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Nourish Mental Health Awareness and Wellbeing This Week (and Beyond)

Mental Health Awareness on a Daily Basis

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s a time to pause and reflect on the importance of caring for our minds just as we do our bodies. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s all too easy to overlook the small but meaningful things. In other words, all the little things we can do to support our mental health. But this week, let’s make a conscious effort to incorporate some simple yet powerful practices into our routines.

Furthermore, Mental Health Awareness is something close to my heart. I have teenagers who seem to constantly battle with mental health and tell me they need a ‘mental health day’. Different from when I grew up where we just had to ‘get on with it’. I wonder are they more in touch or less resilient? In addition, having faced depression myself in my early 20s, the state of my own mental health is always on my own mind too.

Here are some things that I’ve found helpful over the years. Perhaps it’s no surprise that many of these feature in my shop. They are all activities I’ve found helpful and have helped to make me smile over the years so I guess that’s why I sell them in the hope they help others too.

Puzzle it Out

When was the last time you sat down with a jigsaw puzzle? This delightfully analogue activity has a unique way of engaging our minds and soothing our souls. As we methodically sort, connect, and place each piece, we enter a state of gentle focus that allows our thoughts to slow down and our worries to melt away. Puzzles can be a wonderful meditation in motion, helping us be fully present in the moment.

Do you puzzle alone or with others? Puzzling alone can provide great time out to switch off from everything and everyone around you But by comparison, puzzling with others can help foster relationships. Completing a jigsaw puzzle together can be a wonderfully social activity. It provides an opportunity to engage, communicate, and bond with family members, friends, or even new acquaintances. In addition, as you work collaboratively to solve the puzzle, you’ll naturally find yourselves conversing, sharing ideas, and enjoying each other’s company. Completing jigsaw puzzles with others can provide a wealth of mental health benefits. If you’d like to know more about this topic, then I’d recommend checking out the book “The Puzzler’s Dilemma” by Derrick Niederman. This well-researched book delves into the cognitive, social, and emotional advantages of puzzling, with insights from psychology, neuroscience, and more.

Cultivate Gratitude into your Daily Mindfulness and Mental Resilience

The transformative power of gratitude is well-documented. By taking a few moments each day to jot down the things we’re thankful for. Whether it’s the vibrant tulips blooming in our garden, the cosy hug from a loved one, or the perfect cup of coffee. If we do this, then we can train our minds to seek out the beauty and positivity all around us. A simple gratitude journal can be a game-changer for our mental well-being. In short we need to get into a way of thinking where we look for the small, simple, satisfying things in life that make us smile.

Send Some Cheer and Promote Psychosocial Wellness

During this week, make a point of reaching out to loved ones, near and far, with a heartfelt card or note? Taking time to put pen to paper and express our appreciation for the special people in our lives is a wonderfully meaningful gesture. In our increasingly digital world, the simple act of sending snail mail can be a true mood-booster.

In fact sending cards is like a double whammy for mental health. Heard of the phrase ‘the gift is in the giving’? Not only does receiving the card boosts spirits for both the receiver but also it makes you, the sender feel good too.

Embrace Nature’s Bounty

Studies have shown that time spent in nature can have a profoundly calming effect on our minds and bodies. So, make it a point to step outside and immerse yourself in the great outdoors. Even if it’s just a brief stroll around the block. Breathe deeply, take in the sights and sounds of the natural world. Then let the worries of the day float away. Plant something. Pick some flowers. Listen to the birds. Similarly, stop and look for the little guys; the frogspawn, the ants, the ladybirds and listening to the bees buzzing. And while you’re at it, why not stop to admire the wildflowers that are popping up all around?

Indulge in a Little Sweetness

Finally, don’t forget to treat yourself! A small square of dark chocolate can be a wonderful way to lift our spirits and nourish our souls. It doesn’t just taste great! Significantly, the antioxidants, mood-boosting properties, and sheer deliciousness of this beloved confection make it a perfect companion for our mental health journey.

As shown above you can also get that double whammy of giving and indulging if you share with a loved one.

Stronger Connections, Wellbeing and Making Our Awareness of Mental Health a Daily Norm

This Mental Health Awareness Week, let’s embrace these simple, yet powerful, practices to nurture our well-being. By taking the time to puzzle, journal, connect, explore, and indulge, we can cultivate a deeper sense of balance, joy, and resilience. Not just for this week, but for the days, weeks, and months to come.

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