19 things you can do this weekend to improve your mental health

19 things you can do this weekend to improve your mental health

One of the reasons I love weekends so much – besides the fact I can sleep until noon, stay in pajamas all day and work on personal projects – is because I get to take a break from most responsibilities and just focus on taking care of myself and my mental health.

Here’s a list of 19 things you can do to improve your mental health and take care of yourself.

Meditate

Therapy has taught me to appreciate and value meditation a bit more, and it’s one of my go-to activities after a stressful day at work. Personally, I prefer using YouTube videos for guided meditation, but there are also plenty of apps out there (such as Headspace or Calm) that do the same.

Start a diary

One of the things that my mental health benefits most from, is writing down my feelings and thoughts. It makes it so much easier to understand where my anxiety is coming from, and writing my worries down on paper gets them out of my head. You can buy a diary, download printables, or use an app like Evernote to keep track of your thoughts.

Take a long bath

Living in an apartment that only has a shower, I miss this so much. Back when I lived with my parents, I used to take a long bath every Sunday, accompanied by relaxing music, something to drink and bath products.

List your strengths

Once in a while, it can be useful to write down everything you’re good at. Whatever your strengths are, write them down. All of them. Every skill is useful and something to be proud of, and you’ll quickly come to realize you’re better at so much more than you thought. Keep the list and re-read it whenever you feel bad.

Write down everything you love about yourself

Similar to writing down all your strengths, write down everything you love about yourself. You can either make a list of everything, say it out loud, write a love letter to yourself, use my self-love printable or use a self-love journal.

self-love printable

Exercise

Yoga is one of my favorite ways to relax during the weekends. It’s enough exercise to give me a sense of accomplishment after finishing the session, yet not too intense to make me feel exhausted.

Clean your desk

Whenever I start feeling anxious at home, I declutter my desk and living room. Burned up candles are thrown out, that cup of tea I had in the morning gets cleaned and put back on the shelf, and old to-do lists go straight to the trash. And having a clean apartment is one less thing to worry about or be annoyed over.

Take the day off

Take the day off. Do nothing. Just relax. After a busy week at work, I love relaxing and just not having to worry about anything. Not doing anything at all is a great form of self-care as well, in my opinion.

Talk to someone about your feelings

Whether it’s a therapist, a friend, partner or random stranger on the internet, talking about your feelings can feel so great. If you usually keep to yourself this can be scary at first, but it’s ok to take baby steps.

Go outside

Going for a walk won’t fix all your mental health related problems, but getting fresh air and sunlight is a great way to relax and clear your head. If you don’t feel comfortable going in public, having your breakfast in the garden instead of staying inside can do wonders already.

Autumn Roundup: The absolute best and worst of this autumn

Be creative

I love making art, not only is it a great way to relax, it also allows me to express my feelings in a different way. Making a collage about my mental health can be so much easier, yet just as effective, as talking about it.

Go out eating

Not having to worry about making food (and cleaning up afterward) feels really great, so going to my favorite restaurant is a great way to eliminate extra worries and stress.

Plan the next month

Setting off some time to get organized can prevent a lot of stress in the future, and you can actually save a lot of time by planning things in advance.

Make a list of things you’re grateful for

At the end of each day, I list a couple of things I was grateful for. There are a lot of gratitude journals out there to guide you with this, or you can just say it out loud to yourself or a friend. I often do this exercise together with my boyfriend, as it also strengthens our relationship.

Gratitude JournalMy favorite one is the 100-day happiness planner (Etsy), a journal that is meant to be filled in every evening and focuses on gratitude, goals, and positivity.Gratitude JournalBe Yourself and Nothing Else (Etsy) has quotes, challenges and coloring pages in addition to being a great daily gratitude journal.

Share your mental health journey with others

Blogging has helped me manage my anxiety so much better and has taught me to accept the ‘weirder’ parts about myself. It’s such a great way to connect with others, and I can actually help other people, which makes me feel incredibly good.

Set goals

Set realistic goals, but don’t beat your self up if you didn’t accomplish them all in time. Every step you take, no matter how small, is an accomplishment and one step closer to achieving your goals.

Go to a spa

Spa’s can be expensive, so it’s not something I do every week. But I love setting off a day that’s entirely focused on self-care and relaxation, and once every couple of months I pay a visit to the local spa. There’s no better way to treat yourself than getting a massage, relaxing in different saunas and enjoying a nice cup of tea by the pool, if you ask me.

Book a therapy appointment

If you think therapy can benefit you, or if you just want to give it a try at some point, make an appointment and just go for it. Depending on where you live the waiting list might be long (although I got an appointment within a couple of weeks), but at least you took the first step already.

Go offline

Take a break from social media, answering emails, working and binge watching your favorite Netflix show, and go completely offline. Go to a spa, rent a cabin, start a new art project or hang out with friends. Just take a little break from everything that’s going on online.

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20 Comments

  1. Some great tips – i make sunday a pamper day putting a face treatment on, painting nails, body scrub and hair treatment on. I also like yoga and keeping a diary. I do believe setting goals and being creative can make huge difference x

  2. So many good things. I try to have a bath, face mask, pamper evening every week and I try to go offline every evening I spend with my other half as I try not to ‘work’ and I find I am so much more relaxed x

  3. I am struggling with my mental health a lot at the moment and these tips are just what I need. In fact, have printed them out to carry in my planner and look at for advice when things are going awry

  4. Great list! I think writing stuff down – diaries, lists, what’s good about you etc. is one of the best techniques. It forces you to really think about what’s good in your life and what really needs to be worked on, which is an important step towards recovery!

  5. These are some great tips, I’m going to try a couple! I totally agree with taking time offline, going outside and going to the spa is always a good idea! xo

  6. These are some great suggestions. I think I probably need to take note and actually do some of these suggestions as my MH is at an all time low due to some pretty shite things with my health. Ideally I’d love a break away somewhere but that has to wait. Thanks for such a well thought out post!