10 Unconventional and Overlooked Strategies to Boost Your Mental Health

Health & Lifestyle

Shared by Hazel Bridges

Ms. Bridges is the creator of Aging Wellness, a website that aims to provide health and wellness resources for aging seniors. She’s a breast cancer survivor. She challenges herself to live life to the fullest and inspire others to do so as well.

Improving your mental health can be challenging, especially when traditional methods such as therapy and medicine fall short. But there are also many unconventional mental health strategies that you may have overlooked! These outside-the-box approaches can be very effective at boosting mental well-being. Let’s explore 10 ideas and activities to give your mental health a boost!

  1. Give Back to Your Community

Starting a local nonprofit is a great way to give back to your community and enrich your life with purpose and fulfillment. By registering as a nonprofit, you’ll be able to apply for grants and public funding. Be prepared to create bylaws that will govern how your nonprofit will operate. These bylaws will ensure your nonprofit remains effective at meeting your goals so you can feel good about the impact you’re making.

  1. Plant a Garden

Gardening can be a therapeutic and meditative activity that promotes mindfulness and reduces stress. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can also provide a sense of accomplishment and contribute to a healthy diet! Before planting a garden, consult online resources such as Home Garden Hero for gardening advice from experts.

person in brown shorts watering the plants
Photo by Karolina Grabowska
  1. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Sleep is essential for good mental health, and practicing good sleep hygiene can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Good sleep hygiene includes activities like sticking to a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and creating a relaxing bedroom environment.

  1. Join a Laughter Yoga Class

Laughter yoga combines deep breathing, gentle yoga stretches, and laughter exercises to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and elicit feelings of happiness. According to Healthline, laughter yoga can also increase social connectedness and strengthen relationships! Joining a laughter yoga class is a fun and unique way to improve your mental health.

charming diverse girls on rugs during yoga
Photo by Monstera
  1. Experiment with Sensory Therapy

Sensory therapy involves using different sensory stimuli to promote relaxation and reduce stress. These stimuli may include aromatherapy, sound therapy, or tactile stimulation. Experiment with different sensory therapy techniques at home to find what works best for you.

  1. Do Some Coloring

Coloring has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety by promoting mindfulness and relaxation. Coloring is a great way to exercise focus, attention to detail, creativity, decision-making, and a range of other cognitive skills. You can find adult coloring books in a range of styles and themes to fit any artistic interest.

close up shot of colored pencils
Photo by Jul Chi
  1. Commit to a Digital Detox

According to Happify, taking regular breaks from technology can go a long way toward reducing stress and improving your ability to focus. Commit to a daily or weekly digital detox by setting aside time to unplug and engage in activities offline. For example, you might use this time to read, spend time with nature, or connect with friends.

  1. Take a Guided Therapy Hike

Combining therapy with hiking or walking in nature is a great way to enjoy the whole-body benefits of exercise while chatting with a therapist about your mental health concerns. Hiking therapy can help you work through issues in a supportive and natural setting and may help you feel more comfortable about opening up.

two person wearing hiking shoes
Photo by Noel Ross
  1. Try a Sensory Deprivation Experience

Sensory deprivation involves removing external stimuli to promote relaxation and reduce stress. This can include floating in a sensory deprivation tank, which is an isolated, soundproof, dark tank filled with saltwater that suspends your body in a weightless environment. Many people find sensory deprivation experiences to promote relaxation and mindfulness.

  1. Schedule Solitary Time

Alone time is essential for self-reflection and stress reduction. Try to schedule at least 30 minutes of alone time every day and use this time to recharge and do something you enjoy. Don’t feel like you have to be productive during your solitary time. Just relish the sweet silence for a while!

woman sitting on window reading book
Photo by Thought Catalog

If you want to improve your mental health, look beyond traditional, well-known strategies. Try incorporating a few unique mental health activities into your routine, such as planting a garden or starting a local nonprofit company, to enjoy a more comprehensive approach to wellness.

