Times are tough. In the midst of the winter blues and the ongoing pandemic, it’s never been more important to take care of yourself. And I don’t just mean avoiding COVID-19, I also mean your mind, body, and soul. On that note, here are some simple ways to boost your mental health without spending any money whatsoever.
1. Spend Time Outside 🌞
Leaving your house when you’re sad may seem like an impossible task, but the rewards are unmatched. The Covid-19 pandemic has also made it extremely difficult to leave the house, especially when considering safety. Find any excuse to go outside, such as walking your dog or going for an afternoon stroll to get coffee. Little activities such as these will help you remain calm, give you time to think and reconnect with yourself. In fact, studies show that increased time spent outside is associated with better health and well-being. Don’t underestimate the power of nature in improving your mood!
2. Move your Body 💪
Similar to going outside, getting your body moving in some way is shown to improve physical and mental health outcomes. According to scholars at the Harvard Medical School, regular exercise can reduce common symptoms of depression. You don’t have to do trendy high-intensity workouts to stave off the blues. In actuality, simply moving your body for 20 minutes in a mindful manner can have a positive impact on your mental health. Try getting started with one of my favorite yoga YouTubers, Yoga with Adriene!
3. Stock up Food 🍕
So, you’d love to leave the house or exercise if you could, but it seems too daunting of a task. Sometimes it’s too difficult to get out of bed, especially with everything going on in the world right now. This advice requires some prepping. It’s a great idea to have easy snacks and meals on hand when you’re feeling too sad to cook. That way, you can resist the urge to order food using expensive delivery services! The cost of ordering food adds up quickly, so it’s best to stock up on the essentials. Some of the best and easiest depression meals include nachos, sandwiches, eggs, steamed veggies, soup, cereal, and smoothies.
4. Spend Time with Friends and Family 🥰
It’s easy to want to isolate yourself when you’re not feeling your best. Spending time alone is important! But if you want to snap out of a funk it is often helpful to seek out company from friends and family. If you don’t want to spend time with family or friends because you think that they wouldn’t be supportive, you can look into this next option…
5. Join Online Support Groups 🤍
Finding some sort of community that fits your needs or interests is vital when it comes to improving your mental health. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in those feeling depressive or anxious symptoms. You’re not alone! Use an app such as Wisdo, which aims to provide an alternative to other social media apps by cultivating an empathetic community where friends can support each other without judgment!
6. Look into No Cost Therapy Options 📝
Sometimes you just need a good talk with a professional mental healthcare worker. Money is the greatest barrier people face when they need access to mental health services. The world of psychology can be an intimidating place to navigate, but there are ways to access free to cheap therapy. Many therapists are covered by insurance and others who are not covered often offer a sliding scale according to what you can afford. Don’t be afraid to ask a potential therapist about their sliding scale. There are also sometimes free community mental health clinics that may be able to fit your needs.
7. Volunteering 🛠️
You may not automatically associate volunteering with improved mental health, but the UK Mental Health Foundation reports that helping others can reduce stress and improve your mood and general well-being. Helping others can increase your own support network by creating and strengthening social connections! Look up volunteering opportunities in your area or try to add in random acts of kindness into your day. It may surprise you how much helping others can help yourself.
So you want to improve your mental health? Some of the simpler options include spending time outside, moving your body, volunteering, and hanging out with friends and family. If these tasks are too difficult, it may be time to stock up on depression meals, look into online support groups, or even check out free to low-cost therapy options. And, remember! You are not alone in how you’re feeling. If you’re really feeling depressed make sure you reach out to those closest to you for help. We will all get through this together!