Holistic Practices to Improve Your Mood and Promote Good Mental Health
While going through the day-to-day, we often neglect taking the time and attention to look internally at our thoughts, feelings, and overall mental health.
Perhaps it’s the stigma associated with it, brushing it aside as unimportant, or just being too exhausted to want to use the emotional effort to confront what could be weighing us down.
May is Mental Health Awareness month, and it serves as. Good reminder that wellness is about more than taking care of only the physical health of our bodies.
In fact, one in five Americans deal with mental illness each year, meaning there’s a good likelihood you, or someone you love may be going through some struggles.
And just like any other health concerns, ignoring the problem is never a good way to deal. We get it may feel overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a list of helpful techniques to become proactive about your mental health and “beat the blah” that so many of us are feeling right now.
1. Practice Gratitude
Increasing your appreciation for small details of your everyday life has been shown to help manage those negative thoughts that can creep in during times of stress.
Perhaps you take a few minutes at the end of the day to jot down a few things you are grateful for that day, or maybe start your day with a gratitude journal. Reframing your way of thinking and focusing on the little things (a hot cup of coffee, sunshine, soft bedsheets) may help you feel more present and content.
It's so simple, it's an automatic function, and yet sometimes when we're overwhelmed, we forget to take a moment just to breathe. Even just a few minutes of focused breath work can make a big difference and bring back a sense of personal control.
Take several breaths in which the exhalations are twice as long as the inhalations. In doing so, you're activating the calming part of the nervous system and telling the fight-or-flight-prone part of the nervous system that it doesn't need to work so hard.
Breathing deeply and slowly for a few minutes throughout the day can make a world of difference, and the best part is you can do so anywhere, at any time.
Aromatherapy can be a great tool when practicing breathing techniques. Try massaging our Breathe Essential Oil Roll-On on the chest area during stressful moments to promote better breathing.
The combination of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Inula Graveolens, Pine Needle and Lavender essential oils immediately gives you the instinct to take a deep, cleansing breath.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of breath work, click here to read our blog where we outline four of our favorite deep breathing exercises that are super simple and effective.
Mindlessly scrolling on social media? Try using your phone settings to limit your time on certain sites you know may elicit unwanted emotions.
By putting the phone down more frequently, you can shift your focus to other things that may promote happiness. Instead of doom-scrolling on Twitter or binging on another episode on Netflix, try developing some delightful self-care practices that help you disconnect from all that digital chatter.
It can be something as simple as giving your hands and feet a quick, stress-busting massage with our Lavender Body Cream. The physical act of self-care added to the aromatherapy experience of the Lavender help refocus your energies away from anxious thoughts and into a calm, relaxed state.
Can’t live without Instagram? Be more selective about the accounts you follow, focusing on accounts that add value to your life and bring you joy!
4. Ask for Help
Feeling depressed or anxious can feel incredibly overwhelming, and even worse, isolating.
Acknowledging how you are feeling is a great first step in seeking out help. Traditional talk therapy is an incredible tool to help verbalize what you are going through and can help ease those feelings of isolation.
Additionally, there are now so many ways to reach out to a therapist – in person, through video, and even through text!
5. Stick to A Bedtime Ritual
Anxiety can seem to strike at the worst times, including right before bed. Having good “sleep hygiene” can help signal to your body that it’s time to quiet down.
Find simple joys in creating a bedtime routine. Take a bath, avoid your phone prior to sleeping, read a chapter in a book, or spritz your bed linens with our Tranquil MultiSpray. The relaxing scent will help you drift off to dreamland. Getting enough quality sleep can also go a long way in helping improve your mood.
Practicing meditation or mindfulness can help you learn to be more compassionate and kinder to yourself and allows you to be present in the moment.
Mindfulness can be as easy as concentrating on your senses – what are you smelling? Seeing? Hearing? This gets you out of your head and connects you into your physical environment.
You can also deepen your practice by diffusing essential oils and anointing your pulse points with aromatherapy essential oil blends. The aromas and properties of the oils work to signal the brain to quiet down and promote a grounded feeling of security that allows you to find some stillness.
Two of our favorite blends? The Stress Relief Essential Oil Blend can help calm nervous tension, even for type-A personalities who have a hard time hitting the off switch, while our Millennium Essential Oil Blend can assist in refreshing and recharging your mind and spirit, to ignite the inspiration for you to tackle the day.
7. Get Moving
If you’re feeling blue and depressed, exercise may seem like the last thing you want to do, particularly if just getting out of bed feels like a chore.
However, increasing movement in your day-to-day activities will help your brain release mood-boosting endorphins, which can enhance your well-being and improve your outlook. It also can serve as a distraction to divert from things that may be worrying you.
Don’t feel that you need to run a marathon to reap those benefits, just a small commitment to get moving more – a short walk-in nature, a 10-minute yoga practice, or dancing to your favorite song are great ways to get started.
Afterwards, reward yourself with a massage to ease sore muscles and tension with our Sports Balm Roll On. The cooling sensation is comforting and can give you a bolt of energy.
Mental health is such an important part of our overall health. We hope you find some of these tips helpful in making you feel a bit better.
Mental Health Resources
If you are struggling with depression or thoughts of self-harm, it is important for you to seek help right away. Here are some additional resources you can turn to or share with a loved one to ensure you receive the help you need. Remember, you are not alone!
Mental Health America: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center, text MHA to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- The Trevor Project: Call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678678. A national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tracey Ellis is a beauty enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the beauty industry. You can find her in the lab, manufacturing Source Vitál Products. Tracey is a New Yorker living in Texas and spends her time cooking and spoiling her miniature husky, Tabasco.