Over the years we learned that having a healthy mental state is something one needs to cultivate and nurture, always. With life's challenges and stressors, instead of pulling our hair out; we adopted a few tricks that help us find the calm in the middle of a storm. Guess what? They are totally accessible and free ;)
Meditate & get out of your head
Meditation helps you scan your body, take as little as five minutes to breathe and release tension, disconnect from the outside world, and connect with yourself. We call it the mental check-in.
If you are anything like some of us who fidget and squirm, and your mind tends to wander as you try to meditate, then we suggest guided meditation. We find it easier to calm the mind when it's not the one taking the lead. So sit back, relax, and let go.
Where do you find guided meditation sessions? One of our favorite apps is Insight Timer - go give it a try!
Wake up & soak up some sun ☀
It's no secret how good the sun is for our body and even more for our soul. Did you know that 30 minutes of sun a day can lift your mood and help with vitamin D levels in your body? Exposure to sunlight increases the release of the serotonin hormone which is connected to boosting your mood and can also help you feel calm and focused. Grab your favorite morning drink or even breakfast and soak up the sunshine in the early hours of the day.
Dance it out
Music on, world off. A little party never killed nobody, so we gon' dance until we drop. Go put on your favorite music and shake what your momma gave ya ;) and while you're at it, sing along and make it a partay. It's fun and a major stress reliever. Want to make it a family affair? We say why not!
Take a few deep breathes
We know you are already breathing...you're still alive and kicking...duh! The one we are talking about is diaphragmatic breathing where your belly rises like a balloon on the inhale and flattens on the way in and down on the exhale. It helps calm down your nervous system, lower heart rate, and strengthen your diaphragm among multiple other benefits. Here are a few more of our favorite perks: It helps with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), bloating, and anxiety. The best thing is you can do this anywhere. Some of us found it very soothing while being stuck in the ever so insane Cairo traffic.
Click here for an easy to follow guide.
Write it down & let it all out...
Journaling is a simple form of releasing negative thoughts. Writing down your thoughts and feelings may help you understand them better. In stressful situations, we sometimes tend to bottle up feelings or express them in an unhealthy way because we are acting on an impulse. Laying out how you feel on a paper may put things into perspective instead of letting our mind run wild on anger or anxiety. The important thing is you get it out of your system, and if you feel like you need help...ask for it.
Journaling can go beyond feels, it can help you start and maintain healthy habits. It can help you get more organized when life gets chaotic.
Sweat it out
Run, jump, squat, lunge...you get the point! Exercise is and will always our main go-to outlet. We love reaping all the benefits of exercise, and most of all the magical happy hormone "Endorphins". Quoting Elle from Legally Blonde "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t."
BONUS HACK: Bring a plant into your life - Tested & Tried
While this one is not free, it won't break your piggy bank unless you decide to bring a jungle into your home. In that case, don't blame us 😅 Trust us on this one, plants will bring happiness to your space and life. These adorable green beings spread happiness, purify the air, and they are pretty to look at. Plants will tickle your nurturing side and taking care of them will take your mind off things.
Researchers found that people who surround themselves with plant life and other forms of natural beauty, indoors and out, experience emotional and mental health benefits that have a positive impact on their social, psychological, physical, cognitive, environmental, and spiritual well-being (source: Psychology Today)