7 Daily Habits for Better Mental Health

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I like to use the airplane analogy to express the importance of self-care. If
the cabin pressure changes in the airplane, the oxygen mask falls in front
of us and the instructions are clear: Put the mask on yourself first,
BEFORE helping anyone else!

It can be a difficult concept to grasp because we are socially conditioned to help
others. It can be especially difficult for parents to practice self-care because
they’re programmed to believe that their whole purpose in life is to provide
and perform for their children.

Caring for others can be one of the highest expressions of love and
purpose, but it’s also very important to NOT let that virtue take priority over
your self-care.

Here are 7 Daily Habits that can help you develop and maintain Self-Care:

1. Start each day with the expectation that everything will go your way.
Have you ever noticed that life usually lives up (or down) to your
expectations?! Ancient philosophy tells us that, “It is as YOU SAY IT IS!”
So, why not have your first thought of the day be something like, “Things
are going to go well for me today.” And things will often be as you say
they will be!

2. Assume people have good intentions. Sometimes people do things that
annoy us – not necessarily to annoy us. Just the other day I found myself
blocking the aisle in the grocery store. It wasn’t intentional, but I got lost in
thought while trying to choose a brand of tuna. I was oblivious to my cart
blocking the aisle. Sorry!

3. Do your best with what’s within your control and then let go of the
results. The most common source of stress is the perception that you’ve
got too much to do. Rather than obsess and worry about it, pick one thing
that will move you closer to your highest goal and do that thing first, and remember to ask for

4. Give a gift to someone you meet. Your gift doesn’t have to be a wrapped
present. It can be your smile, a word of encouragement, a gesture of
politeness, or even just a friendly nod.

5. Eat your food slowly. Sometimes we can’t avoid eating some things
quickly. But, at least once a day, make the effort to eat something slowly and
mindfully. Focus on it, taste it, savor it. Tell yourself, “My food is nourishing
my body in perfect harmony.”

6. Take a digital diet. Marketing messages can make you dissatisfied with
your life. Be the gatekeeper of your mind and stop allowing yourself to be
programmed to consume.

7. End each day with gratitude. Tibetans have a custom of turning over
their cup before going to sleep, signifying not just the end of the day but
also the end of their life. In the morning they think, “I am grateful to be alive,”
as they turn up their cup to signify the beginning of a new life.

If you would like to learn ways to manage your life in healthier ways, join us
every Sunday morning for a powerful in-person, peer-support meeting in
Goderich. We also take mindfulness walks every month on the Millennium
Email for details: info@redroofrecovery.com

Tanya MacIntyre is a Certified CBT Practitioner, Mental Health
Professional, and owner/operator of Red Roof Recovery.

DISCLAIMER: This content is not intended to constitute, or be a substitute
for, medical diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard medical advice from a
doctor, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have watched,
read, or heard from anyone at Red Roof Recovery.