Tips to Maximize Joy & Mental Health
By Sandrina Bencomo
With stress, anxiety, depression, and mental health issues on the rise due to the pandemic –– focusing on self-care and mental wellbeing has never been more important. Health coaching during COVID has certainly shown me how much more support we all require during these times. Getting the help you need is a smart and empowering choice. Try these tips to begin your journey towards feeling happy and balanced.
1. Stay Present: Have you ever found yourself rehashing and overthinking the past? The past that you can't change anymore! Or worrying about the future? With a horror movie playing in your mind as a "prediction" of your future. This pattern is very common for many people. The more time you spend on this mindset –– the more stressed, anxious, and depressed you'll feel. You can waste your life away by mentally being in the past and future and unable to enjoy what's right in front of you. Mindfulness takes practice and consistency, but it can offer the happy and peaceful life that you want. How to stay present? Meditation, working out, nature immersion, breathing exercises, and gratitude exercises are all helpful tools for anchoring to the present moment. Ultimately, you have to control your mind and train it to see you as the boss. You can control your mind and the "crazy monkey" in your head to think and do what you want. It won't happen overnight, but your brain has the capacity for it. Your brain has the power of neuroplasticity, meaning that it can be reorganized and rewired to serve the life that you want. Every time you find yourself overthinking, bring your awareness to the present. Notice where you are, the people, sounds, and smells surrounding you, as well as your current circumstances. Acknowledge what you can be thankful for that day and focus on what you can control. This practice will help your brain look at things with a positive filter and go into solution mode instead of worry mode. Stay present, take one day at a time, and break it down into baby steps –– especially during a pandemic!
2. Practice Spirituality: Integrating spiritual practices into every day has proven to reduce stress, improve health, and promote longevity. Spirituality can look different for everyone, and bio-individuality plays a significant role here. Options include but aren't limited to meditation, church, prayers, religious rituals, breathing exercises, nature walks, etc. Find what fits you and your lifestyle to achieve peace, comfort, tranquility, and joy.
3. Curate the Relationships in Your Life: As the quote goes," We can choose our family. We can't choose our relatives.” You can choose whom to spend your spare time with and what to do with it. Have you ever spent time with people that leave you feeling drained, stressed, depressed, or bad about yourself? Have you ever noticed feeling lighter and happier after spending time with certain people? Relationships are a form of nourishment –– they're even more important than the foods we eat. Relationships have the power to make you feel balanced and happy or miserable and angry. Bringing awareness to how your relationships make you feel is a step towards creating your best life! Pay attention to how you feel after seeing or talking with each person in your life and choose to spend your time wisely and feel your best.
4. Be Mindful of How You Spend Your Time: Time is truly precious! Are you using it wisely? How is each activity in your life making you feel during and afterward? How do you feel when you spend time on social media, television, news, work, music, reading, cooking, exercise, etcetera? Bringing awareness to how you utilize your time –– choosing to do more of what brings you joy and less of what brings negativity –– is a path to feeling happier and healthier.
5. Schedule Nature Immersion: Connecting to our natural environment –– our first homes as species – is highly important to reduce stress and improve overall health. It can be tricky if you live in a city. But making a point of integrating as much nature time as possible in whatever form you have available can make a big difference in your mood and immunity.
Sandrina Bencomo, NBC-HWC, National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach
Free Virtual Wellness Services at MyCareVillage.org
Sandrina @MyCareVillage.org / @OrganycLove/ @MyCareVillage_org Sandrina provides free one-on-one health and wellness coaching tailored to your needs. She'll empower you to succeed with goals related to weight, stress, energy, sleep, digestion, allergies, inflammation, and skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and rosacea. Sandrina is the co-founder of My Care Village, a women-focused wellness nonprofit organization. MCV eliminates the physical and financial barriers to health to support you in feeling your best. Their whole-person care services are always free and confidential, as often as you need, no credit cards or insurance required, no strings attached, from the comfort of your phone or PC. -----------------------------------------