2020 has been rough. With the constant borage of the news and an underlying uncertainty of the future it may be difficult to maintain a certain level of contentment or happiness. Stress, depression, overwhelm, worry and doubt are just some of the many ills affecting us as we move into the holiday season. Which can, for some, add a lot more stress on their plate, and not just for the feasts. It’s increasingly important to focus on your mental health as we approach the New Year. Here are some Wise Tips for your happy home:
1 – Plants
Add living plants to your abode. Try plants that don’t take much time to care for. Pathos, Snake Plants, Fiddle Leaf Fig, or any number of cacti or succulents. Sprucing up your window sills can help you feel like there’s more life around! Even in the dead of winter.
2 – Go For Walks
Get outside in the daytime sun as much as possible. They say Vitamin D helps boost your mood, aids Vitamin C in assisting your immune system, and helps keep your skin looking young and vibrant! Leaving your home, or office, for a daytime stroll can clear your head and help stave off some unwanted weight. If you’re up for it, go for a hike and really get the blood flowing.
3 – Diet
We don’t mean “Go on a diet’ but focus on your diet. Eating all those delicious candies and sweets, fried foods and cheesy delights may make you feel good in the moment, but they can really steal energy from you, leaving you lethargic and typically hungry for more. Break the cycle by adding those healthy things into each meal or snack. You’ll really start noticing a difference!
4 – Get Together
Yes, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit with friends in a myriad of ways. Meet friends and family at a park or go on a hike. Take the dog for a walk around the neighborhood with a neighbor. Set up Zoom dates and Facebook Chatrooms with your loved ones and acquaintances. Even though we are to distance that does not mean we are to stop interacting and building relationships, new and old alike. Just remember to stay safe and keep yourself healthy.
5 – Start Something New
Keep yourself active, either physically or mentally. Download the Duolingo app and begin learning a new language. Get a painting set and try your hand with color. Set up an exercise area in your house, watch some videos for calisthenics training, yoga, or pilates and start a new regimen in the morning or evening. Read a new book, that one that’s been collecting dust in the corner of your room. Learn a new card game or board game with your family and friends. Whatever it is you’re doing, make sure it’s something other than sitting around on the computer or watching tv.
6 – Breathe. Laugh. Relax.
When things get you down the most, or stress creeps up on you, do these three basic things to help your body and help yourself. First, pay attention to your breathing. Take deep, slower breaths for a minute or two. Then, put a big smile on your face and laugh. It’s ok if it feels fake, it’s the action that’s important. This will trick your mind into releasing dopamine, thereby making you happy. And last, relax! Release your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Unclench your jaw. Lower your shoulders. Maybe even lay down on the floor or stretch. Allow your body to relax and you’ll soon see you feel a little better.
And if you live in Colorado, you have a plethora of activities to do in the winter that are outdoors. Even when the weather is poor, it won’t be long till the sun is out again, the skies are blue, and the temperature is rising.
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