12 Ways to Include Wellness in your #Rebirthday

Navigating mental health conditions can be challenging or even downright scary, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your Allies at NoStigmas have compiled 12 approaches to wellness that have helped them along their own wellness journeys. Building sustainable wellness practices is a lifeline practice—so remember to strive for progress, not perfection!

1. Work With a Counselor

As important as Personal wellness strategies are, outside help is equally impactful. Consider reaching out to a professional with whom you can meet weekly to work out a more personal treatment plan.

Online therapy websites like Betterhelp.com and Talkspace can be accessed through mobile apps and websites. Some allow for video, phone and text-based chat. Online therapy can be a good alternative to in-person sessions.

2. Seek Out Peer Support

Your peers can offer a unique perspective and often deal with similar issues. Depending on the relationship, you may be able to check in daily, weekly, or monthly to motivate each other to stick to your wellness routine. Check out NoStigmas Ally Group to learn more about connecting to peers in a group setting.

3. Focus on Sleep Hygiene

Sleep is incredibly important for your mental health. Make sure to get adequate rest for your body’s needs. If you are struggling with falling asleep or more serious insomnia, don’t just accept it. Look for a sleep specialist or speak to a therapist about what you can do to sleep better.

4. Explore Journaling

Writing can be great therapy. Try spending 10-20 minutes every day writing down any thoughts or feelings that you have. This can be a great way to release negative thoughts, or anything that creates anxiety. Once it’s written on the page, it’s out of your head.

5. Include Daily Positive Affirmations

Everyone needs positivity in their lives. Try creating daily positive reminders to get the negativity out of your head. Write these reminders yourself so you can tailor them to what is happening in your life. It can be a statement of self praise, a reflection on something positive happening in your life, or anything else that improves your self esteem and your mood. You can write positive sayings/mantras on strips of paper and carry them with you. You could also put them in a mason jar and look to them when you need it. Alternatively, you can sign up for an app like Cope Notes that will send general positive quotes or affirmations daily.

6. Engage in Mindfulness

Including a mindfulness practice in your life can help train the brain to steer away from negativity and connects you with a healthier sense of self. Examples of mindful activities include: meditation, yoga, listening to music, reading, cooking/baking, painting/art (coloring mandala books can be a great option). Find an activity that works for you and keeps you centered, and try to engage in it throughout your day.

7. Use a Physical Calendar or Create a Bullet Journal

Create a calendar to help keep your wellness routines on track. You can make it yourself or get a free one like the ones available at Hallmark. Take a small NoStigmas sticker to place on the date of your choice to remind you of your date. Also motivate yourself by marking your completed wellness activities or other accomplished goals related to your wellness on the calendar daily.

8. Use Anniversaries to Stay Motivated

Stay motivated by checking in with the #ReBirthdate campaign on the weekly, monthly, or yearly anniversary of your date. Tweet or post on facebook to share about your wellness routine or what you’re most proud of since your date.

9. Keep a Sensory Bag

Use a sensory bag, in which you place things that ‘touch’ all of your senses. For example, a small bag of lavender, or headphones to remind you that you can turn to sound/music that you find soothing or that just puts you in a good mood, small chocolates, worry stones, soft fabrics, etc.

10. Carry Important Emergency Information

Carry important information for emergencies with you. This will not only help in actual emergencies, but also help you feel less anxious day to day. For example, carry your counselor’s or doctor’s business cards, your medication list, emergency contacts etc. Check out our Ally Training for an exercise on building your contact list

11. Read Self-Improvement Literature

So called self help books and books about mental health can help you find more strategies to maintain your wellness routine. For people who’ve experienced trauma, understanding why and how it happened can help you identify negative patterns in your present life that you can then address. Check out Tracy’s Bookshelf Series for a list of Ally-approved self-improvement books.

12. Include Physical Activity and Nutrition Planning

This is a no brainer that physical activity and a healthy diet contribute to good physical health, but it’s also good for, you guessed it, your brain! Exercise releases endorphins that improve mood, while proper nutrition is key to maintaining a healthy balance of brain chemicals and hormones. If these are areas are challenging for you, consider enlisting the help of your doctor to build routines that will work well for you!

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