The modern world nowadays has already become more and more sensitive and aware of the mental wellness of every one of us. “Mental illnesses can take a toll on our physical health, like increased blood pressure or a hormonal imbalance, and leave people feeling less engages and focused,” says Jason Walker, PsyD. Companies, schools, and community organizations have made it a thing to create programs and initiate activities that would promote the mental health of their respective employees, students, staff, and the whole community in general.
However, some may be repulsed by the idea of joining a large group of people for activities geared towards mental betterment. Well, it’s okay if you and your friend or circle of friends initiate your simple undertaking and recreation to relieve some stress and increase each other’s emotional resilience.
Here are some fun and light ideas that you can enjoy and kick off informally:
Inactiveness and a sedentary lifestyle are usually the main contributors to heart problems, obesity, and eventually loss of self-confidence. Together with your closest friends, find time to jog together around the neighborhood or to some green parks to relieve some tension and breathe fresher air. Also, according to Dr. Elena Touroni, a consultant psychologist, “Running regulates circadian rhythms, hence getting longer and restful sleep becomes easy.”
Sometimes, stress of the mind can also be brought by the chaotic surroundings (could be the pile of books, mountains of documents, and empty boxes of checklists in your room and your phone) that you can’t seem to get rid of.
On a more technical side, exercise releases endorphins and enkephalins, which are known as the chemicals responsible for your body to feel good (a.k.a. natural painkillers). Psychologists frequently recommend exercise to their mentally- and emotionally-exhausted patients. Doing these simple exercises with your friends can also give you a break from damaging self-talk and self-pity.
Yoga At Home
Aside from the fact that it improves flexibility, Yoga is now receiving attention and much appreciation for its benefits on the mental and emotional health of everyone. The coordinated poses you do in yoga not just burn calories and relieve tight muscle joints or tensions but they also help in freeing your mind and soul from anxiety. “Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system,” says Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.
It is also good prevention of mental problems as it is an effective practice to increase one’s heart rate variability, which aids in the body’s ability to respond and react properly to stress.
Dance/Join A Dance Or Zumba Class
Sometimes, the constricted lifestyle and sedentary way of living contribute much to the decrease of one’s emotional resilience. Dance, move and get lively with your friends to boost your mood, your cognitive skills, and your energy levels. Moreover, you can also meet new people to have fun, talk and laugh with during the dancing sessions.
Coffee And Tea Party
Smile, laugh and reminisce those funny memories you had together way back. This way, you will also see how far you have come and how tough you became for the challenges you have conquered because you are what you are now. Recognize each other’s progress and maybe plan something to reward yourselves (e.g., a vacation plan for all of you, a shopping spree).
You can also discuss some light topics over coffee and tea (or pizza). It can also be the case that your friends’ differing attitudes, stories, and perspectives will ignite some motivation and inspiration for you.
Sleepover And Chill
Netflix and chill. Order to-go snacks and meals. Forget about the calories (if you are a calorie-conscious person) to treat yourself and do your body a favor (a.k.a. a cheat day!). Have some heart-to-heart talks with your friends.
Before you know it, you are already sharing your problems and opening up with them. And there they are, cheering and giving you fresh perspectives and new solutions to resolve whatever’s bugging you.
The idea behind these simple activities and endeavors is to take a break, free your mind from the thoughts of schoolwork, office tasks, and everyday insecurities. Doing such activities with your friends has more positive and useful effects. Make it a habit of doing these activities regularly, if not every week, to exercise your mental and emotional resilience.