What helps you to boost your mental health and well-being? Share them in the comments below!


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Let’s Talk About… Rejection

Health & Lifestyle

Presented by Jeremy Godwin, host of Let’s Talk About Mental Health (source)

I am no stranger to the feeling of rejection. Whether it be for a job or opportunity I applied for and was turned down from, a date that resulted in being friend zoned, or a text that went unacknowledged. I could go on and on about other moments of rejection in my life, but instead, I want to share a podcast episode I came across after looking for one specifically on this topic. Wondering why I was searching for information on rejection? Well, for one, it’s an uncomfortable feeling that I’m sure we all have experienced and don’t spend much time talking about. Secondly, one thing I know for certain is that we humans are social beings. We seek connection and a sense of belonging. When those needs are met with being rejected, left out, or unaccepted, it can leave us feeling deeply hurt. I know this because not only have I experienced it, but I’m sure it has been felt by many in the wake of the pandemic and the social isolation we experienced, or that was heightened for others. In this post, I will share some notes from the episode Let’s Talk About… Rejection with Jeremy Godwin, host of the Let’s Talk About Mental Health podcast. In this episode he shares a definition for what rejection is, why understanding its impact matters for good mental health, and how to deal with it.

What is Rejection?

  • Rejection is when another person avoids or ignores you
  • Related to words such as: abandonment, exclusion, shunning, desertion
  • Examples:
    • Being pushed away based on personal aspects that another person doesn’t like or agree with
    • Someone you’ve dated deciding not to see you again
    • A friend deciding the friendship has run its course
    • A family member not agreeing with who you are
    • A work colleague excluding you
    • A million and one other scenarios . . .
  • Goes against our instinctive desire to belong, feel seen, valued, and respected as a human being
  • Can follow a major argument or can come out of nowhere
  • Results in confusion, anger, hurt, sadness, self-doubt
  • Rejection is painful and can activate insecurities, doubts and deepest fears
expressive multiethnic couple having conflict on street

Understanding the Impact of Rejection Matters

“As far as your brain is concerned, a broken heart is not so different than a broken arm.”

Naomi Eisenberger, PhD
  • People who routinely feel excluded have poorer sleep quality and their immune systems don’t function as well as those of people with strong social connections
  • Rejection can cause emotional and cognitive consequences
    • Social rejection increases anger, anxiety, depression, jealousy, sadness
    • Reduces performance on difficult intellectual tasks and can contribute to aggression and poor impulse control
  • Identifying what you’re feeling and taking action is essential
  • The pain of rejection is felt because we are hardwired to want to belong
  • See rejection as a sign that something needs to change, whether you want it to or not
  • Only you have control over what you do, say, feel and what happens next
  • Learn from rejection in order to grow

How to Deal with Feelings of Rejection

  • Feel What You Need to Feel
    • Strong feelings of rejection or sadness happen to us because we care
      • For example, an emotional connection such an intimate or family relationship, or,
      • Wanting approval at work or maintaining a reputation
    • Feelings and thoughts are not facts, but reflections of our emotional state and if our needs are being met (e.g., the need to be accepted)
    • There is no right or wrong when it comes to your emotions, and how you feel is how you feel
    • The only way through it is through it
    • Process and work through your feelings (e.g., with a counsellor or therapist)
crop ethnic psychologist writing on clipboard during session
  • Remind Yourself It’s Not Personal
    • Hard to do when it feels personal
    • When someone rejects you it is about them and their choices
      • For example, the other person is fearful about a relationship moving too quickly and they’re not ready for that, or,
      • A family member set in their ways and not willing to accept others as they are
  • You May Never Know Why
    • Rejection can come with no warning or a surface level explanation
    • Closure is not a given
  • Healthy and Positive Relationships
    • Spending time with people you have healthy and positive connections with can lift mood
    • Positive social interactions can release opioids which give you a natural mood boost, such as with exercise
    • Seek healthy relationships or lean into the ones you already have
      • Take time for yourself and spend it with supportive people
  • Journaling
    • Can help to get emotions out
photo of person holding cup

Sometimes rejection in life is redirection.

