Activities That Will Help Your Mental Health
When you have a lot of time on your hands, you can end up feeling a little lost. You can be drained by the slightest thing or the slightest change in the world.
Between keeping ourselves busy, entertaining our children or household members and reassuring our family members and friends, it can be exhausting. These kinds of activities have a way of slowly emptying your soul of its energy and light.
If you’ve been caught up in living through the motions of life – just strolling along day by day trying to survive but feeling lost – it is time to do some things to help replenish your soul. Here are some free activity ideas to get you started.
Take a Nature Walk
Get outdoors and enjoy nature during a walk around a local hiking trail or even your neighborhood. Bring the family or take a few minutes to yourself so that you all can detach from day-to-day life and enjoy some quiet time away from the norm.
There is something about nature that we are connected to, so allow yourself to be there with it. Listen to the simple sounds of animals and the wind. Feel the leaves or sticks under your feet. Look at the different colors of the birds and squirrels. Get out of your head and be one with something completely different.
Phone a Friend
Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and see what’s new in their life. If there is nothing new in their life (or yours), just be with each other. Talk about a tv show or movie you enjoy. Swap stories about where you were a year ago (5 years ago, 20 years ago). Enjoy a carefree conversation away from the kids and your partner so that you can actually be in the moment.
If possible, schedule a lunch date with this friend – or a group of friends – to enjoy a little social time. Depending on what is happening in the world, schedule it on Zoom or Google Meets if you have to. Everyone make their own lunch, plan to meet up at noon for an hour and chat online digitally.
Social time with friends not only helps to release stress, but it reminds you that you aren’t only a wife/mother/day worker/child/caregiver. You are a person outside of all of your responsibilities, so give yourself a bit of time to live in that space.
Read a Good Book
One of the things that we love about books is that they take us away into a different world. A world where we have no pressures or responsibilities, but where we can live through someone else’s eyes.
Find a good book (not one that annoys your or that you had to read in school and brings up bad memories) and dive in. Allow yourself to be carried away and you’ll see how your body relaxes.
If you don’t have access to a book you want to read, make the library your friend. If the library isn’t available to you, the Kindle store has over 50,000 free books that you can read at any time. (This is not free, but if you need a recommendation, my favorite book is The Host by Stephanie Meyer. It is its own thing (WAY better than the movie) and much different from the other books she has written. Let me know what you think! I love talking about this book!)
Get Some Exercise
Getting your blood flowing with some exercise can be really good for the soul – particularly when you’ve finished. There is a sense of accomplishment that feels satisfying. You know you did it.
Go for a run or do some basic exercises in or around your house. Think yoga, cardio, jumping jacks, biking around the neighborhood, playing basketball in the driveway – do something to get your body moving and mind clear. If Jane Fonda can still do her workouts at 82 years old, you can too. And you’ll be proud of yourself that you did.
Get In The Garden
Go outdoors and work on your yard or garden. Being outdoors and working to keep something beautiful and healthy is great for the soul. Nurturing something that shows you results is somewhere that you can put your energy.
If you don’t have a garden or a lawn, think about getting a potted plant. If that doesn’t pique your interest, look for a gardening game on your smartphone. You’ll want something where you get your own little plot of land and can nurture your garden until something grows. When we take care of something or someone else, we develop a sense of pride that is unique. Plus, it’s fun!
Right now, anything that you can do to feed your soul is beneficial. It doesn’t take a lot of money – or any money at all if you put your mind to it – but if you can find time in your day to help yourself, you will have more energy for others.
Many of us are feeling sad and hopeless right now, so do what you can within your means to help brighten your own day. There are ways to help overcome the feelings of being lost and not feeling like you’re living a fulfilling life. Take it one day at a time and continue to healthily feed your soul with the most nourishment that you can.