Cultivating Strong Relationships
Human connection is at the core of good mental wellness. There are times we need to talk, cry, find ways to laugh and play or ask friends and family for encouragement.
Find a therapist, be a “therapist”
Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” comes in many different forms. It can be a traditional appointment with a therapist, an online site, a support group and/or a talk with a trusted role model. Feeling like you have the undivided attention, time, and support is so important.
Treat Trauma and Grow Through Grief
Grief is not limited to the life and death of a loved one. Experiencing any sort of trauma or drastic change causes grief; grieving is a part of life. We need to take the time to treat our traumas. Then we may grow with it, carrying our grief rather than drowning in it.
Get Grounded In Nature
Make sure you take the time each day to get up and outside. Spending time in nature and incorporating it into your daily environment can boost your mood and decrease your anxiety, along with many other health benefits.
What we put into our bodies matters. Having a healthy and balanced diet is important to provide your brain and body the nutrients we need. What we eat and when can have an impact on how we feel.
Get Involved & Give Back
Dive into your communities and get involved. Whether you find happiness and peace through exercise, art, travel, or specific activities - people with similar interests are all around.
Creating strong relationships and feeling supported by your community is one of the biggest contributing factors to happiness. It not only increases our mental and emotional health but has also been proven to lengthen our lifespans and boost our physical health.
Choose a community that builds you up with kindness and appreciates your uniqueness. A good community celebrates differences among its individuals as well as the cohesion and bond of the group.
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness In a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV
We know this is much easier said than done, meeting new people and making the effort to get out of your comfort zone is hard. If you are experiencing social anxiety, start slow. Try going to an event held by your school/community, take a friend with you, and talk to them beforehand about what to do if it becomes too overwhelming for you.
Having a community - whether it be a team, fraternity, club, class, etc - is only going to give you as much as you put into it.
Get involved as an active member
Lend a helping hand to other members
Take on responsibilities or leadership roles
You may end up finding yourself surrounded by people that are practically family.
Start giving back with your communities - in doing acts of service and good deeds we significantly improve our own mental health, a win-win!
Becoming involved in a non-profit or dedicating time and effort to a cause you are passionate about is a huge way to bring meaning and service into your life. It gives us confidence and purpose. Push yourself to grow positively as an individual with conscious and continued acts of goodwill.
There are infinite ways to help others. Whatever you decide to do, do it out of kindness, love, and care; give back in a way that you find meaningful and rewarding. There are plenty of ways to tie together hobbies/social things you enjoy and acts of good service.
Here are a few ideas of ways you can help:
Plan a fundraiser for your favorite non-profit
Do a conservation project, trash pick up, or look up your local parks & recreation department’s events
Run a 5K (or participate in another activity) for a cause
Volunteer your time at a soup kitchen, shelter, or food pantry
Donate old clothes and no longer used items to Goodwill (or the many other places that will take them!)
Be a role model - whether you coach, mentor, teach a skill, tutor, or read to youth, you are making a difference to each child's life
If you are experiencing persistent moderate to severe anxiety or depression, please consult your healthcare provider for the best plan of action in your unique case. Medication or more intensive treatment may be necessary based on professional opinion.
The more involved you become and the time you spend putting your heart into good service, the more you will get out of the experience. We highly recommend getting involved in something that isn’t just a one-time thing but an effort that you dedicate yourself to.
Be a Special Olympics Volunteer
Dedicate your time to transforming the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through sports and games
Join Patagonia's Environmental Activism Group or any local environmental group
Mustard Seed Communities
Get involved Mustard Seed Communities by raising money, praying, and caring for the most vulnerable communities around the world
Join the buildOn Movement
Help to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education by joining BuildOn
Wounded Warriors Project
Live stream/Gaming for The Wounded Warriors Project as an easy way to support veterans suffering from mental
Join the Back Lives Matter Movement and educate yourself, raise awareness of racial injustices and help be a part of the solution
Knots of Love
Knit/Crochet a Blanket For Premature Babies - if you don’t know how to knit, now is a great time to try! The act of knitting itself has been shown to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Habitat for Humanity
Help Out With Habitat For Humanity in dedicating time and service to helping families in need of housing
To find more volunteer opportunities - https://www.volunteermatch.org