Further to Part 1 of my natural mental health tool kit. When someone tells you (in a relaxed setting) to stop frowning, even when you are not, because your wisdom lines are so profound; you know that you need to tone it down, and therefore take care of your mental health, combined with your physical and emotional health. It all links. Now for the next 15 natural mental health solutions that yours truly applies and swears by, literally:
16. Natural supplements - Ashwagandha and St Johns Wort
Nothing wrong with an extra helping hand, and these herbal elixirs are a joy to consume. Ashwagandha is a natural adaptogen that is designed to keep the body in balance. If stress is all consuming; this is a go to supplement. St John's Wort is great in enhancing one's mood. If in doubt, a naturopath or herbalist can assist. NB: I do not get any commissions from Wanderlust for sharing these supplements with the world. And this is no substitute for traditional medical treatment and advice.
There is a Girl Math trend that spending (for example) $200 on a rock concert is similar to the hourly fee to see a Psychiatrist, and the knock on benefits are the same. Given the choice, all of us would lean towards attending a feel good event (it does not need to be a rock concert; even a yoga retreat can boast similar effects) rather than seeing a Psychiatrist. Both are important. Of course, medical attention is needed if your mental illness/es are severe. For example, yours truly spent 75 minutes at a Xavier Rudd concert last weekend (as at the time of writing), following on from some juicy yoga flows and personal development at a Wanderlust event. The music is electric, and the positive beats just gel into your psyche. Which leads to...
18. Personal development (watch those thoughts)
There is a saying by Dr John Demartini that what you think about (and thank about - thank you gratitude) you bring about. I am now specifically referring to the Law of Attraction; but to engage in some form of inner work that you need for the sake of your mental health. This could be anything from dispelling anything from limiting beliefs and emotions, to NLP, and even doing some inner child healing. You can read books, or attend a seminar on such if that resonates. Otherwise, these are a couple of go to YouTube channels that I would recommend to help you sharpen that blunt saw (we all need to do that from time to time): The Rosey Life, Andrea Schulman, and the Law of Attraction Solutions to name.
Each to their own on this one, yet engaging in some form of further study really expands the mind, and causes us to think differently. If enrolling in a Diploma of Mental Health is your thing, then go ahead and do that. I recently wrote about how my recent enrolment and study in the Google Data Analytics Certification had benefitted my mental health, even though things did not go according to plan, due to a sudden surge in my normal freelance work. I am pleased to say that the surge is still alive and kicking, thanks to this particular Google certification. If you wish, you can read this article by clicking here.
Discovering new places and experiences is enrichment for the soul, and that has to nourish the limbic brain.
Travelling is awesome personally, as it always gives me something to look forward to. From receiving CBT for depression in the past; activity scheduling is a key task and takeaway for uplifting one's low mood. That's right, to have more and more things to look forward to.
Short term escapes also enable you to be served and looked after by others, and to see and appreciate things from a different perspective.
Beautiful fragrances and scents exude relaxation in most people. Take it or leave it.
The candle flame exudes presence and grounded-ness, and is another form of meditation.
Candles are thankfully affordable, and they are beautiful. They uplift any personal space. Versatile to use, both near a bath tub, on a coffee table, and on your home office desk to name.
Candles remind me of gratitude and joy, and that things are more than ok. It is safe to relax. It is safe to live in abundance.
22. Decorating the home
There is no need to go all out and invest in new furniture; yet if this is something that you are inspired to do, and you can afford to do so, then why not. Otherwise it is easy for many of us (depending on your living situation of course) to move some furniture items around. Moving a home office desk closer to the window does wonders. The subtle things make the world of difference. A refresh could be as simple as investing in a pot plant to have on the side of your coffee table, and/or on your desk.
23. Trying out a new hobby
Engaging in new past-times sets up new neural networks in the brain, and once again the excitement and/or happiness prior to engaging in such gives us humans something new to look forward to.
This also sits in the category of engaging in activities that not only bring joy, but even those that you do not do on the regular. For example, if pottery sessions resonate, then go ahead and book it in. Maybe enrolling in a seafood cooking session might be your jam. Whatever you do, the aim is to be a driver (be in the drivers seat) of your destiny, and to be involved in the actual experience. It is no different to when we built sandcastles as little ones on the beach. New activities enable people to surrender, and to really go with the flow.
