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12 Activities to Boost Your Mental Health

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

While every day at Rutland Mental Health Services might seem like Mental Health Awareness Day, we know it can be easy to let daily mental health care slide.

Just like our bodies need daily nourishment and activity to stay healthy and functional, our mental health needs its own kind of nourishment! And committing even 30 minutes a day to care for your mental health can be beneficial to your over all well-being.

Here are 30 ways you can care for your mental health each day.

Please note: these activities are NOT replacements for seeking professional mental health care! If you or someone you know needs professional help, please call the Rutland Mental Health Services Intake line at 802-775-2381. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call our 24/7 Emergency Services line at 802-775-1000.

  1. Talk to a close friend or loved one. Whether you reach out to talk about something specific, or just to say “hi”, talking to people who know and love you can help you feel supported and part of a community.
  2. Get moving. Run, walk, bike, jog, roll, dance, or jump! Physical activity improves mental health, specifically self-esteem and cognitive function. If you’re in the Rutland area, head over to Rutland Recreation Community Center to get some exercise, or join one of Come Alive Outside’s Challenges!
  3. Unplug and unwind. We spend a lot of time in front of screens these days whether scrolling on our phones, working on computers, or watching TV. Of course, there are many positive things about technology! But too much screen time can negatively impact our mental health. Try spending some time each day totally unplugged–turn off your phone, computer, or TV and step away.
  4. Volunteer. Not only does volunteering your time help others and support a cause you believe in, it also helps your mental health. Research shows that volunteering decreases the risk of depression, teaches valuable skills, provides a sense of purpose, and offers a way to connect with new people. Looking for volunteer opportunities? Look here.
  5. Play to your strengths. Everyone has a skill or activity they’re really good at. Spending time on activities you’re good at isn’t just fun–it boosts self esteem!
  6. Get lost in music. Did you know music can help reduce stress, increase motivation, improve your mood, nd help you sleep? Take some time every day to enjoy music, whether you’re listening, singing along, dancing, or making your own!
  7. Connect to your community. No one is meant to live in isolation! Connecting to your community can help you discover purpose, support, and a sense of belonging. Take time to check out local businesses or events like a farmer’s market or get involved with community organizations!
  8. Keep a journal. Writing about our thoughts and feelings can help us process difficult events and experiences and become more attuned to our feelings.
  9. Learn something new. Humans are creative beings–so set your creativity free by learning something new! Whether it’s reading about a topic that interests you, learning to paint or draw, or taking up another new hobby, the challenge and joy of learning a new skill is certainly beneficial to mental health.
  10. Enjoy nature. From city parks and hiking trails to gardening or soaking up the sun on your patio, there are many ways to enjoy nature! Getting outside benefits your mental health by improving mood, promoting relaxation, and reducing feelings of stress. Looking for ways to get outside? Take a look at this blog post by RealRutland.com.
  11. Ask for help when you need it. If you’re having trouble with a task at work, feeling stuck with a very long to-do list, or need support from loved ones, ask for help! You don’t have to carry your stressors or burdens alone. Sometimes simply asking for words of support from friends or help with a chore at home, or guidance at work is all we need to feel better. Asking for help brings us closer to our community, allows us to feel seen and heard, and helps us learn to advocate for our needs.
  12. Seek professional help. If you feel down, anxious, sad, overwhelmed, stressed, or frustrated most days, consider seeking professional support. Mental health professionals are ready and available to help you navigate whatever you’re going through.