to take time out when you feel okay, or family keeps you incredibly busy, but the payoff comes when that balance is inevitably shifted by outside sources and you have established a foundation of practices to utilize.
Sit back, and enjoy your special Sunday with this light read. I am fairly certain you have done or do some of the listed things, and I am very hopeful you will find some things on this list to add to your tool box.
30 Things of Mental and Emotional Health
1. Gone for a long drive and sang to my favorite tunes. At the top of my lungs with a few enthusiastic arm gestures.
2. Pet something-an animal, a soft pillow, a significant other’s hair…getting in touch with a few of your five senses helps you get outside of your head.
3. “Word vomit”-as in text, call, or share with someone in person who I trust EXACTLY what is going on in my mind; no matter how ugly it might look or sound coming out.
4. Go for walks with some tunes I enjoy and make sure to ignore all messages or calls. Don’t worry, your loved ones will still be there if you are not electronically available for a bit.
5. Looked at old pics of loved ones from a time in my life I recall fondly. Not to ignore the present, but to remind myself all things are temporary. Good or not so good-this too shall pass.
6. Blocked someone on Facebook because I knew otherwise I would leave myself open to potential drama. Any opportunity I have to block that anywhere in my life, I do. It is not avoiding-it is letting go.
7. Checked in with someone I haven’t spoken with in a bit-it’s nice to reach outside yourself and reconnect for within that time you do, you feel more present.
8. Cried in the bathroom at work. Wiped the tears, smiled in the mirror, and went on with my day a little less burdened.
9. Played hooky from work and hit the beach. How great does it feel to be a little naughty and come back to your job refreshed?
10. Meditate-sitting, laying down, on my walks, and in the car. There is no right way to meditate. Only your way. Perhaps prayer is what keeps you grounded. Even something as simple as checking in with your breath. Stop. Take 4 deep breaths. Be still.
11. Gone to Target (or another store I like) and bought something I don’t need. Would not encourage this as a regular activity, but it is fun to indulge once in a while!
12. Screamed at the top of my lungs. Into a pillow, or in the car.
13. Let go of friendships after realizing we were living in the past, the present was unpleasant, or I needed to create more space for a positive future. Sometimes all of the above.
14. I take naps.
15. Tell the people I love-that I love them. How often do we hesitate though when we feel it? Get over that moment of hesitation, and tell the people you love that you love them. Often.
16. Thrown something-again not a highly recommended activity to do frequently and you will need an appropriate object (I have lost a few phones in the heat of the moment), but if you can align something nonperishable it can feel GREAT.
17. Blasted some fun music and had a solo dance party. Jumping on the bed or couch was always part of the choreography.
18. Written furiously in my journal like a hormonal teenager. Keep in mind as far as this goes it can be about all the extremes we go through emotionally at times, and everything in between!
19. Done a vigorous short workout to blow off some steam. Even if you are not a member of a gym or super active if you can find one activity to do with all your energy for a short amount of time-it WILL help.
20. I like to cook. It would add more stress to my life to bake as I am highly unskilled in this area, but for many it can be a relaxing experience. Does it mean you have to eat the entire project when the kitchen timer goes off? No! Share it or take a portion and put the rest away. The action of creating something is the point.
21. Let out a huge, throaty, dramatic :SIGH: combined with an extreme eye-roll…
22. Forced myself to try something new-even something as little as trying out a new restaurant or meeting new people with an old friend can stretch out my ever-so-tightly wound comfort zone.
23. Got on YouTube for a bit to see where it took me. If you have not done this yet please do. You will understand.
24. Cuddle. There are generally so many options-I cuddle my pets and family. Again, using one of the five senses brings you to the present and keeps you still during those moments of affection.
25. Accepted the fact that I will not always be balanced. Sometimes I don’t do a darn thing, and let whatever it is run its course.
It always does.
From followers via Facebook and Twitter:
26. “Books help also. Just escaping from the noise, entering a place of fantasy for awhile. I get lost in them often.“
27. “I like to sing when I am stressed out. (I asked where)…Everywhere!”
28. “Being balanced it can mean not being balanced for a moment and just saying forget it. Like throwing your hands up in the air and letting go of whatever you thought something was supposed to be like.”
29. “I like to play with my kids on the floor. Sit down with them and pretend I’ve got nothing but Barbie’s playhouse to worry about. Then I bond with my daughters too.”
30. “I keep journals, meditate, exercise, and cut off anyone or anything that no longer grows me.“
Thank you for reading! Please feel free to contribute an idea for this monthly post via email: firstname.lastname@example.org