Many of us are feeling more worried, exhausted, burned out, and depressed, and studies have shown that stress levels are reported to have doubled. Our lives have been hit hard with changes in family dynamics, roles at work, financial stability, isolation, and grief from the loss of friends and family, and we all need effective tools to support our mental health so that we can operate as the highest version of ourselves.
Many experts are referring to our current mental health crisis as the “second pandemic,” and it’s one that has yet to be fully recognized.
Our society is constantly talking about our physical fitness and all the things that we want to change about our bodies. Yes, your physical fitness is important, but how are you working on your mental fitness?
Here are 3 simple ways to strengthen your mental health fitness:
Many of us go about our days taking short shallow breaths and we rarely pause to use our breath as a tool to reduce stress and anxiety. The next time that you are feeling overwhelmed, pause and take 10 full breaths. Take four slow counts to inhale and six slow counts to exhale. Notice the difference in your body and mind with just 10 breaths.
2. Set small daily goals.
What behaviors or actions make you feel your best in body and mind? Perhaps it’s movement, drinking more water, eating less processed foods, or spending time outdoors. Now instead of putting pressure on yourself to practice hours of self-care daily, focus on creating small daily habits. Go for a 10-minute walk every day. Drink a cup of water first thing in the morning before coffee. Have a portion of vegetables at every meal. These small self-care habits will lead to big changes over time.
3. Practice gratitude daily.
It’s easy to focus on all the things that you don’t have in your life. Take five minutes every day to journal three things that you are most grateful for today. This simple exercise will immediately shift your mindset and perspective from one of scarcity and fear to one of abundance and love.
Hye Jin Kalgaonkar is the owner of Hot Room Yoga located in the Fishers District. She opened the first Hot Room studio in the fall of 2013, and since then has opened five locations, including two studios in Indy, Fishers, Bloomington, and Chicago’s North Shore. Her favorite thing to do in Fishers is to start her day with a hot yoga class at The Hot Room Fishers, followed by a trip to the Fishers Farmers’ Market for an acai bowl from Twenty Two Juicery, and then some family fun at Top Golf. Her hobbies include traveling, being outdoors, spending time with family, and speed walking all around the city. She loves that Fishers has access to everything, like good food, entertainment, and parks with a fun, easy-going, family-oriented vibe. Her husband Ash is also a yoga teacher, and she has two girls Maya (11) and Annika (8) who love to play “yoga studio owner and teacher” whenever they are in the studios.
At The Hot Room, we passionately believe that life is too short to be stressed out of shape and uninspired. We’ve curated powerful hot yoga and hot pilates classes so that you can experience massive physical and mental transformations quickly and jumpstart your most powerful life. Learn more at thehotroom.com and follow them on Instagram at @thehotroomfishers and @thehotroomyoga.