Upkeeping Your Mental Hygiene

How great is that term? “Mental Hygiene”? No one likes someone with poor hygiene. Can’t we say the same for your mental health? Whether its stress, anger, or irritability, it not only effects us but those around us. I came across that charming term while listening to one of my favorite podcasts Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik (as recommended by one of our amazing UNDO contributors, Nick Onken). In Episode 96 titled Stress Less and Accomplish More – Jim interviews Emily Fletcher to talk about the benefits of meditation and overall mental maintenance.

I’m a workaholic who tends to overwork themselves. Often times when I finally recognize what’s happening to my body, there’s already been a lot of damage done. In fact, that’s really what got me involved with UNDO-Ordinary to begin with in 2013. My body was breaking down from working too much. Shooting pains in my trapezoids from hunching over a desk that didn’t fit my body, knee issues from sitting at the wrong angle to early signs of carpel tunnel. My ‘injuries’ made me realize if I want to keep doing what I love, I need to take better care of my body. That’s what set me off on the journey to explore fitness, nutrition and wellness, soon it became a 360-degree extension of my lifestyle as a creative. Because when we love what we do, we end up pushing ourselves past our physical thresholds. And I’m now learning that it’s the same as our mental limits as well.

In recent weeks after the release of UNDO Magazine Issue 8 themed Sleep & Restoration, it sparked an interest for me to get a grasp of how I rest and reset. It’s one thing to schedule in water, lunch, and sleep but HOW we prepare our bodies for sleep has been a huge study for me. I’ve been studying Dr. Michael Breus’s work a bit AKA the Sleep Doctor. Dabbling with bluelight-blocking eyewear, sleep eye masks and overall water in-take. I’m at a better place energy-wise but I’m craving for more.

What’s priority for me to optimal performance. If I can eat better, exercise right, and sleep proper – then I can work like the beast I sign myself up to be in the workplace. It’s an ongoing journey for searching for the perfect formula to get a Clean & Clear mental workspace (pun-intended). Afterall, we can’t care for others if we can’t care for ourselves first. So carving out time and energy to dedicate to cleaning up my mental hygiene has been moved to top priority.

And here are 5 things I’ve been actively applying to my “life routine”:

1
I signed up for Talkspace

Talkspace is an online counseling space where you are paired with therapists of your choice. You're offered a chatroom and/or live session for you to do daily check-in's. In case seeing an actual therapist is too time consuming or financially overbearing, talkspace may be a great space for you to kick off what it feels like to have a space to talk about what's on your mind. Sometimes you may feel like a broken record with your peers, family and friends while complaining and working through things yourself just don't cut it--try talkspace.

2
I signed up for Headspace

Partially because the marketing got to me and I wanted to see what the hype was about. But also, I love cookie-cutter packaged lifestyle things. Ive been dedicating 3-5min before bed to tune into their sleep tracks which genuinely have helped me unwind and settle into sleep mode. Prior to that my mind would be running all over the place with my body slowly dragging myself to sleep, with my mind running wild. It was a great entry point but I was curious to experience real meditation. The kind everyone keeps jabbering about.

3
I reached out to meditation specialize Kathy J Chen

who is also one of our UNDO Contributors, author of Resting Our Way to Enlightenment (read it here). Talking through the long term effects of stress and how meditation can help create mental space for clear thinking. Her specialty is Vedic Meditation, that fully embodies the power of the meditation practice, scientific benefits, and breadth and depth of knowledge that accompanies the practice. I love trying new things and if the end goal of commitment to this new routine can be a better me, then why not try it. To find out more about her practice visit her website.

4
Using Airplane Mode

Initially for EMF wave reasons, but also to clear my anxiety in the morning to keep me from checking messages and emails the moment my eyes open. It's helped keep me focused and being present prior to settling into the work day at my desk. I swear it's reduced my anxiety and lowered my cortisol levels in the mornings. Instead of checking these digital platforms, I'm then forced to find time for me and my mind. Whether it's offering time and space to read a book, listen to a Kwik Brain podcast or just sip coffee and enjoy the view from my window.

5
Staying Hydrated

just learned that drinking a cup (or two) of water in the morning is the best way to wake up all your organs. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. The brain is composed of 73% water AKA your morning breath exhales while you sleep is actually depleting your body of water. I like to wake and work, AKA jump up from bed and kill the game every morning. In order to do that and make sure my body and my brain can keep up with these intentions, I need to fuel myself accordingly.

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