Happy Labor Day Americanos!
I had to get out of the country for a bit because I was feeling extremely tired and overwhelmed with my life. Let’s just say my mental health was becoming precarious. I actually left immediately after dropping off my son off at college. Yes, mommy went straight to the airport.
There are times in life when you want to say don’t call me, I’ll call you. This is one of those times for me. I’m on a quest of internal exploration right now.
Now, I’m enjoying my seclusion, reaching out (virtually) when I feel like it, and focusing on the next phase of my life. After my morning workout and skin care regimen, because self care is vital, I’m going to take in some of this nature and chill.
I hope those of you that are able to are taking some time to relax today because it’s important to take breaks to regroup and reclaim ourselves from time to time.
Even if you can’t just throw caution to the wind and hop on a plane like I did, there are still plenty of ways you can find inner peace and carve out space to mentally getaway no matter where you are.
5 ways to take a mental vacay:
1. Do some adult coloring
Since childhood, I’ve always loved coloring. I mean who doesn’t. Give me a box of crayons and I’m a 5 year old all over again. There’s just something magical about coloring that brings both a sense of calm and happiness.
This is my favorite coloring book. I picked it up at the Baltimore Book Festival and had a chance to meet the author, Andrea Pippins. I love when I can also support women of color authors! That’s always an extra bonus.
2. Listen your favorite music
Music can completely transform your mood and take your mind to far away places. Songs can evoke nostalgia and bring to surface emotions long forgotten.
They can uplift you when you are in the deepest despair. The power of music transcends culture, time, and place. It’s universal. It’s the reason every church has a choir. LOL
I have curated a few Spotify playlists you might want to check out to help get you in the right headspace. Each is quite different from the other.
3. Go for a walk
Without question, movement is essential for maintaining good mental health. Not only does walking keep your body in shape, which is great for your self confidence, it keeps you alert, gets your endorphins flowing, and allows you times to be alone with your thoughts.
I find walking in a scenic area to be especially beneficial when I’m feeling overwhelmed or depressed. Beautiful trees, flowers, or architecture make me happy. There’s just something about beautiful things that always seem to bring me joy. Figure out what environment does that for you and go there.
4. Call a good friend
Nothing can make you feel as good as connecting to another person, especially if that person is your safe person. If you have a friend you’ve had for years, that knows you well, and that you feel you can be your truest self with, call them up. There is nothing better than letting your hair down while chatting it up over some laughs to take your mind off all life’s woes.
Meditation is great because not only can it bring you mental clarity, peace, and focus, it can actually help your brain heal from trauma.
Through meditation you can train your brain to form new mental pathways and begin to heal the underlying issues that have caused you so much anguish to begin with. Quite literally you can start giving yourself a new leash on life with a mindfulness routine aimed at improving your mental health.
I love Calm! It’s such a wonderful tool for mindfulness, deep breathing, and logging my moods. It even has relaxing music and nature sounds. I especially love the bedtime stories. They help me unplug and drift off. If you don’t have Calm, I highly recommend it.
Well, I’m off to sleep with Lavar Burton. Good night world.