Now that the holidays are over, do you find yourself feeling a bit lost? Even with New Year’s resolutions thoroughly proclaimed and the possibility of starting anew floating around in the air, it can be a tough time on your mental health. Winter blues, long and cold days, being stuck inside, and getting back into the routine of winter—minus the parties and lights—are enough to make anyone feel like cuddling up in front of a fireplace for the next four months and calling it hygge.
But we’ve got another idea: The 30-Day Mental Health Challenge. Just check off at least one of these activities every day for the next 30 days. Can you do it? We don’t have any rewards to hand out if you succeed, but we’ll bet you’ll end up with a few healthy new habits and more knowledge about how best to care for your mental health this winter and beyond. Good luck!
- Drink eight glasses of water.
- Go for a walk in your favorite nature preserve or woods.
- Try a new recipe.
- Create a vision board of things you want to do this year.
- Get a new houseplant.
- Have a fun movie night with your family or friends.
- Make yourself a mug of homemade cocoa.
- Watch the sunset.
- Keep a record of things for which you are grateful.
- Stargaze with someone you love.
- Thank someone.
- Listen to a podcast about something that interests you.
- Bake a treat for a neighbor or friend.
- Read a book just for fun.
- Create a rockin’ playlist and have a dance party.
- Sit and watch the snow fall.
- Try a yoga class.
- Make some art.
- Enjoy a face mask or other form of pampering.
- Learn something new or find a new hobby.
- Call a friend just to chat.
- Unplug for one hour.
- Watch a silly show or movie and laugh.
- Write in a journal.
- Set aside an hour to catch up on housekeeping or administrative tasks.
- Do a deep-breathing exercise.
- Clean out your closets and donate what you no longer need.
- Have a game night.
- Find a mantra to use when mentally struggling and repeat it to yourself 10 times.
- Treat yourself to an ultra-healthy and delicious breakfast.
When you’re finished with the challenge, choose the activities that made a difference to you and incorporate them into your daily life. Building new habits is all about starting small. Just one slight change a day can give you the fuel you need to get through this winter with a rosier outlook.
But if you’re feeling more than just a little down and you think you could benefit from professional help, Hancock Health offers a variety of outpatient services. You can also visit the Healthy365 Connection Center, where there’s help for addiction, obesity, and more.