May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the USA and you all know we're all about that MH at Howl! Here are some super-simple tips that have been proven to work based on recent study (my life). Hope these help you even if just a bit in your mental health journey. What are some of the things that work for you? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Unfollow shitty accounts and shitty people on Social Media You'd think its silly and wouldn't make much of a difference, but we spend so much time on social media now that it is of HUGE importance who/what you chose to direct your attention toward. Smash that Unfollow button on all accounts that make you feel shitty, not pretty enough, not productive enough, not rich enough, not interesting enough, or whatever. It'll feel so good!
1.2 Follow great accounts Yes, we all like to take a big dump on social media, but its here to stay, so might as well make the most out of it. Follow accounts that empower and uplift you, whatever that might mean for you personally. I highly recommend following people of all sizes, colors, and shapes, that are doing interesting stuff. It's exciting to see diversity in your feed.
2. Wear comfy undies Ain't nobody got time to have a wedge of fabric chafing your anus all day long. Start wearing comfy undies today! Breathable cotton undies are the best for all your family jewels. On that note, if you have breasts, go bra-less! Bras have been proven already to have all sorts of side effects, and in general– they feel horribly constricting! There are some fabulous bralettes out there.
3. Cut back on boozing and drugging Alright, at the risk of sounding like your mother, cutting back on intoxicating your body will make a giant improvement in your mental health, no matter which way you look at it. Some people handle alcohol and drugs better than others, but fact remains that they are depressants and fuck with your brain chemistry all. day. long. Sobriety is honestly poppin'
4. Have Orgasms!
5. Cut ties with bad friends There's some sort of misconception that you have to latch on to old friendships for sake of sentimentality, nostalgia or loyalty. I've found it so beneficial to cut ties with some people whose friendships you're just lugging around like an old suitcase. Make sure to nurture and prioritize people that are truly important to you and strip that excess weight off.
6. Get close to nature
If it's within your possibilities make sure to make a trip out to nature once in a while, especially if you're living in a city. I've found being in nature (if only for a short time) is absolutely revitalizing and allows me to recharge for future projects.
7. Read good books, Watch good TV There's too much great content out there to waste time! You can literally spend 8 hours straight binging The Bachelor if you're not careful. Trash TV and literature is a guilty pleasure that should be consumed in stringent moderation.
8. Own a plant Buy yourself a cute house plant and nurture it, give it a name, trim it. It's so much fun.
9. Stretch your body every day Take at least 10 minutes out of your day to stretch your body and muscles, increasing your flexibility, strength and blood flow. 30 minutes would be optimal.
10. Don't compare your journey to others'. Careful not to get hung up on other people's lives. Dave Mustaine is a perfect example. Dave Mustaine lived a pretty unhappy life always sulking over getting kicked out of a band when he was young. Despite having gone on to start a super successful band, Megadeath, that toured the world and sold millions of copies, the band he was kicked out of was Metallica, an even more successful band, and for that reason, his own life always fell short. Be careful not to fall into this mind fuckery. Your journey is yours.
11. Don't let your diagnosis define you. If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, you probably know how relieving it can be to finally know what is "wrong". The function of a diagnosis is to effectively pinpoint what the problem is and how you can treat it, and in this case it is a fantastic stepping stone to health. On my journey navigating mental health, I have found that it is a slippery slope to not over-identify with your diagnosis to the point where it starts becoming more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Let the diagnosis, and therefore treatment, be what allows you to feel freer and not more caged in. (Stay tuned for a more in-depth article about this soon.)
12. Take your meds Whether its whole foods, traveling, self-care, exercising, reiki, tarot, good music, doing art, or taking actual medication– take your meds! As in, do what works for you. If you've found that a certain cocktail of antidepressants works wonders for you, be diligent in taking it. If eating blueberries makes you the happiest person on the planet, you do that. Identify the small (or big) things that help you achieve a healthy state of mind and stick to them.
13. Buy a candle They make any room a little bit better, no?