1. Fresh air
I remember my mom when we were little telling us to go outside and get some fresh air every morning or in the afternoon. Fresh air contributes a lot to our brain health. I’m not an expert on this but I know the more oxygen the brain gets, the more it functions more efficiently. It does improve your concentration as well.
Sunshine boosts levels of serotonin, thus, makes my mood better, too! So I try to take a little sun time daily. Though it won’t be too easy now because it’s summer and with temperatures rising up to more than 45°C, oh, it’s hellish!
3. A good night sleep
For years, 4-5 hours has been pretty much a good night sleep for me. Sleeping more than that gives me back pain and makes me lazy the whole day. Several months back, I started to force myself to sleep for 6-8 hours. It wasn’t easy as I tend to wake up after 4 or 5 hours no matter how tired or drunk I was the day/night before so I started taking melatonin and it worked after a few days. It helped me regulate my sleep. I guess, the few hours I’ve added in my sleep were a lot better than spending them overthinking. 😉
4. Walking and jogging
Walking and jogging have been a part of my lifestyle for years. I’ve stopped since I came here but eventually got back to it though not as much as I usually did before back home. Both helped me a lot when I’m sad and most specially during my most painful breakup. I haven’t gone out for a walk or to jog for months again now but I’m preparing myself for it again.
5. A great conversation
Having great conversations increase my energy and brightens my mood. I like talking to people who stimulates my mind. I like learning new things, sharing what I know, discovering new ideas, knowing things we have in common, debating about issues/subjects we disagree on, etc. It’s fun. It’s energizing. It’s healthy.
There’s so much hype everywhere on how to detox our body from the food we eat or products we use that harm our health. Detox could probably be the most popular word in terms of wellness these days but to be quite honest, I don’t do any body detoxification thingy. Really. I know it’s essential to our bodies but I’d get to that some time later. I find detoxing my mind more necessary. Our brains construct what actions to take so I find it very important to take care of my mind.
I am blessed to have had the pleasure of living a carefree and adventure-filled childhood. By adventure, I don’t mean magic carpet rides and stuff, I just mean exploring the beauty of the vast outdoors. Hiking, boating, kite-flying, bicycling (though I only hitch with my dad because I never learned how to!), horseback riding, name it and I’ve probably done or tried it. Then life happened. Adulthood started to loom over me quite a bit early. The stress caused by sudden life changes at that time almost had me lose control of my mind. I’m a girl who overthinks things way too much. It’s just me, that’s just the way I am. So I got used to working my ass off no matter what it takes whenever I want to achieve something or get things done. I have always been that stubborn, hard-working but still happy-go-lucky girl in my world full of chaos.
Fortunately, I’m able to learn and take better control of my mind soon enough instead of falling into the trap of overthinking and stress. I’ve developed doing a mental detox from time to time and I find it is just as important as a body detox. Here’s what I usually do to release toxic thoughts that cloud my mind…
Taking a break from social media.
Nowadays, whether you’re into twittering, or photo-sharing or simply sharing everything worth-sharing (or not) to the public, there’s just the right social media application right for you. That’s just the world today. (I don’t have a Facebook account. I’ve just very recently signed up with Twitter and I’m inactive most of the time. I occasionally post on Instagram which I’ve also set on private.) The thing is, social media is associated with lots of bad stuff BUT it is associated with lots of good stuff as well. However, people these days consume a lot more time on it.
I strongly believe that we need to take a step back from social media once in a while. Shut down. This gives us the chance to connect to ourselves and to the people around us more. I really miss going out for lunch or dinner with friends without a mobile phone on the dining table, having in-depth conversations with them, asking questions and thinking of answers without searching the internet. Connecting to the real world, creating memories, experiencing things for the sake of experience and not for the purpose of posting on social media.
Taking long walks.
Walking helps me a lot to clear my head. Whenever I’m stressed from work or had an argument with someone, I try my best to go for a walk. When my longest relationship came to an end, walking has been a vital part of moving on. I’d spent at least an hour walking early in the morning or in the afternoon after work in the exit stairs of the apartment building. When I was left hanging clueless, I can’t bring myself to take a walk to be able to move on and let go. Why? I really don’t know. Eventually though, I was able to pick myself up again and started walking up and down the stairs as usual.
Moreover, walking always changes/improves my mood. After a manic day at work, I sometimes feel stressed so I go for a walk. Sometimes, my weekends are so boring that I feel so homesick, I go out for a walk. Walking does change/improve my mood in such situations.
Saying goodbye to toxic people.
I’ve had my fair share of toxic people in my life. I find it unhealthy when I’m in the company of people who make me feel less than myself. People, even so-called friends, who create drama and act like poison to my mind. Thank heavens, I find it easier now to get rid of such kind of people. And whenever I get rid of them, I’m always happier and drama-free!
This is my most favoured way of having a total mental detox. I don’t hold back on calories when I travel and I don’t feel guilty about it. Food makes my world go ’round! I taste every possible food there is in places I travel to and that way, I’m able to relax and clear my mind completely! Also, discovering new places is surely relaxing. It rejuvenates my mind and it’s uplifting. It gives me a different view of life, a different perspective. I always come back from a trip wiser, refreshed and happier.
Cleaning and rearranging my room.
I don’t really like routine, I find it lethal. So even in cleaning my room, there’s no specific day/schedule and I rearrange my room any given moment I feel like doing it but most specially when I’m feeling out of sorts. When I rearrange my room in such a way that it makes sense to me at that particular moment, adding or removing stuff, it gives me great satisfaction and lifts my mood. It also helps me to identify what I really love having in my room, what I need and what I don’t. (It’s not always easy for me throwing things even when they’re useless already so I keep them all in storage boxes and just open and reminisce whenever I feel like it.) So even though you like routine, a bit of a change here and there once in a while will do your mind a lot of good.
Reading (books, in general) has always been a big part of my self-development and has always been my favorite entertainment. And though there are never-ending distractions due to the world’s advancement in technology, reading is something I can’t remove from my system. Books are very powerful that they’re able to change and transform lives. It still is my favorite entertainment and definitely one of the best ways to relax and calm my mind. Not only do I feel better and relaxed, I always learn something new, too. Reading feeds my always hungry mind, engages and broaden my imagination, stimulates my mind, expands my vocabulary and a whole lot more.
Taking some me time.
For the past six months or so, I’ve been actually telling myself more often to be selfish. I just thought, sometimes, it ain’t bad if it has to be all about me. Self-care is a necessity so I don’t feel guilty pampering myself. From June last year until early January, I’ve cut my hair thrice and dyed it twice. (I don’t really cut my hair very often and never tried dying it until 2016!) There was also a time when I’ve had my nails painted different colors weekly. I was never a fan of nail polishing until middle of last year and it’s actually fun. So the main idea here is do what gives you joy, either doing what you’ve always wanted doing or trying something new.
Writing a journal.
Though I’ve entirely stopped keeping a journal, I would still recommend doing so. I’ve been writing a journal for years, I loved it and I must say that being able to get all my thoughts and feelings on paper, good or bad. is a very effective way to declutter my mind. Writing honestly about how I feel helps my brain overcome emotional upsets. Scribbling a few lines of poetry like six-word stories or haikus, which I personally do, also helps.
I don’t claim to be an expert on mental detox but I find this worth sharing with you because I see good effect and development on myself since I started doing a regular mental detox. I get to focus on positive thoughts more each day and able to reconnect with myself more and more.
Do you guys do a mental detox as well? Share your tricks, too, in the comment section. I’d be happy to read them.
Thanks for reading and have a great day, homo sapiens! 🙂