Affirmations for Moving On by Ashley Diana

Rejection hurts, but it doesn’t define me.

I’m OK with rejection. It means I took a chance. I took a risk. I stood up for myself.

Rejection simply means that that thing is no longer meant for me.

I’m OK with being led in a different direction.

I happily accept that they were the wrong direction.

Source: Reframing Rejection: Affirmations for Moving On! Don’t Let Rejection Keep You Down

Let’s get comfortable talking about rejection.

What are some ways you have dealt with rejection?

Share them in the comments.



This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

The Science of Yoga

Health & Lifestyle

Produced by Uplift TV (source)

Four Components of Yoga

  • Physical
    • Postures, stretches, exercises, movements, breathing and relaxation techniques
    • Affects our body’s overall functioning 
  • Self-Regulation
    • Ability to control internal stress and emotional responses 
    • Leads to resilience to stress, self-efficacy and equanimity in the face of emotions
  • Mind-Body Awareness
    • Feeling and experiencing what’s going on in the body and mind (being able to observe the flow of thought)
    • Leads to increased mindfulness that can change behaviours in a positive way
  • Experiencing Deeper States
    • Spiritual, transformative, leads to positive lifestyle and goals, improves and enhances life meaning and purpose 
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Benefits of Yoga

  • Research has shown measures of reduction in:
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Psychological distress
    • Frequency of negative experiences 
  • Increase in resiliency and the frequency of positive experiences
  • Improvement in mental health
  • Creates much needed space in the body and mind 
  • Establishes connections by moving energy through the body
  • Yoga stretches the body; meditation empties the mind 
  • Enables management of the stress response system 


  • Breath is the most powerful tool that everyone has to bring their stress response under their control 
  • It’s possible to reduce blood pressure by controlling breathing
  • Blood pressure is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system (the messenger of the stress response) 
  • Postures in yoga creates challenge that our mind is constantly dealing with; this can be controlled through breathing
  • Breathing + effort of regulating thought enhance parasympathetic nervous signal and brings sympathetic nervous signal down 
  • Breathing can be practiced within yoga and in daily life 

Mind & Brain

  • Yoga strengthens the power of the mind and how we connect with the world
  • The mind controls our health and biology 
  • 1% of illness is related to genes; 90% of illness is related to stress 
  • Yoga brings the mind into focus and can change brain activity and structure (such as plasticity, resulting in the brain becoming conducive to the benefits that come with yoga and meditation)
  • Can change and enhance gene activity that’s good for you (improved immune response); down-regulates negative gene activity when under chronic stress (inflammation) 
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch

Barriers to Moving Yoga Forward 

  • Perception and misconceptions about yoga, often created by the media:
    • Yoga viewed as complex exercise forms and postures; requires you to be flexible, thin, young to practice; is difficult, specific and not adaptable to individual circumstances
      • Yoga practices can be adapted to any population, and still train the same properties (mind-body coordination, mindfulness, awareness) 
  • Chair yoga for elders
  • Can be done with young children

Global Benefits 

  • Survival requires the foundation of human behaviours and the way we respond to life and to change
  • Using our individual power for harmony, connection, union
    • First done by the individual through healing themselves, taking back power over their behaviour, becoming in harmony and good health  
    • Establishing awareness, self-regulation, immunity to stress, compassion, high-mindedness, clarity 
    • Our collective nature as individuals becomes stronger and harmonious, leading to a greater influence on the planet 
  • Engaging in yoga is a practice of evolution and transformation on society as a whole 

Ready to get started?

Yoga with Adriene

Arianna Elizabeth

Black Yogi Nico Marie

Breathe and Flow

The Bare Female

Mady Morrison

Yoga With Bird

Alo Yoga


Yoga for Kids

Yoga for Elders


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.