An idea I've leaned on hard through the past few weeks is that of the mental health shelf. I learned about it a few years ago and think it's brilliant. An imaginary shelf containing the things that I know I can go to during the tough times and I'll feel better. I strongly recommend that everyone knows what's on their own mental health shelf and curate the hell out of it. It will likely have some things that change but will have some constants too--those things that just always make you feel better.
On my current mental health shelf:
- New Girl. Schmidt can make me laugh no matter what is going on in my life. I have re-watched the entire series three times.
- Culture Yogurt Company. There's a location close to me in Brooklyn and it makes me feel better without making me feel like I just inhaled a gallon of sugar. It's also probiotic but is a treat for sure.
- Light "brain candy" books. I have Majesty by Katharine McGee next on my list. Currently reading a dark and twisty book, which is another favorite genre of mine, but it's not the best choice when my brain is already in a negative spot.
- Grabbing a drink with a girlfriend. I do not drink alone and binge drinking is certainly not on this list. But sometimes a margarita in the sunshine with a friend can completely turn my perspective around.
- Running. Cathartic for me in a way that no other exercise is.
- Old favorite episodes of Girls Gotta Eat podcast and Be There in Five podcast. It's like having aspirational friends in your ears and I find the old episodes soothing.