Everyday Strategies to Help Improve Wellness

The following tips are for humans of any age, gender, sex, color, race, weight, and health status.

family smiling at each other outside in a field
Consider trying one or two, and then adding others when you feel you can. Please note that these strategies are not intended to replace professional help. If you are feeling overwhelmed and simple strategies do not work, seek assistance from your primary care provider or local clinic to find treatment that can help.

  • Know that you have worth. Every human has worth, and so do you. Trust that you matter. Don’t let anyone make you think you don’t! Your own opinion of yourself is the most important one of all; it is really the only one that matters.
  • Try to feel through your feelings. "The best way out is always through. " Robert Frost
    • They can be very scary and upsetting, but we have feelings for a reason, and when we try to blunt them or ignore them, it can end up being bad for our short and long-term health.
    • Everyone has feelings, even if it seems on the outside that they don’t. Don’t let that fool you. Everyone else is feeling things just like you.
  • Breathe. It’s a great way to reduce anxiety, and you can do it anywhere! Try this: Breath in for 4 counts through your nose. Breathe out for 8 counts through your mouth. Repeat.
  • Connect with people (and animals) you love. Actually – connect! Hug someone you care about. Hold hands. Pet your dog or cat. Spend time with friends if you can. We are social creatures and we need touch, mental and social connection, and love from the people and pets around us.
  • Exercise. It’s been proven that exercise is great for our brains as well as our bodies and can be a win-win for both. Just taking a walk is super for our mental health.
  • Get outside. Nature and fresh air can be healing and soothing. Also, see above …
  • Put down the phone. Having a little computer in our pockets is not helping our brains. Make some time away from your phone and electronic devices.
  • Try to be present. This means being right here, right now, wherever you are. Can you feel the chair you are sitting on? Your feet on the ground? What do you hear, see, smell? Be actively engaged in the moment, whatever you may be doing.
  • Remember what you are grateful for. Maybe it’s appreciating the sunrise, or the sun set. Maybe it’s being grateful for someone you love, or your health. There is always something we can be grateful for, and feeling gratitude can literally change our brains, for the better.
  • Sleep is the foundation. To get healthy sleep, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Having a scheduled routine to wind down is very helpful in falling asleep: stop using screens, turn down the lights, read a book or do something else quiet to relax, and keep the temperature lower in your bedroom.
  • Do nothing … sometimes. Our brains need down time. We are most creative and at ease when we aren’t overscheduled and trying to multi-task. Daydreaming – zoning out – is a great rest for our brains. Sometimes it is those moments of silence and pause that help us feel less stressed.
  • Be yourself. Our brains struggle when we feel one way but act another. Plus, being authentic is very attractive. Do not be afraid to be your authentic self.
  • Ask for what you need. It may be the only way to get it. Reaching out to someone you trust is something we can all do, but sometimes feel embarrassed or a burden. The reality is, sometimes the ones who care about us wish they could help, but do not know how.

You may also want to check out our page on Apps to Help Kids and Teens with Anxiety. Talk therapy and/or medicines can treat Mental Disorders (MedlinePlus). If you don't know where to get treatment, start by contacting your primary care provider.

It's important to recognize when you need to get professional help. If you are in crisis or feeling suicidal, please call 988 – the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.


Information & Support

For Parents and Patients

How to Improve Mental Health (MedlinePlus)
From MedlinePlus-How to Improve Mental Health Also called: Boost Emotional Wellness, Improve Emotional Health, Stay Positive

This online resource offer education and therapeutic support to empower and give you hope as you support your child’s mental health. Free weekly coaching is available in some school districts.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.

Authors & Reviewers

Initial publication: December 2022
Current Authors and Reviewers: