The notion of millennials being exhausted to the point of burnout isn’t anything new. Between the stress of social media, the gig economy, and living in a world that feels increasingly more uncertain, it’s little surprise that we’re exhausted. Not to mention, our mental well-being is suffering.
And the evidence is there. Depression among younger millennials may be on the rise. Men in this generation are losing their hair at an earlier age. And since the 2016 election, there’s been a significant increase in the negative mental health of college-level students.
So how do we look after our mental well-being when it seems like the world is primed against us getting better?
For me, assessing and creating small, manageable tools to look after my mental health really helped. Each time I implemented a new practice, I tracked the effects for progress. And while these tools aren’t shiny, fancy, or feature many hashtagable products, they’ve been a huge asset in positively improving my mental well-being.
That said, caring for your mind shouldn’t add stress to your life. To do this, though, I found that it should involve small, achievable rituals that I’m excited to do on a day-to-day basis. And if you can do them from the comfort of your own home – or even bed – all the better! So if you’re feeling lost as to where to begin, check out my five top tips below.
1. The power of ‘no’
Growing up, many people were taught that the use of the word “no” had to be followed by a long explanation or excuse. I’ve learned that “no” is a complete sentence and helps build boundaries in relationships.
Using the power of “no” can help prevent you from burning out throughout the week. You may need to say “no” if you’re feeling overloaded at work or in your relationships. Whenever I make a commitment, I ask myself if that commitment is benefiting or subtracting from my mental health. Ultimately, it’s important to know and define your limitations.
2. Get into journaling
This is one of my favorites because it costs little to no money. Journaling can help you manage anxiety, reduce stress, and cope with depression. It can help to improve your mood by allowing you to prioritize fears, problems, and concerns.
Moreover, it allows you to track symptoms that you might have because of a mental health condition on a daily basis. This will allow you to recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them. Journaling can be done the old-fashioned way – paper and pen – or by using the notes section in your phone.
3. Bedroom yoga
I know you’ve heard about the power of yoga dozens of times, but let’s be real, some days the act of showering on its own can be a chore, never mind getting an hour session in at your local yoga studio.
I’ve recently tapped into the power of YouTube yoga classes and have discovered a few “under 10 minutes” routines that have helped me feel like I accomplished something that day. During personal bouts of depression, I would feel useless and unaccomplished. But knowing that I achieved one thing helped boost my thoughts throughout the day.
4. Appreciation lists
I was introduced to this lovely tactic at a Sad Girls Club meeting. The rules are super straight forward: Keep a pad near your bed and each night before you fall asleep, write out a list of 10 positive moments that happened throughout the day.
Choosing 10 makes the list a bit more challenging, but also helps you reflect on the tiny highlights of your day. When you’re feeling down, you can reflect on the list of beautiful past moments that made you happy.
5. Create a ‘finsta’ account
Social media can be a gift and a curse. But if you find the pressure to keep up a “perfect persona” on traditional social media platforms exhausting, then a finsta may be perfect for you. This platform, a type of second Instagram account, offers a more unfiltered experience.
On your finsta account, you can be as silly and unpolished as you’d like while remaining in the know with friends and accounts that inspire you. This type of account helps you speak freely without fear of judgment from work colleagues or family members.
Finsta can also help you look after your mental well-being. In fact, finsta has helped many members of Sad Girls Club share their mental health journeys and stories, not to mention reach out for advice.
Looking after your mental well-being shouldn’t mean making your life more stressful
While it’s important to look after your mental health, no matter what state it may be in, doing so shouldn’t add stress to your life. Instead, I encourage you to create a list of rituals you’re excited to apply to your day-to-day schedule.
Journaling and bedroom yoga can be beginning steps in creating your very own set of mental health rituals. By curating a to-do list that’s unique to you, your schedule, and your mental health, you can start working toward improving your mental well-being.
Originally published on Healthline.
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