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At-home activities to boost your happiness this mental health month

10 October 2022
At-home activities to boost your happiness this mental health month -  october hoy

October is mental health awareness month, and it is fair to say that, post-Covid, we are all a whole lot more aware of our own and other people’s mental health – of how important it is and how fragile it can be.

For most of us the Covid lockdown was our first experience of being confined to our homes for an extended period and being isolated from other people. And, for most of us it was probably the first time we realized just how important social interaction is for our mental health and well-being.

During this time many of us struggled with feelings of sadness, depression and anxiety and for some people it was a constant battle to keep the darkness at bay.

But the one thing we all learned through the lockdown experience was to appreciate our home environment and to make the most of it.

We discovered new activities. We started new hobbies. We established new habits and we found new ways of lifting our spirits and finding our joy – while being stuck at home and isolated from other people.

These are all valuable lessons that we can carry into the post-Covid world and fall back on when we need to boost our happiness and our mental health.

Here are some suggestions for inexpensive home activities which, if they are done on a regular basis, will help to enhance your mental wellbeing.

Write things down

Keep a gratitude journal. Each day write down at least three things you are grateful for.

You can include things that you enjoyed during your day and things that you achieved.

Also, try writing down the things that cause you anxiety. Just expressing these feelings often helps release stress and frustration.

Start your day doing something you love

Set your mood for the day by doing something you love first thing.

It may be watching the sunrise while drinking a cup of good coffee.

It may be a soak in a scented bubble bath, or a physical workout followed by a hot shower.

If you start your day doing something you love, you will feel more positive about the day ahead.

Do some colouring

Colouring-in isn’t just for kids and it doesn’t require any great artistic ability.

Adult colouring books are now readily available, and you don’t need to buy expensive crayons.

Although colouring requires a high level of focus, it is not mentally taxing and so it is both relaxing and creative.

Treat yourself to a special bath

A deep and delicious- smelling bath can improve your sleep quality and your state of mind. Add some aromatic oils, lotions or bubbles to the water, light some candles in the bathroom, play some soothing music and just relax.

For as long as it feels good.

Dance – like no-one is watching

Dance is a fun form of exercise, and it is a well-known fact that exercise is good for reducing stress and anxiety.

Dancing is good for the heart and the mind. It gets the blood pumping and releases endorphins – the feel-good chemicals which make us feel happier and less anxious about life.

Dancing helps us escape repetitive negative thoughts and worries.

Studies have shown that dancing for just 25 minutes can reduce the symptoms of depression by 47 percent.

Look at old photographs

It's official! Looking at old photos is more relaxing than meditating.

New research has shown that people find looking back at old photos even more relaxing than meditating. 

Our photographs remind us of people, pets, places and activities that we love and help us to remember good experiences in the past.

Looking back at treasured memories evokes feelings of positivity and happiness which, in turn, reduce stress and enhance our mood and overall wellbeing.

Start a bucket list

A bucket list is all about the future.

It’s about our hopes and dreams and aspirations.

The great thing about a bucket list is that it focuses on something to look forward to, something to strive for and something to feel excited about.

These feelings can positively impact our mental and physical health.

Cook for your friends

If you enjoy being in the kitchen, this is a great way to combine two feel good activities. Cooking is creative and relaxing but cooking for friends in your own home is especially rewarding.

Food always tastes better when it is shared with others.

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