In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, Legal Innovators is sharing some Mental Health and Wellness Tips! These tips are small things you can do day-to-day to help you improve your mental health and wellbeing. Check out our full list below!
Tip #1: Drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning!
Your body goes quite a few hours without hydration as you sleep. Drinking a big glass of water in the morning will aid digestion, flush out toxins, enhance skin health, and give you a great energy boost right at the start of the day.
Benefits of drinking water in the morning:
- Rehydrate your body
- Flush out toxins
- Improve metabolism
- Increase brain power
- Boost the immune system
Tip #2: Get Moving! Try to incorporate physical activity into your day.
The practice of law is usually a pretty sedentary occupation. Hours of sitting behind a desk, sitting in the courtroom, or sitting in conferences all add up to minimum movement throughout the day. Regular physical activity has a lot of mental health benefits, in addition to the physical benefits, such as:
- Improving your mood
- Boosting your energy levels
- Leading to better sleep
- Promoting social connections
For all these reasons, it’s vital to fit physical activity into your weekly schedule. Even a brisk walk a few days a week can prove beneficial. If that just doesn’t seem doable to you, implement small strategies for increased physical activity, like:
- Parking farther from your destination and walking
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Using an adjustable desk that allows you to stand while working
- Doing small stretches and exercises right from your desk
Tip #3: Practice habits for a good night’s sleep!
Getting restful sleep at night is an important component for feeling energized and present throughout the day. Healthy sleep habits are essential for both physical and mental health. If you ever have trouble falling or staying asleep at night, try some of these tips for getting better sleep:
- No screen time for at least an hour prior to bedtime. Put down the electronics and try reading a book instead.
- Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” at night. Buzzing notifications and flashing screens in the middle of the night can disturb your rest, even if they don’t wake you up completely.
- Keep your bedroom cool! The optimal temperature for sleep is between 60 degrees and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Stick to a sleep schedule (even on the weekend!). Consistency will reinforce your body’s sleep cycle and help you fall asleep faster at night.
Tip #4: Spend some time outside every day!
While working from home, it can be a challenge to find time every day to get outdoors. But spending time in nature, or even just in the sunshine and fresh air, can improve your mental health and help you cope with stress. Plus, it’s added time away from screens and work distractions. Here are some ideas for working a change of scenery and outdoor time into your day:
- Take a 10-minute walk outdoors between meetings
- Ride your bike to the office
- Spend your lunch hour outside
- Take your workout outdoors – do it in your backyard, or in a nearby park!
Tip #5: Take time for creative activities that help you unwind.
The practice of law is a high stress profession that often creeps into life outside of working hours. When workdays get busy, it can become difficult to set aside time for yourself. But taking time at the end of the workday to unwind and be creative is proven to improve your mental health, which in turn is good for professional performance. Here are some activities to try during your well-earned “me time”:
- Journaling in the evening can help you process the day and get down any worries before bed, so you are less anxious and have a more restful sleep. To start, try writing three things that you were grateful for today, and 3 things you would like to accomplish tomorrow.
- Listening to a guided meditation podcast is a great way to start practicing mindfulness.
- Try a new hobby that lets you be creative: drawing, knitting, or working on a home improvement project with your hands are all great activities that can be creative outlets after work.