What do you suggest as good mental health activities? I need a good, affordable recharge.-Fried & Pushed Aside
It sounds to me like you need some extreme self-care. I shared a self-care plan on my Facebook page (see it here) that was designed by Andrea Dombecki, Reiki Master Teacher and Angel Therapy Practitioner (details here). A self-care plan can bring peace to a hectic routine and rejuvenate you when you feel drained; the activities listed in Andrea Dombecki’s plan help to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue when you find yourself overextended, over-committed, and burned out.
In “Working to Cure my Disease to Please” I explained that freedom is recognizing that you owe it to yourself to make life fun. Self-care plans create more freedom because they force you to carve out time for things that you enjoy. Quality “Me Time” is the only antidote to spreading yourself thin, and it helps you show up more in your relationships and at work. When you are intentional about setting aside time just for you, you have more energy to handle everyday challenges, and you communicate to others that your time and your needs matter.
So how exactly do you start implementing this self-care plan? Make a date with yourself. Every week.I recommend setting aside two hours (20 minutes daily, 2 hours all at once, or however you see fit) to do something sensually empowering, something that makes you use as many of your senses as possible. Get outside if you can.If you have time and access, take a trip to the beach. If not, go to a thrift store, museum, art festival, or a bakery.You can mix and match activities from different sections of Andrea’s plan, or choose one activity per week.Use this time to nurture your inner child and channel your creative energy. Be mindful of any resistance that comes up.This time is meant for you, but you may be tempted to invite a friend so you’re not alone with your thoughts. Also, if you feel that 2 hours is too long, get real about why you think you don’t deserve that pampering.Get really present to what’s going on around you and inside you.
If you feel like it’s time for you to “press Refresh” on your life, put yourself on your calendar. Physical exercise, sightseeing, and meditation are just a few examples of ways to clear your mind and de-stress. Set self-care appointments (at minimum, once a week) to help you heal and recover from the week. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way–(artist or not, this is a delicious read!)– calls it an “Artist’s Date.” I call it “Me Time.”You can call it whatever you want, just make sure to honor it–and yourself! Good luck on your self-care journey!