Your mental wellbeing is of the upmost importance. As we each go through our own journeys, we pick up our own self-care habits, which become our steps to wellbeing or strategies to improve our mental health. Learning new tools and gaining new resources can always be beneficial to improving your mental health. Today, we are going to share our top 5 habits that we use to manage our mental wellbeing.
1. Physical Excercise
We know what you are thinking… wow, so original Tomodotchi. Physical exercise! Who hasn’t thought of that? We know, we know! But hear us out, we list this first because so often people think of physical exercise as a chore or a painful experience. They imagine long hours at the gym and crazy amounts of sweat, effort and soreness. Well, we’re here to say, physical exercise comes in all shapes and sizes. What’s important here is finding an activity that is sustainable and realistic to you.
We need to recognize that the images of exercise created by the media aren’t always realistic. Getting outside and walking for thirty minutes, following a YouTube yoga tutorial, gardening, etc. can all be valid forms of exercise! There are so many benefits that fitness has on your mental health and there are many studies on this you can google! So instead, we’re going to explain the other reason we love exercise for our mental health.
The main reason being, physical health is an activity where you can see tangible results. Whether it’s the fact that you can lift more weight, walk a longer distance or feel less winded doing the same activity. There is tangible evidence to see yourself improve. For us, this is paramount for our mental health. It’s so easy to not see progress in our daily lives. These small differences in physical activity really help us to understand the progress we make. Personally, seeing this progress allows us to have a more positive mindset and get excited for life. We would encourage you to find a sustainable form of exercise, set your routine and make it happen every day! Small changes amount to huge wins!
2. Getting Enough Sleep
This is one that most of us understand fundamentally, but have a really hard time putting into practice. When it comes time to sleep, putting down the phone, clearing our thoughts and /or getting physically comfortable is difficult! Not to mention the endless list of chores / things you want to get done before you hit the sack. We don’t know about you but our sleep schedule would have us go to sleep late and wake up early. Most days we got less than 6 hours of sleep a night!
Since this was a daily occurrence, we had difficulty recognizing the effect that lack of sleep had on our mental health. After all, sleep deprivation had become a part of our life! You may be asking, what does this have to do with anything? Well, once we decided to try and focus on getting quality sleep, we recognized almost instantly an improvement in our mood. Not only that, but we had a new found clarity and our anxiety had actually lessened. As we improved our sleep, we found that we were able to think more rationally and feel less stressed in our daily life.
What helped us get better sleep, was to set healthy habits before bedtime. We set a daily time to sleep based on our morning routines! For us, our dog wakes us up at 5:30 every morning to use the restroom! So, we decided that 10PM was the best bed time for us to get at least 7 hours of sleep. Further, we set our phones on a counter that is not right next to the bed. This ensures that we don’t look at our phones in the middle of the night and forces us to get out of bed to turn off the morning alarm (although Momo, one of the Tomodotchi pets, is a much better alarm clock, nothing like a wet nose and a paw in the face to get the day going!) One last thing that helps us is having white noise play in the background. The sound is reassuring and calming. Silence can be deafening and lonely, so having some noise can really help! Hopefully, these strategies can help you get better sleep at night! We will have a future post on this topic! Keep your eye out!
3. Join a Supportive Community
Ok, for those of you who follow us, you know we mention this a lot, after all, the whole premise of Tomodotchi is building community. However, as people, we aren’t meant to go through life alone and we think community is paramount to mental health. No, this doesn’t mean that we all need partners and spouses, but we do need community and friendship. Even more, we need a supportive community, one who recognizes our struggles and validates us. A group of people who care and want you to be your best self. This isn’t always easy to find and it gets harder as we get older. Even as extroverts, we find it difficult to make new friends or start random conversations with strangers on the outside to build friendships.
The beauty of the digital age is that we have many outlets to find new communities. Social communities and groups on Facebook are fantastic ways to finding likeminded people. Apps like Meetup are great for finding local friends who enjoy the same activities. We need to recognize that the way we socialize and meet new people has changed. Relationships don’t have to be built in person anymore. Building online friends are equally as valid! Now of course, disclaimer here, you do have to be wary of who you talk to online. Afterall, it’s hard to know who is on the other side of the screen.
