If you google mental cleanse you will get multiple results. But as I’m reading through them all I can think is “easier said than done!” These lists are filled with ideas like “don’t dwell on negative thoughts” or “change your perspective”. These are great tidbits of advice but HOW do you exactly do that???
The HOW is exactly why I came up with my own 7 Day Mental Detox with actionable tasks that are easy to understand so you can actually do them. They are a foundation that will set you up to not dwell on negative thoughts and change your perspective to a happier one for YOU. This detox is for you if you’re constantly stressed out, you know you need to give your mind a break, want some more peace and calm in your life, and/or you read this title and thought “yessssssssssssss”.
Here is what I want you to do for the next 7 days:
Turn off the tv and stop mindlessly scrolling through social media. What we see and read can unknowingly trigger a stress response and I’ve heard from almost all my coaching clients how social media can be such a time suck for them.
TV- for the next week opt to listen to music, read a book, or talk to a friend or loved one instead of watching the tv. Put the remote away in an out of site spot so it makes you think before turning the tube on.
Social media- delete the apps from your phone. This will make it harder for you to just scroll through to pass the time. You can always download the apps back to your phone after the detox week is over. It’s okay to use social media, but I want you to CHOOSE to do it.
BONUS detox to-do: no phones or tv in the bedroom.
Get more zzz’s. I know it. You are definitely not getting enough sleep. I think you know you need more sleep so I won’t nag too much about the benefits of sleeping more.
Go to bed earlier. In fact, for the next week set a bedtime of 10pm. This is only for one week, you can do it!
Meditate daily. The people I work with tend to tell me they want to meditate because they heard how much it can help their stress or anxiety, but they get so frustrated because they can’t seem to quiet their mind. It is very true that meditation is good for the mind, in fact regular meditation can CHANGE THE COMPOSITION OF YOUR BRAIN for the better. But meditation doesn’t need to be difficult and there are many ways to meditate.
Listen to a guided meditation (5 minutes is sufficient) every day. You can google some free ones, I love Gabby Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles meditation album, or use a meditation app of your choice.
Be more grateful. Okay, this one sounds like the to-do’s in the mental cleanses that I was just criticizing, but stay with me (remember, I explain how to do these things). Gratitude is scientifically linked to psychological health by reducing negative emotions and thoughts.
At the end of every day write down 5 things you are grateful for about the day. It can be as simple as “I got out of bed this morning” (boring self-care should be celebrated more!), or “I accomplished xyz at work”, or “I went to the gym”. Anything that happened during your day that you want to celebrate or acknowledge as positive counts here.
Spend some time with yourself. I’ve talked to so many people that struggle with being alone with their thoughts. Whether it’s spending time at home alone or (gasp!) taking yourself out to eat solo, being alone can make some people’s skin crawl. Being social is great but being reliant on others for your happiness guarantees that you will have some pretty low moments coming your way (you will have to be alone sometimes, so let’s figure out how to make it more enjoyable, okay?). This action item can be uncomfortable at first but once you have some fun on your own you’ll get used to it/realize you actually like you.
Take yourself on a date. Go to the movies, get a mani/pedi, go to dinner. The activities are limitless. Think of something you like to do with other people and treat yourself to doing it with yourself. Journal about it when you get home (your thoughts, what you liked, what was uncomfortable, how you can keep doing this and make it easier). Take yourself on one date this week.