Did you know that May is Women’s Health Month? It’s something that definitely deserves it’s own month and, though the month is almost at an end, I think it’s nice to place our health at the forefront more often. Of course, getting more workouts in and changing our eating habits are important. But, I wanted to talk about the mental health side of things instead.
For most of my life, mental health and wellness wasn’t something that crossed my mind. I focused a lot on my physical health by exercising or making healthy eating choices, but I never considered how impactful my mental wellbeing was. If I was having a tough time emotionally, I just assumed I was being too touchy. When I was stressed or overwhelmed, I tried to ignore it. A few years ago that all changed and I’ve made my mental wellness as much of a priority as my physical wellness.
I’d like to go back and thank my past self, because it’s made a huge difference in my life. It’s certainly not something that I’ve perfected. But, it’s something I try to work on every day.
I’ve noticed that too many women put their mental health on the back burner. They focus on the happiness of others in their lives or they mark it off as PMS. They think they’re just being an “emotional female”. Or, maybe they just try to ignore it. Let’s stop doing that, ok?
Like I said, I’m not perfect or a professional, but today I’m sharing what’s worked for me and what I’d recommend to other women who are hoping to improve their mental health. Here are 6 ways that women can improve their mental health.
Unplug and practice meditation
As much as I love my cellphone and laptop, I know that they cause a ton of stress for me. And I also know that I’m not alone in this. Whether it’s work emails that you feel obligated to answer at all hours or scrolling social media and starting the comparison game, sometimes your phone isn’t helping your mood very much. I’ve found that it’s important to take time to completely ignore that phone. Turn it on airplane mode and set it aside for an hour or so.
Or, if you really can’t unplug for that long – try meditating! I actually use my phone for this one (ironic, right?). I have an app called calm that is probably my favorite app on my phone. The app has daily guided meditations that are around 10 minutes. I promise you can find 10 minutes in your day to just sit in silence and breathe deeply. It’s so good for your mental health. If you don’t believe me, ask the experts. I also use the calm app every night as part of my bedtime routine by listening to a sleep story.
Set a regular sleep schedule
Speaking of sleep, this is another key factor in balancing your mental and emotional health. Getting enough REM sleep helps your brain to process emotional information more easily. Meaning that when you’re not getting enough sleep, those emotions can become overwhelming and your mental health suffers.
When you have a regular sleep schedule (going to bed and waking up around the same time each day), you reduce stress and boost your mood. It’s easier to get along with people around you and you can think much more clearly. Try setting a reminder on your phone that it’s time to wind down and avoiding blue light for an hour or so before bed. Then, set an alarm to wake at the same time every day (even when you’re not working).
Get at least 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine per day
Sunshine doesn’t just feel good on your skin. It’s also beneficial for your health (in small doses). Getting at least 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine per day can greatly increase your body’s production of vitamin D. And guess what? Vitamin D has tons of benefits for your body. People with a Vitamin D deficiency are also more likely to have depression.
Sunshine can help to lift your mood by increasing your brain’s release of serotonin. Serotonin can help you focus and feel calmer throughout the day.
Just remember to wear your sunscreen, no matter how long you’ll be in the sun.
Cut out the things that don’t serve you
I’m sure we’ve all had certain relationships that weren’t the healthiest at some point in our life.
Or, you might be stuck in a job that seems to be sucking the soul out of you. All you do is complain about your boss or your day-to-day. Rather than sticking around because you think it’s the right thing to do, take a step back and consider taking the next exit ramp. Maybe you’ve noticed that you’re drinking a lot more than everyone around you. It could be that you’ve started gossiping non-stop because pointing out other people’s problems makes you temporarily forget about your own.
Start looking for new jobs, take a break from that relationship, or opt for a “dry” month. Set a pact with yourself that you’ll turn conversations towards a more positive topic. When you break free from those connections and those habits that aren’t serving you, you find yourself feeling lighter and more of yourself. Trust me.
Practice self-love with affirmations
I know that this one might be something you’ll roll your eyes at. Trust me, there are times when I just cannot make myself dive into affirmations. But, let me tell you something, I spent a year forcing myself to say something nice every time I looked in the mirror. It started out really, really hard. But, eventually it became easier. And, I have never felt more comfortable in my skin and more confident than during that time. I slowly fell out of practice. So, I’m making a promise to myself now that I’ll start practicing affirmations more often.
Here are a few to get you started. Say them outloud, write them down, and repeat as often as possible:
- I am enough
- I believe in myself and my abilities
- I am beautiful (inside and out)
- I am in control
- I love my body
Or, when you look in a mirror, list three things you like about yourself. They can be physical, spiritual, or mental.
Give your body the love that it needs
I know that we’re talking about mental health here, but mental and physical health really go hand-in-hand, you know? It’s important to get your body moving and give yourself the vitamins that you need. Man, when I eat poorly, I can become such a grump. I get lethargic, I feel bad about myself, and I’m just generally a mess mentally. I notice that my head is in the right place when I’m making sure to get my greens in, balancing my meals, and not overindulging.
The same thing goes for exercise. Just a bit of movement makes me feel so much better mentally. That whole “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy” thing? The one we learned from Elle in Legally Blonde… yep, it’s true.
A wellness brand that I love, Receptra Naturals, came out with a little bundle for Women’s Health Month that will help you recover from workouts (and relax before sleepy time, so you’re really hitting two of my tips here!). The bundle includes the Ginger Peach Serious Relief 33 CBD Gummies, Serious Relief CBD Targeted Topical Stick + Arnica, and the Rise + Shine Women’s Health Candle – Tropical Melon Scented. I’ve spoken about how much I love their Serious Relief gummies in the past. Check out the descriptions of each of these products below — I’ve been loving the candle this month!
Whether you get the bundle now or simply snag some wellness products piece by piece, it’s important to treat yourself sometimes, too!
GINGER PEACH SERIOUS RELIEF 33 GUMMIES + TUMERIC
Receptra Serious RELIEF 33 CBD gummies for pain are formulated to provide delicious, convenient pain relief for the day-to-day aches of life and female health issues. Studies show that 33 mg of CBD is the correct amount for most people to find relief. Whether it is mental stress, monthly pain, or general discomfort, CBD gummies for pain could make a big difference.
SERIOUS RELIEF TARGETED TOPICAL STICK + ARNICA
Sometimes everything hurts. Receptra’s Serious Relief + Arnica CBD hemp Targeted topical™ Stick is a convenient way to receive the topical relief women need. Apply to any topical aches or even to the abdomen during difficult times of the month for natural relief.
RISE + SHINE WOMEN’S HEALTH CANDLE
Give your brain a break and relax with Receptra’s Rise + Shine CBD for Women’s Health Bundle Candle. This Tropical Melon scented candle is a great addition to any woman’s relaxation routine, morning or night. A big part of female health is being able to unwind mentally.