Updated: May 30, 2022
Here is where Mental Fitness begins!
Dose of honesty, I never thought about mental health or mental fitness as something to do every day. The idea to create an actual mental fitness plan, like a physical fitness plan. No, this is not something I would think about doing. What exactly does one do for a mental fitness daily program? I'll get to that in a little bit. I must slow myself down because I get so excited to share.
I never realized the importance of mental health. It certainly doesn’t help that mental health was presented as something that is bad. Something that we do not talk about. Mental health was hush hush. Sssshhhh….don’t talk about it! Does that sound familiar?
Talking and thinking about mental health has changed for me for several reasons. First and foremost, my training in Brain Health and Neuro Linguistics has impacted my life to talk about mental health. Plus expand my business to present to groups, businesses, organization and to individuals delivering impactful information regarding our internal narrative or dialog that is running havoc in our lives. We hold the key to change the narrative.
We are hearing more and more about mental health in the news and social media outlets. This is a good place to start. What we really need are resources, tools and tips provided to the public to start taking active action to checking their own mental well-being. We need more of the: How to check in? How to make mental fitness a priority in our daily routine? Why it is important to create a mental fitness program? Later in this piece you will discover ways to creating your mental fitness program.
Mental fitness is necessary, it is a MUST DO for individuals to practice daily. Just like physical fitness, mental fitness must be a priority for individuals to conduct daily. Especially after the pandemic we all endured. Since 2020, the mental health crisis is at an all-time high. Individuals are struggling with their mental health. Most individuals worldwide are struggling with mental health. STRUGGLING!Did I say, struggling!? Strug….gl…ing!?
When is the last time you thought about your mental health? Have you ever thought about your mental health, mental well-being, how about mental fitness? Be honest with yourself.
Are you like me, raised to NOT talk about mental health? It was taboo and still is (in my opinion). It was the subject matter that we were taught never to talk about. We were taught, mental health is when you go crazy or for the crazies. I use the words I was taught. I am not saying mental health is for crazies. I want to make it clear that these were words I heard growing up. I am sure you have a few selected words, you heard growing up. Be Honest!
When you hear mental health, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Take a moment and write down what your thoughts are about mental health. Where did your thoughts about mental health originate? Be Honest!
My hope this blog will help guide you to start taking your mental health serious. And start practicing mental fitness daily. I don’t know about you…shall we start a new movement. Who is with me!? Will you be with me to “STOMP OUT THE STIGMA” of mental health?
Let's do it! #stompoutthestigma
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Napolean Hill
This is what you have been waiting for. I know it took a bit to get here. But it was worth the wait... right? Let's start digging into the ways you can start today by checking in with your mental well-being. Plus create your mental fitness program.
How to Check In with Your Mental Health
When we have the goal of improving our mental wellness, the first step is learning how to check in with our feelings and mood patterns.
Ready to try it out? Take a few minutes to think about these questions:
How am I feeling?
If you’re not feeling genuinely good, take a moment to think deeper and pinpoint what emotions you have been experiencing.
How is my body feeling?
Stress shows up in your physical body in addition to the mind. Are your shoulders tight? Is your jaw clenched? Are you having trouble breathing deeply? Is your heart racing? Are you feeling nauseous or queasy? These are all physical symptoms of mental stress.
What’s taking up the most headspace right now?
What’s on your mind? Is there a specific worry that keeps tapping you on the shoulder? Are you overwhelmed with an upcoming project, task, or decision that you must make? Do you feel as though there’s a relationship in your life that’s somehow being jeopardized?
When we take the time to ask ourselves these questions, we become better adjusted to the idea of thinking through our thoughts instead of just letting them ruminate in our minds. Practicing regular check-ins will help you sort through your feelings and help ensure that you’re not taking out your anger, worry, or stress on those around you. Furthermore, by verbalizing your emotions with yourself, you begin to develop a broader vocabulary for describing your feelings, thus gaining better emotional literacy.
SETTING REMINERS! Getting in the practice of checking in.
Our lives are full of distractions, so it can be difficult to find the time or headspace to check in with our mood. If you’re the type of person who struggles with holding themselves accountable, try one of these methods for integrating check-ins into your routine:
Set reminders throughout the day to quickly check in on a scale from 0 (‘not at all’) to 10 (‘extremely’) of how stressed, anxious, or down you’re feeling.
Another option is to find a buddy to check in with. Whether it’s a longer conversation once a week or hopping on a quick call to share highs and lows from the day, partnering with someone (or a small group of people) will help hold you accountable. Plus, you’ve got a built-in support system!
Repeat this practice over a span of a few weeks to get a better gauge on how you’re coping with the stress in your life. It’s normal for some days to be worse than others, but if your scores are remaining high over the course of a week or two, it’s time to make your mental health a higher priority.
GOT HOPE? How are you feeling about the future?
A quick way to check in with your mental health is to ask yourself whether you’re feeling excited or hopeful about the future. If you’re not excited about the direction your day, week, month, or year is going in, it’s probably time to pay extra attention to your mental health.
So how do we help ease the feeling of hopelessness? Begin by playing devil’s advocate with yourself.
When you’re feeling hopeless, you talk yourself out of trying new things because you feel there’s no point. Due to this lack of action, your hopelessness wins, and your negative thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So, make the decision to doubt your hopelessness! Take a moment to consider that you could be wrong, and maybe even experiment with some optimism.
If optimism seems hard right now, try doing something new. Let go of how you’ve been thinking and acting if they haven’t been working for you. If you’re complaining, avoiding, or participating in other actions that aren’t beneficial, try something new!
Can you think of any actions, thoughts, or patterns that you’re engaging in that are no longer serving you? Can you think of any changes you can make that might help you create a brighter outlook for yourself and your future?
