The best self-care ideas for Mental Health Awareness month

  • From meditation to a home spa day and writing a gratitude journal, these tips will help you show yourself a little love and compassion
  • The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on everyone, so don’t be afraid to slow down and check in with yourself
Tribune News Service |

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Make sure to slow down and take care of yourself.

Saying this past year was tough is an understatement.

No matter the challenges you’ve gone through, the pandemic has impacted our mental health in different ways.

For Mental Health Awareness month, which kicked off on May 1, we’ve rounded up some ways you can put the focus back on you with some self-care.

From taking a break from chores to connecting with yourself through meditation, here are some ideas for how to focus on self-love this Mental Health Awareness month.

How to do a mental health check-up

Self-care spa day

An at-home spa day is a tried-and-true way to make yourself feel better on the inside by giving yourself some extra TLC on the outside. From a mani-pedi to a facial, get out your favourite skin care and beauty products to give yourself some much-deserved pampering.

Looking to step up your spa day? Add a foot peel to your pedicure. You can also get creative with DIY face masks, hair masks and body scrubs.

A few ways to pamper yourself at home

Skip the cooking (and cleaning)

Nothing says comfort like your favourite feel-good meal from your favourite restaurant, and take out or delivery options are a great way to treat yourself to a fancy dinner at home. Maybe the best part? Not having to cook and clean up your kitchen, which means more you-time. You deserve a break.

Sometimes it's nice to not have to cook.

Take yourself on a date

Plan a special day for yourself! Into the outdoors? Go on a picnic in a nearby park and connect to nature by putting away your phone and enjoying some of life’s simple pleasures: a packed lunch, bird watching or a crossword. Love to cook? Get the ingredients for a challenging new recipes you want to try, put on some music and chef it up. We’ve got a few recipes you can check out:

Cuddle up with a book (or movie)

If a cosy day in is just what you need, cuddle up with an exciting new book. Looking for ideas? We’ve got a few:

If you’re more of a movie person, you can also cosy up with your favourite flick, or watch something new. Here’s a few movies you can check out:

Connect with yourself through meditation

Show yourself some love by getting close with your thoughts and feelings. Meditation apps like Headspace and Simple Habit can help users check in with themselves and relieve stress. Headspace also has a new TV show on Netflix that you can check out.

Put your love on paper

Donna Cardillo, nurse, motivational speaker and author of Falling Together - How to Find Balance, Joy and Meaningful Change When Your Life Seems to Be Falling Apart, suggests writing a love letter to yourself this year.

“Start with an endearing salutation, praise and recognise your life and value and sign it with affection,” she writes.

A love letter - from you to you!

Give a gratitude log a try

Expressing gratitude regularly is thought to make you feel happier, which is why ‘s Lindsey Vickers gave gratitude journaling a shot by writing down things she was thankful for every night.

“Nothing changed my sleep - and overall mood - as much as gratitude journaling. It took a week or so for me to see any effect, but after that the difference was practically palpable. I was happier as I dozed off, stayed asleep longer, and experienced fewer nightly interruptions.”

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