A Laundry List of Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health Right Now

Mike Coval
January 5, 2021

We've had the stay-at-home order extended until the end of the month.  For now, we can expect some sort of "normal" by May 1st, but we shouldn't bank on that happening AND even if we do get back to "normal" on the 1st, that's still two weeks away.

Taking care of your mental health is incredibly important and my goal today is to get the wheels spinning on ways that you can take care of yourself.  Without delay, let's get into it.

1)  Exercise daily.  BONUS:  try modalities of exercise that you have never done or don't typically do.  There are so many different online options out there (including COVAL Virtual Gym & COVAL Family), but it can be as simple as going for a run, doing hill sprints, or playing "tag" with your dog (you chase them to get them going, and then run the opposite way and then they chase you and then it just goes back and forth).

2)  Schedule a daily phone call with a friend.  Have a rotation of friends that you speak with.  You don't have to have a ton of friends to pull this off.

3)  Avoid social media & the news.  There's too much toxicity and divide right now.

4)  Cook.  Try new recipes.  Here's a great website where you can get some healthy websites. 

5)  Physical activity first thing in the AM.  I'm talking as soon as you roll out of bed.  50 push-ups and then I start my day.  Execute 2 exercises from my warm-up and then go about my business.  It doesn't matter what and how long.  Just do something.  It will get the blood flowing and clear the fog from waking up.

6)  Listen to music that inspires, motivates, and stimulates.  I'm not kidding in the slightest that sometimes I will find a song and listen to it 30+ times in a row if it gets me in the right mood.  In fact, during the quarantine I've had 3 songs that I've listened to for a full day to a day and a half non-stop.  It was like oxygen at times to me and then other times an adrenaline shot.

7)  Take advantage of sunny days.  Get outside.  Go for a long walk.  Grill.  Do something.

8)  Make sure you're taking Vitamin D.  It has been shown to improve symptoms of depression.

9)  Brain dump.  If you're having feelings of high stress, anxiety, and depression then write them down.  Get them on paper.  It's incredibly difficult to make sense of things in your own head, but writing them down onto paper can be an extremely effective way to help rationalize and make sense of what we're feeling.  I did this when I was going through bouts of depression and it helped tremendously.

10)  Learn a new skill.  There are so many different free and paid online courses out there that you can choose from nowadays.  Try Masterclass.  Right now you can buy one, get one so this is a great opportunity to go in with a friend or loved one and split the cost.  

11)  Develop a mantra.  A mantra is defined as "a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation".  My mantra?  "River" (exhale)….."River" (exhale)….."River" (exhale)

Find your "river".

It works like a charm.

12)  Find your purpose in another light.  This is tough.  We're in a very trying time right now and you may have had a lot of aspects of your life taken away from you that have resulted in you trying to find your purpose.  There's a lot of different ways that this can be accomplished, and it's up to you to figure that out.  

We will leave on that final note because if you identify with #12, then it's time you quit reading this email and start brainstorming on how you find your purpose in another light.

Be well.  Be safe.  And take care of yourself.  Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help!

Much love & respect,


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Mike Coval

Coval Fitness is a Personal Training Studio and Gym in Ann Arbor, Michigan

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