Changing things up just slightly this week. Instead of the usual 5 segments, here are 5 things you can do to improve your mental health and your happiness right now.
I swear the rainy weather has nothing to do with why I went this direction today (maybe a little).
1. 🚶 Go for a walk
I’ll be the first to admit that I was dead wrong about walking.
I wrote about it in a short piece on Medium, but the even shorter tl;dr (too long, didn’t read) is that I hurt my back on a damn elliptical machine and haven’t been able to exercise…except for walking.
Turns out that:
Walking 3 miles burns more calories on average than running 1
It’s a great way to reflect and reconnect with nature
My best ideas come from walks
I’m 10x happier on the days that I walk
It’s fantastic for my mental health
Sure, more rigorous exercise absolutely slays the mental health dragon, but for those of us who can’t (or are working back up to it), walking is an awesome alternative.
In fact, I think it might be the new meta.
2. 📝 Accomplish a task
The other morning while feeling particularly anxious and scatterbrained before starting work, I decided to stop and put away the dishes. I threw on music, unloaded the dishwasher, and afterward felt a good bit better.
It felt like I had pushed the reset button on my focus and motivation for the day. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I felt accomplished and was able to carry that momentum into the rest of my morning.
Accomplishing small, but satisfying tasks are a great way to boost your self-esteem and improve your anxiety.
3. 🤣 Watch something funny
They say laughter is the best medicine.
Though that’s not entirely true (some medicines are quite potent), it is a hell of a quick fix for a crummy day. Watching something funny, such as a comedy special or TV show, triggers the release of “happy hormones” that provide a burst of relief (albeit somewhat short-lived).
For longer-term effects, simply watch even more comedy. Positive inputs from laughing slowly rewire your brain over time, and if you’re really looking to up the effectivity, watch with friends. Laughing with others leads to deeper friendships, stronger feelings of inclusion, and a greater sense of community - all important pillars when it comes to your mental health.
4. 🎮 Play a video game
Don’t listen to what those older folks tell you. Playing video games can actually be good for your mental health.
They’re a great way to unwind, take your mind off stress, achieve “goals” (in-game goals, but whatever, they count), and connect with friends.
5. 🎵 Listen to music
These days if I’m at home, I’ve probably got my headphones on listening to music. Hell, I’m even doing it right now while writing this (lo-fi beats from Spotify).
Music has been proven to have many positive effects on both your brain and your mental health.
Don’t believe me? Give it a shot for yourself. You’ve really got nothing to lose.
That’s all for this week’s newsletter. Hope you enjoyed it!
P.S. Follow me on Twitter for tips and advice on writing, psychology, self-improvement, entrepreneurship, and more!