Life is busy and often challenging, and you might feel like you’re running as fast as you can to stay one step ahead. Work, family, social ties, self-care — all of these are important but can feel draining if you’re doing too much. One of the best ways to boost your mental health is to find balance in all areas of your life. Here are a few daily activities to improve mental health.
When you’re out of balance, you might feel stressed out and generally unhappy. You might even develop physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach distress or fatigue. In short, you’ll stop feeling like your best self.
When this happens, take a pause. Disconnect and move into a space that makes you feel safe and secure. Take a bubble bath or a hike in the woods, or curl up on the couch with a cup of tea. Whatever you choose, try to carve out a set time each day to give yourself the mental and physical space to sort things out.
The next step is to analyze your feelings. Some people like to write in a physical or digital journal. Others prefer meditating or simply thinking things through. Many do best by discussing it with a trusted relative, friend or therapist. Either way, name your feelings, such as resentment or anger, and try to identify what’s making you feel that way.
Often, when out of balance, nothing is really “wrong.” You might be fine with your job, friends, partner, and kids, but it’s all too much when taken together. If this is what’s happening with you, focus on your priorities. Determine your key goals in each area of your life, and decide how you want to pursue them. Then work on delegating everything that doesn’t help you meet your goals.
Everyone has different priorities (and stressors), so now is the time to determine yours. This might mean asking your kids to run errands, hiring a housekeeper, or getting your boss to reassign nonessential projects. Or it could mean learning to say no to extensive social obligations like hosting major events.
Sometimes, you’ll need to make bigger changes to find balance. Is the amount of travel your job requires getting to be too much? Do you serve on too many volunteer committees? If you decide that finding balance means making larger adjustments, take some time to think through your alternatives. The last thing you want to do is make hasty decisions that could put you even further out of balance.
Implement changes and reassess
When you’re ready, implement the changes you’ve identified. After a few days, weeks, or months (depending on how significant the adjustments were), take the time to reassess. Finding balance can be tricky, and you may need to tweak your plans along the way. But the positivity you will feel when you get it right is well worth the effort.