Exercises to Boost Mental Health
Boulder has adjusted to a new version of normal and we understand the determination it has taken to take care of business. But we’re here to tell you that taking care of yourself is just as important.
As millions of Americans try to navigate the reality of dealing with their stress, Mental Health Awareness month comes around every May to remind us all that we’re not alone. Here are some simple steps to keep your mental state healthy during this time.
Take a Break from the News
When a global pandemic has presented itself, it’s only natural to keep a close eye on the news as it gives us a sense of control during a time of uncertainty.
However, what you feed your mind will eventually be felt by your body. Try to limit yourself by only watching or reading the news during certain times of the day. If you’re someone that likes to check on updates regularly, end your research with something positive (reading your favorite uplifting quotes/authors, inspiring stories in the news) or by participating in one of the activities below.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
If you’re feeling uneasy or uncertain about work or life, chances are someone you know is feeling the exact same way!
Don’t hesitate to reach out to family, friends or colleagues to express how you feel and discuss possible coping tactics. A task that may seem like a piece of cake for you during this time might be something someone else feels is difficult and vice versa. Talking your concerns out with a loved one is an easy way to form a new perspective on a stressful situation.
Staying home, lounging for extended periods of time, has made it easy to skip workouts or daily exercises. While we understand there may be a lack of motivation, what you may not know is that exercise and moving our bodies is more valuable to our health now more than ever!
It has been found that regular exercise can improve sleep patterns, reduce unwanted weight gain, relieve stress and even boost immunity. If you need a workout partner for some motivation, host a virtual workout session with a friend, or join an online fitness class of your choice (cardio, yoga, kickboxing etc). Set a goal and challenge yourself.
If you’re a beginner, check out our blog on easy at-home workouts!
Get Your Vitamin D
As the weather gets warmer and the sun starts to come out, don’t forget to spend time outside and absorb natural Vitamin D. Vitamin D can prevent our bodies from getting sick and is a natural mood booster that reduces fatigue.
Check out Boulder County for more information on the open trails around Boulder.
Of course don’t forget to wear sunscreen and practice social distancing!
A common, and effective way to quickly reduce stress and feeling of unease is by performing breathing exercises. If you find yourself agitated, stressed out or just need a relaxing break, try these techniques.
Release as much air as you can from your lungs and naturally let yourself inhale without much effort. This activity is used to lengthen your exhale which responds to your nervous system by instantly calming you down.
Another great breathing exercise is called “belly breathing”. To practice belly breathing, inhale deeply from your nose as your belly expands and slowly exhale from your mouth. Take note of how your breathing is affecting your body, and begin to come aware of your relaxed mental state. These exercises can easily be performed for a few minutes throughout the day when you feel they are needed.
Feelings of stress or being overwhelmed are a natural part of life whether there’s a pandemic or not, so being aware of your mental health and finding positive ways to implement solutions will definitely benefit you in the long run. Don’t forget to take a break now and then and check in on yourself!