Makeover your mood in a month with this simple but effective mental health boosting plan:
Day 1: Learn a new skill
Research shows that learning new skills can improve your mental wellbeing by boosting your self-confidence, raising self-esteem and helping you to build a sense of purpose.
Day 2: Practise positive self-talk
Those with positive self-talk develop the mental skills that allow them to solve problems, think differently, and be more efficient at coping with hardships or challenges.
Day 3: Walk 10,000 steps
Physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed. Walking relieves tension and stress caused by the release of endorphins (our feel-good hormones).
Day 4: Call a friend
The human quality to communicate is lost over text, but new research suggests that a phone call, rather than an email or text is more likely to produce feelings of the connectedness we crave.
Day 5: Forgive someone
Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for our mental health, lowering the levels of anxiety, depression and stress, and improving self-esteem.
Day 6: Take a morning walk
Exposure to light on a morning walk can help reset your circadian rhythm, which means better sleep at night. It’s also a great way to keep your heart healthy, lower blood pressure and improve your ability to focus throughout the day.
Day 7: Learn to say no
Saying no helps you establish healthy boundaries and enables others to have clarity about what they can expect from you. By doing so, your independence develops and self-esteem improves.
Day 8: Visit an art gallery
Visiting art galleries makes you happy! Research commissioned by Arts Council England found that the presence of arts and culture has a positive effect on a person’s sense of community and wellbeing.
Day 9: Take a bath
A warm bath provides a good environment for meditation, thought and escape from everyday stressors. It can also elevate your mood and can help you sleep better at night.
Day 10: Start a journal
Journaling allows you to express yourself in a healthy way. It provides an opportunity for positive self-talk and allows you to identify negative thoughts. It reduces anxiety and lessens feelings of overwhelm.
Day 11: Read a book
Reading has been shown to reduce your levels of stress and as little as six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by 60% by reducing your heart rate, easing muscle tension, and altering your state of mind.
Day 12: Sit in the sun
In addition to strengthening your immune system, getting some sunlight helps boost serotonin, which gives you more energy and helps keep you calm, positive, and focused.
Day 13: Paint or draw
Engaging in your creative side can take your mind off your everyday life and you might find it easier to express painful or difficult feelings this way, rather than putting how you feel into words.
Day 14: Declutter your space
Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control. A tidier space can make for a more relaxed mind.
Day 15: Cook your favourite meal
Research finds that people who eat home-cooked meals on a regular basis tend to be happier and healthier. What’s more, cooking can help soothe stress, build self-esteem and limit negative thinking by focusing your mind on following a recipe.
Day 16: Stretch your body
Stretching can make you feel good because it activates your parasympathetic nervous system and increases blood flow to your muscles. It also encourages the release of endorphins, which helps you feel happier.
Day 17: Do a digital detox
Soaking up real-time instead of screen time can ease anxiety, increase happiness, and allow you to connect more with people around you.
Day 18: Revisit your goals
Setting goals is an effective way to increase motivation and to help you to create the changes you want. It can be used to improve health and relationships, or productivity at work.
Day 19: Have fun with friends
Spending time face-to-face with your friends can prevent loneliness, increase your sense of belonging, help melt away the cares of the world and give you the opportunity to let your hair down by having some good old quality fun.
Day 20: Make a vision board
Vision boards are a visual representation of your goals and assist with clarifying, concentrating and maintaining focus. They help you understand what you want and how you want to get there.
Day 21: Have an early night
Turning in earlier can make you feel less sleep deprived and regulate your sleep schedule. A genetic study of 840,000 people found that shifting sleep time earlier by just an hour decreases risk of major depression by 23 percent.
Day 22: Take time to laugh
Set the intent to laugh more. Whether it’s with friends, watching tv or spending time with your kids, laughing relieves physical tension and stress, and boosts the immune system.
Day 23: Treat yourself
Perhaps it’s an extra hour in bed at the weekend or buying a new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing up, treating yourself makes you feel cared for and contented, and also reduces stress levels.
Day 24: Meditate in silence
Silence offers opportunities for self-reflection and escapism. It gives you time to turn down the inner noise and increase awareness of what matters most.
Day 25: Practise gratitude
When you take time to notice and reflect upon the things you’re thankful for, you’ll experience more positive emotions and express more compassion and kindness.
Day 26: Plan a trip
When you plan a trip, you’re planting a seed of excitement in your mind for future happiness. As a result, this excitement and anticipation can bring joy and optimism to your everyday life.
Day 27: Drink water
Water is not only responsible for keeping you hydrated and energised throughout the day but because of its calming properties, it creates feelings of relaxation which is good for minimising anxiety.
Day 28: Spend time in nature
A recent report found that spending at least two hours a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing and affects both your brain and behaviour, reducing anxiety and stress, and increasing creativity and ability to connect with other people.
Day 29: Move your body
Whether it’s a walk, workout or spontaneous dance, movement allows us to take a break from everyday challenges. This is because when your body moves, it pumps up the production of your body’s feel-good hormones.
Day 30: Smile at a stranger
Smiling is contagious! Smiling at another person can have a ripple effect, not only improving your own health but creating wellbeing in others too!