However, for those of you looking for community and a group of likeminded people. We have created our Tomodotchi Mental Wellness Warrior Facebook group. There, our community posts things that make them happy, their wins and their struggles. We are building a peer-to-peer community to support and care for one another. We have virtual weekly wellness meetups where we get together and just chat as a group of friends. We have plans to host monthly game nights, where we will play virtual games as a group. The group is and always will be free and we encourage you to join us if you are seeking community in your mental wellness journey, come join the family! Additionally, if you do not like Facebook, we have created a discord server as well. You are all welcome to the Tomodotchi family and we are all there for you.
4. Journaling, Reflecting and Understanding Yourself
In our humble opinion, journaling, reflecting and understanding yourself is quintessential to the mental health game. When anxiety, panic and depression hit; it gets hard to think rationally. We tend to find it difficult to express ourselves in the moment and an even harder time remembering the good in our lives. Journaling, and yes, this blog is a version of journaling for ourselves, has helped our lives tremendously.
When we struggle with a challenge, it helps to write out how we feel and the ways we can aim to get better. Many times, we will write our struggle and write a response to ourselves, but as if we were talking to a friend with the same problem. It can be affirming and provide direction when you speak to yourself as kindly as if you were speaking to a friend. Journaling can help us put tangible words and actions down on paper. Furthermore, once you write it, you have documented your solutions for next time. Journaling can really help you process your journey and understand what works for you.
5. Setting Boundaries and Goals
In a similar vein to writing and understanding yourself, one of the best self-care tips we have is to set your own boundaries and goals. As you journal and understand how things make you feel in your daily life, think about different boundaries you need to set to maintain your mental wellness or to hit your goals. A boundary just being a limit, threshold or non-negotiable you set for yourself. For example, you can set a boundary for how long you work a day. Most companies, will take as much as you give, so setting a firm boundary really lets you take back control. Before we set boundaries, there would be many 12–14-hour days, which just were not realistic or sustainable! If you want to read our post on learning to set boundaries, check it out here.
Another key aspect is to set goals for your life and to set boundaries to allow you to hit those goals. For example, if you have a goal to get 7 hours of sleep a day, then you can set a boundary to not sleep next to your phone. The main key here is to set realistic goals and boundaries. While it may be ideal to get 10 hours of sleep a night, most of us won’t be able to achieve that. However, 7-8 hours is a realistic number that we should all be able to reasonably achieve! It’s critical to remember that unrealistic goals can be very defeating and negative to our mental health. If you’ve never run before, than setting a goal to run 26 miles tomorrow probably won’t happen. But if you set a goal to run a mile a day, with a boundary that you will run every day at 6pm. Well, in a few weeks you can up that goal and some day you will get to 26 miles, without ever feeling like you couldn’t accomplish your goal!
Personally, for us, we set a boundary of working out every day at 5 and eating dinner with our loved ones. Regardless of how busy work or life gets, these are non-negotiables in our life. Even if the meal and workout only last 30 minutes, taking that break gives us a sense of control and normalcy. It recharges us to get back to the tasks we have to do for work and life. Remember, only you can set and respect your own boundaries and it’s important to enforce them! However, it is helpful to have a community of support who can hold you accountable and help you validate your boundaries. Ultimately, anxiety can be caused by the fear of uncertainty and lack of control in our lives. Setting these boundaries and goals helps you build control and certainty in your life. You are the only one who can ensure these things happen.
Wrapping It All Up
Building healthy habits for your mental health is a journey. There isn’t any one thing that will make everything better. We’re all a sum of our parts. As we go through our unique journeys, we will find different things that help us get better. Ultimately, building up a plethora of resources, tools and healthy habits helps us maintain a wellness balance and sets you up for success when the darker times come. We hope this was helpful to you and that you can see what we do and why we do these things for our mental wellness.
If you are looking for some additional tools to better your mental health, you can check out our post here on what we use personally. If you are in need of some inner strength to get through a tough time, you can check out our post on self-awareness mindset changes for increased inner strength. Finally, if you are currently going through a tough bout of anxiety and depression, you can check out our open letter which will remind you how great and awesome you are.
Finding healthy habits that improve your mental health is a must. Personally, we have found that exercising, getting enough sleep, community, reflection and boundaries are paramount to our mental wellness.
As an added bonus for our readers, we like to include a game of where are the Tomodotchi Pets. They’ve been hidden in 2 of the pictures within this post. Can you find them all? See below for what they look like!