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  • Writer's pictureLorree Riley

"3 Small Ways to Boost Your Mental Health and Well-Being"

We are hearing more than ever about the importance of mental health. While this is opening more opportunities, it might be also causing confusion as to how we tend to it, what we do for it and how we know if it worked. Tending to it can look like finally taking that vacation, signing up for monthly massages or taking a day off to do what you truly love or nothing at all but sometimes taking a big break from life and stressors is not an option.

We live in a culture of "Go big or go home" making it easy to believe that we need BIG change to make a BIG difference. Don't get me wrong-spending a week or two at a seaside villa is wonderful for your well being however, you ultimately return to life and that's where small moves can payoff in big ways.

Here are three ways to implement small, in the moment, moves to support mental health and well-being.

  1. Small moves matter. A small move can create needed change. A small move can create new neuropathways which open the door to habitual behaviors. If you can't go all in, make a small move. You can't know the full ripple effect of it in the moment so don't give in to defeat. Small moves matter.

  2. Small moments matter. When you feel yourself on the way to total overwhelm, give yourself and your nervous system a five second pause. Your nervous system might want to go all in but you can override it and be intentional about choosing your next action. It doesn't necessarily mean the situation changes, but how you walk back into it does change.

  3. Small achievements matter. They might not be social media worthy or even cause to celebrate but give yourself some credit. Be your own advocate by being aware of how significant that small achievement is for you. This is especially important if you tend to beat yourself up. Stretch that mental conversation out and offer yourself both sides of the story. "I made a small move and know what I want to try next time."

My clients will often say "I'm trying" and in that I hear both a sense of self efficacy and a sense of defeat. I tell them that's a lot of what life is about.

Trying to be mindful, trying to pay attention, trying to feel happy, trying to figure it out, to do better, be better. You keep trying and adjusting and paying attention and figuring it out and trying again.

Trying to attend to your mental health and well-being amidst the noise of everyone else's needs and expectations happens in small ways.

Call to Action: Find a few small things that work for you so as the seasons of your life change, you will have ways to try to manage it, try to show up for it, try to get through it, and try to maintain a sense of mental well-being.

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