NODDING OFF? Are you feeling well-rested?
Do you feel tired all the time? If so, you probably need to make sleep a bigger priority.
Even though it’s seen as a badge of honor to operate on less sleep, I’m here to remind you that it’s okay to go to bed early, nap when you need to, and wake up after 8 AM.
Just because there are some people out there who can operate on 5 or 6 hours of sleep doesn’t mean that your body is able to do the same thing. While it’s true that the average amount of sleep we need is 7-9 hours, some of us need as many as 10 hours each night.
Being sleep deprived is disruptive to both our mental and physical health and has been linked to issues ranging from a weakened immune system to anxiety and depression. This is because sleep allows our bodies to repair themselves and our brain to consolidate our memories and process information.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or staying on a regular sleep schedule, experiment with creating a nighttime routine. This means coordinating a series of activities, tasks, or rituals that help cue your body to prepare for sleep. Here are a few ideas:
- Switch overhead lights to soft ambient lighting after sunset. - Invest in a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses to help with eye strain if you enjoy using screens at nighttime. - Start a simple skin-care routine. - Prepare a special tea or snack to help you relax. - Start reading before bedtime. - Try a short yoga routine or some stretches to wind down. - Redecorate and de-clutter your bedroom to make it more comfortable and calming.
What does your bedtime routine look like? Is there room for improvement?
WHO IS BRINGING ME DOWN? Do you spend your time with positive people?
Sometimes, unintentionally, we surround ourselves with people who bring us down. These people are generally negative and may spend a lot of time either complaining about their own lives or complaining about other people. They might seek attention from those around them by creating drama. You might feel drained or tired after spending time with them.
Now, think of people in your life who have a more positive attitude and outlook on the future. They see the possibilities that lay ahead and are supportive of the victories that their loved ones accomplish. If you don’t know anyone who fits this description, it’s time to make some new friends.
Would you rather spend your time laughing, talking, sharing, and experiencing each day in an uplifting way? If so, the only way to accomplish this is by surrounding yourself with people who share that same vision.
GIVING THANKS! Gratitude 101
Incorporating a gratitude practice into your routine can be a fantastic tool for coping with your mental health. If you’re not familiar with the benefits of gratitude, here are a few highlights.
Gratitude opens the door for better relationships. This is because people love feeling appreciated, and being open about your appreciation of those around you will make both parties more willing to seek an ongoing friendship.
Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, like envy, resentment, frustration, and regret. In fact, there is a multitude of studies that confirm the link between gratitude and well-being. Additionally, gratitude has been found to increase empathy and reduce aggression by encouraging a more prosocial outlook.
Here are some easy ways to practice and cultivate gratitude in your daily life:
- Write a thank-you note, send a text, or make a call to tell someone you’re grateful to have them in your life. - If reaching out directly to someone isn’t an option, thank them mentally. - Keep a gratitude journal to write in every day. - Create a ritual, like lighting a candle every night in honor of the blessings you have in your life, and take that time to quietly reflect on things you’re grateful for.
Do you practice gratitude?
DOES IT SPARK JOY? DIY Mood Busters
If you’re feeling stuck in a mental rut, climbing your way out can sometimes seem impossible. Here are a few baby steps you can take when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or especially down:
- Lower your shoulders and release your jaw. We tend to hold tension in these places, so bring awareness to them when you’re feeling stressed out. - Talk to a stranger. We’re social beings, so talking to a stranger can give you a small boost of endorphins that boost your mood. - Change your scenery. If you’ve been huddled in your bedroom all day, just moving to the living room can make a world of difference. Better yet, if you’re able to, take a walk outside and get some fresh air. - Take a power stance: https://hbs.me/2RQP6yw - Act out some happy movements. Even if you’re not feeling ecstatic, things like skipping, jumping, or even just throwing your hands in the air, can make you feel happier. - Watch a cute video or find a funny meme page to scroll through.
What do you typically do to make yourself feel better?
EMBRACE TEAMWORK! Getting the support, you need.
Our personal health and wellness are in our own hands, but sometimes all that we can do for ourselves still doesn’t feel like enough. If you’ve taken steps to create a better mental health care routine and still aren’t coping with your emotions in a way that makes you feel hopeful, happy, or proud, it’s time to turn to the help of others.
At the end of the day, all the tools we discussed, are just that—tools. They’re not cures for serious illnesses and chemical imbalances. So if you ever find yourself feeling anxious or sad for more than two weeks, it’s time to reach out to professionals and expand your care team.
If you’re not sure where to start in the process of getting help, begin by letting me know. As a wellness professional, I’ll be able to connect you with the information, programs, and support your need to start feeling better.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out—I’m here for you.
YOUR Mental Wellness Matters
Now you know a few ways to check in with your own mental wellenss. Please share this information with your family and friends. The only way we will STOMP OUT THE STIGMA is by sharing and talking with those we know, love and care about.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to read my blog! One thing for sure is your time is one of your most valuable commodity. And I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. I certainly hope you gained insight into why you want to continue your mental wellness voyage. I hope you learned something valuable. There are options for eveyone to find what works for them to support brain health and mental wellness.
Are you disembarking your old voyage about mental health being taboo and embarking on a new voyage, by checking in on your own mental well-being! Please tell me that you are making this shift in your life! Love to hear from you in the comments below.
Services Available: at https://www.saylorsjourney.com/book-online
Wellness Programs: Reboot Your Brain, Brain Thrive by 25
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The above list of programs are available online or live. Stomping Out Your ANT is a big hit with companies and organization to introduce the topic of Mental Fitness.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding Cindy presenting at your next event, conference or staff meeting.