Five 5-Minute Tricks to Boost Your Mental Wellbeing
Updated: Aug 25
Let's be real for a second; I'm not the only one struggling right now. The phrase '2020 Vision' has never felt more apt. We've been thrown life-lessons left, right, and centre, and although it's good that we've been given lots of opportunity for personal growth, that doesn't mean it's easy!
From Brexit, to a global pandemic, to political unrest and a surge in awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. These are all super important topics and events, but even the strongest person needs a break every now and then. After all, how can you take care of others if you're not taking care of yourself?
So, I thought I'd compile a list of five 5-minute tricks to boost your mental wellbeing. Activism and education are always incredibly important, but looking after your own mental health must come first. These simple tricks are super easy to do and they take no longer than 5-minutes each, but they are designed to strengthen your mental wellbeing and give your brain a moment of clarity and rest. If you find you're getting overwhelmed with the weight of the world at the moment, take a moment out from your day to do one or more of these, and you will find you are much more able to take on life!
1. Breathing Exercises
One of the simplest things you can do to boost your mental wellbeing is to remember to breathe. It's one that is talked about a lot, but I think it is often overlooked as breathing is literally second-nature to us. But, learning how to control your breathing will help you to overcome anxiety and stress. This will make you feel much stronger, and give you a better ability to carry on with your day.
If you google breathing exercises you can find plenty of different types. For example, people recommend all kinds of different counting techniques, but honestly I find that trying to remember the seconds ends up causing more harm than good, so I would just suggest either sticking with 5 or doing what feels most natural to you. I like to breathe in for 5, hold it for 5, and exhale for 5 to start with, but you can let your body find it's natural rhythm.
Also, some people suggest breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, but again, do what feels most natural to you. I like to breathe in and out through my nose because that feels more right to me, and it's what I was taught to do in yoga.
You can do this one for 5 minutes or 50 minutes - it's completely up to you! Whenever you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious, take yourself somewhere quiet and breathe until you feel calm again.
2. Step Outside
Another super simple but highly effective trick is to step outside. It's no secret that some fresh air and a little bit of Vitamin D does wonders to the body and brain! Nature is Mother Earth's gift, so utilise it!
This can also be done for five minutes or 50 minutes. If you can and want to, why not go for a walk? The exercise will release those endorphins and boost your mood almost instantaneously. But, if you can't for whatever reason, simply stepping out into your garden or onto the street can still give you all the benefits of a long walk. Take in the beauty of the outside world, from the tweeting birds to the sun breaking through the clouds! See how beautiful nature is and breathe in the fresh air, you'll soon start to feel better!
Meditation is one of the best acts of self-care you can do to boost your mental wellbeing. And, with practice, you'll soon be able to stop what you're doing for 5 minutes and meditate, no matter where you are! It has so many tremendous benefits for your mind and body, so if you develop the ability to stop and sit for five minutes a day, you'll soon see the positive effects!
There are also plenty of free 5-minute guided meditations on Spotify and Youtube for you to follow if you struggle to meditate in silence. For a list of resources and more information on meditation, how to do it, and why it's good for you, why not check out my beginners guide here?
4. Listen to upbeat music
Honestly, a cheeky little dance to your favourite songs can be more than enough to shake off the stress and sadness of life! Not only are you getting your body moving and releasing those endorphins, but it's scientifically proven that dancing can improve brain health!
Even if you can't have a boogie, just listening to some happy tunes can get you out of that mental funk and into a happier, more motivated head space. Stick your earphones in whilst you're working or studying and get that happy playlist on, you'll soon see your mood improve!
5. Get Unplugged
Social media really can be a wonderful place, but it's no secret that it can also have a negative effect on your mood. If you're struggling, why not unplug from the world of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for a little while? Taking a step back from the virtual world will give you an opportunity to practice some mindfulness and focus on yourself for a bit.
Not only will stepping back from social media benefit you, but coming off all electronics for a little while will too! The glare of phone and laptop screens can contribute to physical and mental fatigue, especially when looked at for long, uninterrupted periods. So, switch off your devices and focus on the real world. Even just five minutes will have you feeling less tired and stressed! Jump in the shower, watch the rain or the clouds go by, or even draw or journal. You'll soon feel more able to take on the world if you do!
So there you have it. You don't have any excuses now to take some time for yourself! Doing one or all of these things a day will soon improve your mental wellbeing, which means that you're going to feel much stronger! Taking care of yourself is so important, especially if you want to be able to keep up with what is going on in the world without it taking its toll on your mind and body.
I know the world is a difficult place right now, but no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you do, you should always make time to take care of you.
If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch either on here, via my email firstname.lastname@example.org or why not slide into my dm's on Instagram?
And, as always, much love xoxo