Need a mental health pick-me-up but don’t know where to get started? When I was beginning my journey to happiness, I had no resources, and I was desperate to find tips to boost my mental health. It was a necessity and top priority. I also didn’t have a whole lot of extra cash lying around to dedicate to bettering my mental health.
These are my five free tips to boost mental health:
- Daily Planning
- Free Meditations
- Creative Release
- Daily Journaling
- Deep Breathing
Give yourself some time to plan everything you need to get done. Having an action plan is helpful and can limit the anxiety that piles up due to needing to get things done. I know my anxiety peaks if I feel like I have too much to do and don’t know when I will be able to do it.
Planning the day doesn’t have to be broken out by the hour if you don’t want it to be. There are many different ways to plan your day for mental health.
- Bullet journaling: what we know as an artistic way of planning, is actually derived from the very basic way of bulleting out information and tasks. What you do is list out any task that needs to be done and cross it off as complete.
- Hourly scheduling: works well for appointments and meetings.
- Habit tracking: great for those in need to stick to a routine. Check out my article on Morning Routines for easy ideas!
There are definitely benefits to all those paid apps for meditation, but there are many excellent free options across the internet.
Youtube has very many great resources. All you have to do is search for the type of meditation that you are interested in. Some examples might be:
- Meditation for anxiety
- 10 minute morning meditation
- Easy guided meditation
- Grounding meditation for beginners
One of my favorite Youtube meditation channels is “The Honest Guys.” They feature a lot of sleep talk-down meditations as well.
One of my favorite ways to boost my mental health is a creative release. When I think of creative release, hardly anything free comes to mind, but there are so many ways to be creative for free! Chances are, you already have something lying around that you enjoy. Maybe you haven’t picked it up in a while? That is a great way to start. Luckily, even if that isn’t the case, you can do a lot of activities without spending any money at all. Here are examples of free creative releases:
- Writing: even if it’s a small poem on your phone, writing is a wonderful way to get out any emotions that may be stirring in your mind.
- Car Karaoke: singing does not have to be good to be therapeutic. Jamming out to your favorite song and screaming song lyrics releases tension and can be an immediate mood booster
- Dancing: Honestly, music is optional on this one! Dancing as a creative release has the extra bonus of light exercise
Do you have any other free creative release ideas? Let me know below!
Journaling regularly is an excellent way to recognize when our mental health starts wavering. It also allows us to see patterns in how we process our thoughts.
Some people use daily journaling to document their day, much like a diary entry. While I do this, I also like to add in what’s called a cognitive-behavioral model exercise. This is when I take a thought that triggers my anxiety and try to re-frame my thought process around it.
Honestly, the easiest and cheapest thing you can do to boost your mental health is practice deep breathing. There are SO many techniques to try, and really the possibilities are endless!
- Box breathing: breath in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 4, hold for 4, repeat
- Alternate nostril breathing: use your ring finger and thumb finger to alternate holding a nostril. Inhale through one nostril, exhale through the other. Inhale and repeat.
- Belly breathing: inhale and fill up your body starting with your stomach, into the chest, and into the throat. Exhale slowly beginning with the throat, the chest and then the stomach.
- 4-7-8 breathing: inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, exhale for 8 seconds.
- Wim Hof: (my favorite!) this is a series of quick, full breaths, followed by a complete exhale and long hold. Then you inhale deeply and hold for a short time, and then repeat.
Have you tried these techniques I have mentioned? What are some of your favorite ways to boost your mental health?