Building a better body or improving physical fitness is only a part of changing, evolving, and growing for the better. With the physical must also come the mental, for what is the benefit of a physique without the mind and mental acuity to guide it? Admittedly, mental health as a subject is a bit more difficult for me to understand, as it has not been something that was taught to me nor prioritized. Accordingly, unlike physicality which has clear goals and plans to enact change, mental health is a completely foreign concept for me to navigate. Thus, the following are some actions I plan to take, but any suggestions would be welcome; as well, an understanding that I will be learning and discovering this part of the journey along with any who follow.
There are several apps that claim to help with sleep, anxiety, wellness, and other aspects of mental health. Some of the more common ones are Calm, Headspace, Serenity and many fitness apps have a meditation and mental health option in their service. I have never tried any of these personally, but will be doing so to try to adjust my sleep patterns and personal mental awareness. Meditation and appraisal of one’s own mental state seem to be hallmarks of most, if not all, mental care plans. It seems only right that I should, at the very least, attempt such acts.
This one seems pretty simplistic, but from what I understand is actually pretty effective.
Journaling forces one to take stock of themselves and what is in their heads. To process thoughts, emotions, feelings both negative and positive in a, hopefully, healthy and calming manner.
I have tried journaling in the past, but for a myriad of reasons did not keep up with it. This public declaration to do so will, optimistically, keep me honest and accountable.
Oddly enough, physical activity also helps mental awareness. Apparently, something about a routine that focuses on bodily exertion aids in releasing mental stress.
While I am sure this is old news to many, it was not common knowledge to myself. Nor did it really seem to ring true until I began an actual exercise regimen. For a few minutes a day, my mind is calm and focused on getting my body through the workout of that day. That time is rejuvenating and helps with the rest of the day.
As stated at the top, mental health is a whole other animal for me. I do not know where my mental health journey will take me, nor how I will ultimately arrive at an improved mental wellness, whatever that may be or look like. Still, trying is the first step, and, with some work and luck, I might just figure out a path to follow.