Stressful situations are not easy to deal with, but rather than let yourself spiral into negative thoughts and unhealthy habits, you’ll want to do whatever you can to support your mental health.

It’s important now more than ever to give yourself what you need to get through difficult times. This can seem especially trying since we don’t have access to all the everyday mood boosters we typically have — workout classes, time with friends, meals at our favorite restaurants. But there are still some little things you can do to take care of your well-being at home.

When you’re not feeling totally yourself, it takes a little extra work to implement those good habits, but they pay off and can make getting through uncertain times just a little bit easier. Here are five hacks to take care of your mental well-being.

Stay active
You don’t have to force yourself into doing 45 minute HIIT exercises, but it is important to incorporate some movement into your routine. “There is a direct connection between movement and mental well-being,” says psychologist Dorian Crawford, PsyD. “A ten-minute walk can be as effective as a 20-minute yoga session guided by an app, working at a standing desk or simply getting up every half hour to stretch from head to toe. Your blood gets flowing, endorphins are elevated, and mood improves.”

FaceTime a friend
Social distancing can increase loneliness, and feeling alone is more likely to lead to depression and hopelessness. Avoid this by connecting with a friend or family member through virtual communications such as video chatting. “Modern technology has made it easier than ever to be a good friend or family member through apps, social media, and virtual phone calls,” says Crawford. “Seeing a person’s face, even on a screen, increases a sense of belonging and reduces anxiety.

Stay organized
“Clutter is a distraction that can make it hard to feel like you really have it all together,” says Crawford. “Reducing physical clutter eases the mind and reduces a sense of feeling overwhelmed.” The issue of clutter can be difficult to get under control for some more than others. Crawford suggests using an organizer to make a list. “Focus on only one project at a time (i.e. a drawer, a shelf, a closet), set timers to work for short bursts throughout the day, or wrangle a friend or family member who really enjoys putting things in their proper place to help.”

Treat yourself
Do something for yourself that makes you feel good, no matter how trivial or indulgent. “Having something to look forward to creates a sense of excitement and positive anticipation that boosts mental well-being,” says Crawford. “Is it a favorite movie? A warm bath with candles and a bath bomb? A homemade meal made from a treasured family recipe book? Painting or reading? Whatever that thing is, don’t put it off. Even the planning of it will be pleasurable and a mood booster.”

Schedule a telehealth call with a therapist
You don’t have to go at this alone. The modern age is allowing more options than ever to do remote therapy sessions through a system referred to as telehealth. Many of these options can include full therapist accessibility through a computer or phone. “It’s a way to work with someone who can provide you with support, give you suggestions to make changes and address more serious issues if they come up,” says Crawford. If therapy isn’t an option for you, we also recommend watching videos on FabFitFunTV for tips and tricks on how to practice gratitude, meditate, shift your perspective, and take care of your mental health overall. It’ll remind you that you’re not in this alone!

Every little thing you do for your mental health counts. You can’t change your circumstances, but you can change how you react to them, and you’ll want to set yourself up with the tools to ensure you maintain your well-being.

What are some things you’re doing to boost your mental well-being? Let us know in the comments below!

xx, The FabFitFun Team

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