January may be known as Mental Wellness Month, but that doesn’t make creating mental health habits any less important the rest of the year. The Check-In Project team understands that keeping up with your mental health is key and has compiled a list of habits to help guide the way to a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Take the pledge to check-in with your family, friends, students, or coworkers. Checking-in with those in your life has a positive effect on the individual you’re having a conversation with, as well as your own life.
Write down three things you're grateful for. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by everything going on around us. By making a habit of writing down three things you are grateful for each day, you can remind yourself of the positive aspects of your life.
Teach students to check-in with each other. Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, it’s important to teach children how to check-in with their peers. The younger the habit is created to simply ask a friend how their day is going or if they need help, the more natural it becomes.
Take time to check-in with a neighbor. When you’re checking the mailbox or out for a walk, take a moment to say hello to a neighbor. Who knows, maybe you will create a friend out of these conversations.
Take time to relax and get a full eight hours of sleep. It’s difficult to be mentally healthy when your body is physically exhausted. Life is busy, but ensuring you get the recommended eight hours of sleep is important. Take a break from social media at least an hour before bed to give your brain some time to wind down.
Spend time outside by taking a walk or reading a book on the porch. We’ve all heard the phrase, “a breath of fresh air,” and when it comes to mental health, that can be taken quite literally. Fresh air provides oxygen to your brain, which gives you more brain power. So if you’re inside most of the day, stepping outside to get some fresh air can make you more productive.
Schedule a coffee date with a coworker, virtual or in-person, to check-in with each other. Whether your office is working from home or back to business as usual, stepping away from the day-to-day to check-in and catch up on life outside of work has its benefits. It’s nice to know that the people you interact with each day care about you.
Cook a healthy dinner as a family. Feed your body and mind simultaneously while you try out some new healthy recipes with your family. You may discover that this quality time in the kitchen not only has a delicious end result but also stirs up tons of great conversation together. Mental health includes fueling your body with a healthy diet, which will also lead to an improvement in physical health and energy levels.
Call a family member that you haven't talked to lately. Make a point to pick up the phone to check-in with someone in your family who you haven’t spoken to in a while. It will make them feel great that you thought of them, and a quick catch-up is beneficial for both parties.
Take time for yourself (and that means more than running to the grocery store solo). Mark off some time on your calendar to do something you truly enjoy. This can be a daily gym session (exercise is great for your mental health), going for a pedicure, or having dinner with a friend. It’s important to make self-care a priority.
Whether you added one tip to your schedule or made a point to really prioritize your mental health and attempted all ten, let us know how this list of mental health habits has helped you. Share your experiences with us on our social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) using the hashtag #thecheckinproject.