Four Tips to Boost Your Mental Health

Four Tips to Boost Your Mental Health

I hope this career tip finds you safe and healthy and off to a great start in 2021.  I want to use the first Career Tip of 2021 with a best practice I started in the latter half of 2020 to help me not only manage my stress but also be more confident and at peace with so much out of my control.

I must admit, what I am about to share with you, I did not come up with by myself.  I learned it from listening to Michael Bungay Stanier, author of The Coaching Habit and The Advice Trap, interview Caroline Webb, author of How to Have a Good Day, in a podcast.  

As 2020 went on, I sensed a level of burnout or I am not even sure what to call it.  It felt like fatigue but with an edge to it.  I used to have a lot of variety in my work but now I headed into the office every day and most days were like the others.  I am absolutely grateful that I still had a job, more than a job actually, Partner in a company that continued to thrive despite the pandemic.  However, I needed to get my mind right.  That is when I listened to Michael Bungay Stanier interview Caroline Webb.  During this podcast they talked about journaling answers to three questions every day: 

1) What will I let go of today?

2) What do I want to focus on instead?

3) What am I grateful for?  

At about the same time, someone recommended meditating.  I have tried it off and on over a couple of years and just never made it a habit.  Even as I write this, I even feel self-conscious sharing it.  However, I am because it is helping me, and who knows maybe it will help you, or if you are already doing it, encourage you to keep it going.  Meditating calms my mind and allows me to relax and focus.  It gives me an opportunity to take a deep breath, or I should say a lot of deep breaths!  

I created a new morning routine that I believe has given me new energy and I hope made be a better leader (you would have to get my team’s opinion on that though).  The night before I set the coffee timer to go off about 10 minutes before I wake up.  I start with a cup of coffee and just sit next to my dog for about 15 minutes and wake up.  I then meditate for 10 minutes using the Ten Percent Happier app.  There are numerous other apps out there on meditating.  I just happened to like this one.  I then journal answers to my questions and finish with a prayer.  

Here is what I learned on how to boost your mental health. 

  1.  Routine helps.  No surprises and no stress.
  2. The specific order has a purpose.  Wake up with coffee, meditate to calm my mind, journal and pray.  
  3. Journaling helps me with the way I approach leadership and my day.  I learned that I want to let go of control, perfection, having all of the answers and always being right.  Instead, I want to focus on developing others, doing my very best, learning, growing the company, asking questions, listening, letting others lead.  
  4. Writing what I am grateful for is powerful medicine for mood.  Let’s face it, 2020 was hard.  However, I have a lot to be grateful for.  I work with amazing people.  My wife loves me despite my issues, my parents are healthy and live 2 blocks away from me and my kids are doing well despite all of this chaos.  Even writing this, I feel happier and have a smile on my face.  

For more on the importance of self-care, click here. I hope my experience helps you create a morning or any time of the day type of routine that helps you boost your mental health, discover more energy and find peace in your life.  Have a powerful 2021!