24. Personal hygiene
Whatever floats your boat there, from waxing to shaving, and everything in between. See brushing and flossing your teeth as a joy rather than a chore, and you are also less likely to feed your dentists retirement fund. The same goes for hair cuts, and other forms of body maintenance. Ladies, paint those nails on the regular. Mixing up nail polish colours is super fun, in addition to being on the right side of chic. Trust me, you miss your shower and bath during bathroom repair and renovation works. Using a shower at the local gym in such circumstances is not the same as using your own.
25. Staying in tune with ones cycle
Ladies, this can (and does) mean your menstrual cycle, so that you can fine tune diet, and time for more rest a week before your cycle. There is a time for yang and manifesting, and a time for yin and relaxation. Respect the cycles of the moon (new and full moons especially), and of life. If certain people, events, and circumstances trigger you; aim to either minimise and/or avoid those situations. If not, come up with some quality coping mechanisms. To help you along, and (say, for example) you experience panic attacks; ask yourself how you can avoid them? For example, there was a student who I was looking after, who gets panic attacks in certain exams. Coping strategies that surfaced included engaging in some practice exams at home under exam conditions, and taking note of which question/s and/or topic/s trigger such panic attacks. Collecting such data can help in making the right decisions.
26. Respecting your own healthy boundaries
Learn to say no to unreasonable demands that zap your time and/or energy, and those that can bring on anxiety.
For example, yours truly has a male platonic best friend, but due to current circumstances on his end, we cannot progress to a romantic relationship right now. There are times where (if he wants to kiss me on the mouth) I have to remind him of our status, and to tell him to politely back off. At the same time, edification is needed on how valuable his friendship is to my life, and vice versa.
27. Limit screen time
Easier said than done, and I am guilty as charged. Find out how you can engage in a digital detox. One of the simplest situations is to leave your phone at home if you do not need it. Time in nature is the reward, and is our natural programming. Every time that time is spent in nature, and/or in weightlifting outdoors; the phone is banned, and it stays at home for me personally. It is not missed. This is a bit trickier if you are meeting people. Just be mindful. Out of sight, out of mind. If the Internet was out for a day, we would all leave the home and properly talk to people again. How liberating would that truly be? You do not miss the phone, tablet and/or other technical device.
28. Limit social media use
When you limit screen time, you limit your time spent on social media. Likes in real life, in seeing and speaking to other people in the flesh is natural to us humans. We are social creatures. Our smartphones and other devices are not meant to be glued to our hands, ears, or eyes. There is some value in social media, but let's face it, many of the posts are empty and meaningless. And some are ridded with advertising.
As a child, it was more liberating kicking a soccer ball with friends in the park, than it is to play video games for endless amounts of time. Just saying.
29. Decluttering your personal space / home
A spring clean is a glorious feeling at any time of the year. More and more businesses are offering incentives for you to donate a few items of unwanted clothing. It is becoming more and more easier to recycle once-upon-a-time wanted items, that brought you joy in the past. Pass it on. eBay and Gumtree are great sources for making a bit of extra moolah for selling some unwanted items. Not only will you feel lighter and happier; you could make some serious coin in this process.
This process could make you feel worse before feeling better on the onset, but stick with it. Your mental health could very well surprise you in return.
This is even as simple as making your bed. Some people with depression would love to have a clean room and home. I get that this can be easier said than done when the tank is empty due to mental health challenges; however, when there is a will, there is a way.
30. Gratitude and positive thinking / affirmations / ask-firmations
Gratitude means a great attitude. Therefore it all makes sense. When you focus on what is working, and for what is going great in your life (no matter how simple); engaging in such a natural, feel good and uplifting strategy gives you more and more things to appreciate. More abundance, absolutely. Affirmations (even ask-firmations, of which is just a different spin on affirmations) helps you focus on what you want, which is wellness.
Is there anything else that you would add to your natural mental health tool kit/first aid box? Feel free to share below, if you wish. Thank you so much.
I shall leave you with a song called Gratitude, and is spoken by Dr John Demartini himself:
About the Creator
Freelance Internet Moderator/UX Writer/UX Consulting Designer/Graphic Designer
Lives in Sydney, Australia. Loves life.
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
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