"It's hard to be human. We all experience pain, loneliness, sadness, and anxiety and want to be happy and experience connection, hope, and courage."
Throughout May at Madefor, we focused on Mental Health. Research shows that mental and emotional health directly impact physical health and vice versa, which is why mental health is such an important component of the Madefor Program.
Mental Health is Not Only Mental Illness
While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. Everyone experiences mental health!
You may think, “I’m all good,” but no one is invulnerable to the compounding effects of stress in everyday life. It could be receiving a bill you didn’t expect or getting passed over for that promotion at work or even just a tiff with your partner, it all can affect your mental health. Even the demands of daily life can decrease your immunity and increase stress levels.
That's why, in recognition of Mental Health America’s national theme of “Back-to-Basics,” we hosted a free 28-day text challenge that focused on four pillars of wellbeing from our program—hydration, movement, nature, and breath. The challenge taught participants how to cope with negative emotions in a healthy way, face any challenges life throws at them, and gave them tangible, actionable ways to improve their mental, emotional, and physical health.
We know caring for your mental health can seem overwhelming, which is why we start small with small tangible ways you can get into action. Focus on these foundations, then build from there.
4 Tips for Taking Care of Your Mental Health
1. Hydration: 💧 Nearly half of all Americans are chronically dehydrated. Hydration is one of the most foundational habits of physical and mental wellbeing of them all. It plays a crucial role in the effective functioning of your body and brain. Fatigue, brain fog, headaches, and mood swings—this is what most people report when they don’t drink enough water.
Action Step: Each day, drink water, track how many bottles you drink, & journal about how you feel each day. If you do the work—track, record, repeat—not only will you discover the number of bottles that make you feel your best, but you’ll also start to understand how a small act you do every day impacts you. Inevitably, it will create a ripple effect of awareness in other areas of your life.
2. Movement: 🏃 Research shows clear signals that movement positively impacts brain health in the same way as all effective psychological treatments - making it an amazing addition to your mental health toolkit. Put aside the belief that exercise should feel difficult or act as a punishment for pleasure (“I’ll eat this brownie and then run 4 miles.”) Shift your thinking and view movement as the reward instead!
Action Step: Your challenge is to carve out 15 minutes throughout your day for playful movement - no fancy gym membership or yoga mat required. You can dance to your favorite song, break out the sidewalk chalk and play hopscotch, or try out this video from Madefor Advisor & Movement Specialist, Rory Cordial. Positive mental health can start by connecting with the simple joy of movement, so let's get moving!
3. Nature: 🍃 Spending time in natural settings not only lowers stress and uplifts our mood, it also gives the immune system a delicious boost. The more you tune into nature, the more mental, physical, and emotional rewards you’ll receive. The best part: you don't need to live near a beach or in a maze of beautiful gardens. Madefor teaches you how to lean into this abundant resource anywhere at any time.
Action Step: Get a small dose of "Vitamin N" by stepping outside, grabbing a piece of nature, like a dandelion, pine needles, or mint, and taking a deep whiff of the fragrant smells. Bring your object inside and display it somewhere you will notice. Revisit it throughout the day for a small boost when you need it.
4. Breath: 🫁 The simple act of breathing can change your life. Decades of research tell us that a consistent, intentional breathing practice can lead to greater resilience, heightened cognition, & enhanced control over your physical, mental, and emotional states. You don’t need to consult a yogi or decide which of 47 apps to use. We’ll share a series of proven practices, with minimal time commitment, to deliver real benefits.
Action Step: Use your breath in an intentional way to alter how you experience your day. Control heightened states like stress or anxiety in real-time using a tool called the Physiological Sigh. Watch this QUICK video from Dr. Huberman (Madefor's Lead Advisor and Neuroscientist) and practice it today!
No matter what you do, do something to preserve and improve your Mental Health today. We promise it will always be worth it!
P.S. If you're interested in doing the full 28-day challenge yourself, you're in luck! Start the first week of the Hydration Challenge here.