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31 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

By Amira Ansari posted 19 days ago


The USBG is always seeking original, exciting, and interesting posts on topics that are relevant to our members; anything ranging from personal experiences to chapter news and industry reviews; to health and wellness-related topics.

Because you're in the thick of it all, day-to-day, we know you have a lot to say! You’re the crème de la crème in the industry, and we are looking for your specific brilliance. If you’re a USBG member that wants to contribute to our online community in a more formal way, this is it!


The USBG Health & Wellness committee is grateful to have @Jules Aron as Health & Wellness Committee Co-chair! Jules is a USBG Palm Beach chapter leader and is named “the wellness mixologist” by Women’s Health magazine.

She is known in our community as the beverage consultant and holistic nutritionist bridging the gap between mind, body, and spirit(s) for over a decade. She is the founder of The Healthy Bartender, the clean online cocktail destination, and is the author of five best-selling books, including the acclaimed cocktail book, Zen and Tonic, and her new book: Low Proof Happy Hour.

In this blog, Jules shares an abundance of smart tips for improving your mental health through mindfulness, meditation, nature, and even social interaction.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we are taking it back to basics with a month long list of mental health activities you are encouraged to try.
But before we begin, what is mental health? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is a “state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” 

I've compiled an accessible list of mental health practices that are broken down in these four main categories of mental health:
1.  Trusting in your own abilities
2.  Coping with stress
3.  The ability to work productively
4.  The ability to contribute to community

We hope you give some of these a try and that a few become an integral part of your mental health toolkit!
1. Start a journaling practice. 
2. Start or end your day by writing down something you are grateful for every day. 
3. Reach out to a co-worker or friend for help today. 
4. Declutter or clean a small space in your home. This helps create more ‘breathing space’ in your brain. 
5. Consider actively self-editing your self destructive words and language to be kinder to yourself.

6. Reach out to a friend, especially if you don’t feel like it. Social well being is crucial to our overall well being. Ask yourself: What are you doing to nurture your relationships with friends and family?

7. Go for a walk outdoors. The fresh air and nature have a grounding effect like no other.

Photo by gabriela on Unsplash
8. Take in that first sunlight in the morning. This is an important one, especially for us, bartenders. Exposing ourselves to that first sunlight for even 10 minutes, helps regulate our circadian rhythms often disrupted by night work. 
9. Step out of your comfort zone. Overcoming challenges however big or small, is good for the soul and your mental well-being.
10. Move for five minutes for a major mood boost. Turn on your favorite song and dance, jog or do some jumping jacks to get your heart rate up and those endorphins going.
11. Try this five-minute deep belly breathing exercise:
Lie down on your back with your knees bent. 
Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach, just below your rib cage, and start breathing in slowly through your nose, letting the air drop deep into your belly. The hand on your stomach should rise while the one on your chest should stay still. 

Tighten your abdominal muscles and exhale through pursed lips. The hand on your stomach should return to its original position.

Photos by Jared Rice on Unsplash

12. Put a few drops of peppermint essential oil in your palms, rub them together, close your eyes, and breathe into your hands deeply for a few minutes. 
13. Take a tea break. Enjoy a soothing cup of herbal tea without interruption.
14. Take one small step:  Identify one small step you can take to begin caring for yourself better.

15.Make self care a priority by scheduling a self care practice into your calendar.

16. Do one thing for your mind, one thing for your body and one thing for your soul every day.

17. Develop a healthy bedtime routine.This is another one that can be challenging for us bartenders and industry professionals but is crucial for our mental well-being. Try turning off all electronics an hour before bed, enjoy a cup of herbal tea and engage in relaxing activities to set yourself up for a restful sleep.

18. Find a creative outlet. Doing something that you love and can put your energy into will make dealing with a difficult day much more enjoyable.

19. Drink more water and consider better food options. We all know our physical health is connected to your mental health, so be kind to yourself  and give it the fuel it needs.

20. Let that sh*t go. Whatever it is, you’re not doing yourself any favors by holding on to hurt and anger. The sooner you can forgive and forget, the sooner you’ll feel better

21. Be caring, compassionate and generous with your time. When you help a friend, or volunteer your time, you build a healthy relationship with yourself.

22. Make a list of things to look forward to.

23. Take a cold shower. The cold temperature counters our sympathetic response to stress.

24. Select a few simple morning and evening habits that make you feel good, and commit to them. These go a long way in creating a healthy routine that sets us up for success. 
25. Volunteer at a pet shelter. When you spend time with animals, your stress hormones are replaced with happiness hormones. 

Photo by Amy Baugess on Unsplash

26. Try dry brushing. This process of massaging your body with a natural-bristle brush increases circulation,  strengthen your immune system and boost your energy.
27. Take one full day off of social media. 
28. Light some candles, burn some incense and take a warm bath with salts. 
29. Brain dump your worries on paper and release them. 

30. Reset your nervous system in less than 60 seconds with this Five Finger Breathing Practice:
Start by placing the index finger of one hand on the outside of the pinky finger on your other hand. 
Breathe in and trace up to the tip of your pinky.
Breathe out and trace down the inside of your pinky. 
On the next inhale, trace up the outside of your ring finger.
On the exhale, trace down the inside of your ring finger.
Inhale and trace up the outside of your middle finger. 
Exhale and trace down the inside of your middle finger. 
Continue until you’ve traced your entire hand, and then reverse the process as you trace from your thumb back to your pinky.
31. Choose what previous activities are going to fit into your regular mental health tool kit. Keep doing them regularly. 

Hope you find the tips above helpful and accessible ways to take care of your mental health. They are not, however, a replacement for medical care or the guidance of a mental health professional. If you’re in need of urgent help, please reach out to the helplines below.

• Crisis Text Line: Text SUPPORT to 741-741 (Available 24/7)

• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 (Available 24/7)

• National Alliance on Mental Illness: 800-950-6264 (Available Monday–Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET)

#MentalHealth #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

If you have any tips/resources for the Health & Wellness committee, please CLICK HERE to submit them.