Everyone has different ways of taking care of their mental health. Some might journal. Others find workouts and staying active a great way to relieve stress. Some people practice meditation or breathing exercises. And others have their therapist on speed dial. It's important to find whatever works for you because caring for and protecting your mental health is not a one-size-fits-all type of thing.
It's also a journey, too. What may have worked for you in the past might not exactly serve you anymore. It's okay to change up any routines or coping mechanisms based on what's going on with your life.
I was curious to hear what my colleagues' mental health routines were like, so I asked a few if they didn't mind sharing their tips. After hearing their responses, I was inspired to try something new for my own routine. Maybe you'll find some inspiration, too. See below.
1. Explore Self-Help Books
"I'm madly in love with self-help books. They've carried me through the darkest of times and people are always wondering while I have a new one that I'm quoting endlessly. The best of all is The Power Of Now which has really helped me learn to live in the moment and find happiness from within. I'm recommending it to all of my friends and family and revisiting it frequently." — Sierra Mayhew, Who What Wear Associate Editor
"I've found the five-minute gratitude journal is a guaranteed way to lift my mood. It's oddly effective. I would say I feel 25% more at ease and happy when I do it regularly. My rabbi has said that it’s hard to be anxious and grateful at the same time, and I’ve found it to be true." — Kat Collings, Who What Wear Editor in Chief
3. Treat Yourself
First, I love a good spa visit. Whether that involves getting a facial or a massage, I try to go at least once a month just to relax and treat myself.
A few times a week, I love taking salt baths. My favorite bath soaks include Dr. Teal's Himalayan Mineral Soak and the brand's Detox Ginger & Clay Blend. Clay helps draw impurities out of the body—including stuck emotions or lower frequency energy! Doing this a few times a week has helped my mental health massively over the years.
Lastly, I love flower essences. Flower essences are different from essential oils because they work on the energetic level rather than the physical level. Their essence and vibration are usually extracted in alcohol or some other agent, making them formulas you can take in your water, tea, or anything really. Flowers can support us in whatever we're going through—there is literally an essence for everything, I swear! My favorites for when I need to support my mental health include Alexis Smart's Unburden formula for stress relief and for anything beyond just normal stress, I turn to Alaskan Essences's Soul Support Formula. — Shawna Hudson, Who What Wear Associate Beauty Editor
5. Try Breathing Exercises
"I'm a naturally anxious person, and I tend to have physical anxiety responses in high-stress situations (quick heartbeat, tight feeling in my chest, etc.). My favorite anxiety-reducing tip is something I picked up from a yoga teacher a couple of years ago. It's called box breathing, and it's when you take a four-second inhale, hold for four seconds, take a four-second exhale, hold for four seconds, and keep repeating until you calm down. It's a really great way to focus on something you can control and ground yourself in any situation." — Katie Berohn, Who What Wear Associate Beauty Editor
6. Move Your Body
"I never thought I'd be that person who uses exercise to relieve stress (because I always hated working out), but during quarantine, I started using it to clear my mind. Now if I don't exercise in the morning, I don't feel energized and ready for the day. Those endorphins really make a difference in my day and it helps me take my mind off things that have been bugging me. When I'm finished, I feel like I can tackle any challenge on because it helps shift my perspective. And for me, it doesn't even have to be a high-intensity 60-minute session, sometimes just a quick walk outside works, too." — Sarah Yang, THE/THIRTY Managing Editor