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Simple ways to improve your mental health and begin making a change.

Simple ways to improve your mental health and begin making a change.

The idea… “New year, new me”

After “researching” through countless daily routines of celebs in Cosmopolitan (not proud to say I actually found some kind of entertainment reading about how Jennifer Aniston makes her avocado toast in the morning), asking a few people what works best for them, and using methods that have worked for me personally,  I’ve come up with a list of simple tasks that will help to improve your mental health, and begin making a change in your life.

Some of these things can be done on a daily basis, some on a weekly/bi-weekly basis… it’s pretty self explanatory, easy changes, but you’d be surprised how much better you will feel applying them to your daily routine.

The List

  1. Push yourself to wake up earlier, get up before the rest of the world. Start with 7am then 6am, then 5:30am. On mornings when you feel extra motivated grab a blanket, get out and go to the best place nearby to watch the sunrise.
  2. Push yourself to get in bed earlier– start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. Also brew yourself some chamomile tea before bed. You will wake up the next morning feeling re-energized and ready for the day ahead.
  3. Get in the habit of cooking breakfast. MAKE SOME COFFEE (or tea, but I’m a coffee addict so it’s always gonna be coffee for me) Fry/scramble an egg, make some avocado toast, bake seasoned potatoes. Sit and eat and do nothing else. No phone, no Insta, no twitter, no snapchat, fb, whatever. Just you and your breakfast. Use this time to take in your surroundings, find things to be thankful for, say a prayer for your day ahead. Take in the moment.
  4. Stretch as soon as you get up. Reach for the sky as hard as you can, then try to touch your toes, roll your head, stretch your fingers, stretch EVERYTHING. After you get into the routine of doing this, try to fit time in for a morning yoga class once or twice a week.
  5. Start each day with a devotional. There are several free devotional apps to try out, or go to your local book store and buy a devotion book, my personal favorite is “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.
  6. Buy a 1L water bottle Begin by pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then twice a day. Daily water intake is crucial, it helps revitalize your skin and is a much healthier substitute to energy drinks and iced coffee… (this is a personal struggle for me and something I need to work on because ya girl loves her iced chai lattes and SWEET TEA… if you are a true southerner I’m sure you can also relate)
  7. Buy a planner (or make your own using any unused notebook). Write down everything you do. Dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffee dates, to do lists. No detail is too small.
  8. Buy a pretty journal and a silky black pen. Write down your goals, fears you want to overcome, things that make you happy, things that make you sad, start a bucket list. Write down what you dreamt about. Write down your prayers. Write down anything.
  9. Strip your bed of your sheets and empty your entire underwear drawer. Load them both into the washer. Put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in and wash them. Do this every week and a half or so. The feeling of clean sheets is just good for the soul.
  10. Organize your room. Fold and sort through all of your clothes (bag what you don’t want anymore… INCLUDING CLOTHES YOU HAVE NOT WORN IN YEARS THAT YOU KEEP IN YOUR CLOSET “JUST IN CASE” @ MYSELF…..and give to help those in need, I usually take mine to the Salvation Army.) Clean your mirrors, your laptop, vacuum the floor.
  11. Light a scented candle. Try out a different fragrance from what you are used to. It’s good to mix it up a bit.
  12. Have a luxurious shower (or bubble bath) with your favorite music playing. Wash your hair, do a deep conditioning treatment. Scrub your body with a sugar or salt scrub. Brush your teeth and try out a whitening treatment.
  13. Lather your whole body in moisturizer. The part in between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck… EVERYTHING. Your skin will thank you and love you forever. It’s amazing how much better you feel about yourself after you’ve treated yourself to a DIY spa day, and I’m all about self -love.
  14. Push yourself to go for a walk and bring your headphones. Smile at strangers walking the opposite way and you’ll be surprised by how many smile back.
  15. Bring your dog (if you have one) and observe your dog’s behavior. Realize that you can learn from your dog.
  16. Message old friends with inside jokes. Reminisce. Suggest to catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through, but still push yourself to follow through.
  17. Think about what interests you, find a book about it and read it. There is literally a book about everything.
  18. Become the person you would ideally fall in love with. Find the qualities you look for in a significant other, apply those qualities to your own life if you aren’t already doing so. It is so important to fall in love with yourself FIRST. If you can’t love yourself, how can you truly love anyone else?
  19. Let cars merge into your lane while driving. We are all in a hurry to get where we’re going, sometimes it’s good to slow down, take a breath, be courteous to others.
  20. Leave a few extra quarters in the parking machine for the next person. Pay it forward. Be the reason someone smiles, one small act of kindness can change someones entire day.
  21. Smile at babies, stick your tongue out at them, whatever you can to get them to smile back.
  22. Compliment people. Compliment people more. The more you help others feel better about themselves, the better you will feel about YOU.
  23. Challenge yourself not to ridicule anyone for a whole day. Then two days, then a whole week. It’s never okay to put someone down, especially not on purpose. Take a minute before sending that screenshot to the group message for everyone to roast and think about the fact that someone else might be doing the same exact to you… LADIES. (I’ve been guilty of this as well)
  24. Walk with straight posture. You’d be surprised how much of a difference this actually makes. Not only does it boost your own confidence, others will take you more seriously than how they usually would.
  25. Look people in the eye. Looking people in the eye directly can be somewhat intimidating for those who are shy and not as social, but eye contact allows you to be more personable when talking to someone and can actually help build your confidence in social situations.
  26. Ask people about what sets their soul on fire, talk to acquaintances and really get to know them so they become friends. Making new friends is always a good thing. Life can get pretty lonely sometimes, it’s good to have someone to go grab coffee with or talk with over the phone.
  27. Lie down in the sunshine on a warm day. Feel the warmth on your face, soak in the Vitamin D… it actually enhances your mood and revives your energy.
  28. Daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a real thing (because it really isn’t. The only true failure is not trying at all.)
  29. Open your eyes. Take small steps to make it happen for you.
  30. Find what sets your own soul on fire, find your passion, and love. Just love. Love yourself, love others, love animals, love whatever you want to love (maybe not love hard drugs though, bad idea!!! This is a list of improvement not self destruction) Love unconditionally. Love whole heartedly. Just love.

Truly find yourself in this season of your life. Let go of the darkness you’ve been going through, let go of what others have said about you that you’ve been holding onto. Let go of any and all negativity. Embrace the positives around you, because they are everywhere, you just have to set them apart. Be confident. You can do this.

Become the person that God designed you to be.

As always like to end my blogs with a verse that I feel applies to what I have written about (there’s literally a verse for every aspect of life, any challenge you’re going through, it’s actually amazing to know that God has everything covered for you, all in one place.) I have found one that ties in pretty perfectly, I will share the verse itself, and below it will put the translation from The Message bible.

***(side note, I am obsessed with The Message, I received this bible 10 years ago from my pastor when I went through confirmation… it translates the Word in a way that is so easy to understand and relate to, *note I was 12/13 at the time when I got it and it was easy for me to read back then so if you are interested in getting a new bible I 10/10 recommend getting The Message.)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” -Romans 12:1-2

The Message translation:

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you; Take your everyday, ordinary life– your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life– and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

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