31 Days, 31 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
Poster: May is Mental Health Month

Visit this page during the month of May for daily mental health self-care tips.



May 1

Take 15 minutes to get some sunlight.

Head outside for some sun and fresh air, or use a daylight or blue light lamp indoors.


May 2

Create a favorite things corner, basket, or space.

Decorate the container or area and fill it with pictures of people or things you love, textures that bring you joy, or your favorite color.


May 3

Remember that your mind and body are connected.

Use your space to assist you with physical movement – ­find a good spot to stretch, practice yoga, or do other exercises at home.


May 4

Surround yourself with loved ones today.

If you can’t get together in person, connect virtually or over the phone. You can also write a letter and mail it to someone you’re missing.


May 5

Write down affirmations or notes that you can look at throughout the day.

Post them around your home or in the car to serve as reminders as you go about your day.


May 6

Play music instead of watching TV when you have downtime.

Watching TV may keep you more sedentary, whereas music can keep you moving and productive.


May 7

Do some spring cleaning with mental health in mind!

Remove objects in your home that might trigger negative thoughts or habits.


May 8

Set out pictures of loved ones or pets in places you often look to stir positive thoughts and feelings.

Try places like your bathroom vanity, office desk, or kitchen window. You can also create a gallery wall in your living room or entryway.


May 9

Set a timer and clean whatever you can in 10 minutes.

Do this daily to tackle tidying up your space in a non-overwhelming way.


May 10

Stop and smell the roses...literally.

Studies show that being surrounded by nature is a mood booster. While you’re at it, consider adding plants to your space to improve air quality and cognitive functioning.


May 11

Get comfortable and read a good book.

Reading can help relieve stress and tension by serving as a temporary distraction.


May 12

Hold the door for a stranger or sign up to volunteer.

Studies show that random acts of kindness increase the release of oxytocin – the “feel good” hormone.


May 13

Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park your car farther away from the store or office.

Even small additions of exercise throughout the day can decrease tension and improve sleep.


May 14

Incorporate your favorite color into your living space.

If you can't paint walls, use art, pillows, blankets, or curtains to integrate your happy hues.


May 15

Wake up your workspace to lift your mood and improve productivity.

Keep your space organized and uncluttered to reduce excess stress. If possible, enhance your space with aesthetically pleasing art, photos, or plants. If you telework but don’t have the option of an office, at least keep work out of your bedroom.


May 16

Prep your lunches or pick out your work clothes the night before.

You'll save some time in the morning and start the day feeling more in control.


May 17

Adjust your air quality.

Air pollution can speed up cognitive decline, so change the fi­lter in your AC unit or furnace regularly. Clean or dust often, buy an air puri­fier if you can, or use houseplants to improve air quality.


May 18

Keep it cool for a good night's sleep.

The optimal temperature for sleep is between 60 degrees and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.


May 19

Keep hobby supplies easily accessible.

Break them out when you feel stressed or need a creative outlet.


May 20

Dance around while you do your housework.

Not only will you get chores done, but dancing reduces levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and increases endorphins (the body's "feel-good" chemicals).



May 21

Incorporate pleasing scents into your spaces.

This could be lighting candles, using diffusers, or even creating DIY smells (e.g., boiling oranges and cinnamon on the stove).


May 22

Use noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to block out noise at home.

Especially if the sound of specifi­c people or things is triggering or if you ­find yourself getting overstimulated.


May 23

Make your sleep environment as dark as possible for a better night's rest.

Try blackout curtains or use a sleep mask.


May 24

Keep things that nourish your primary needs easy to access.

Have snacks and water on hand on the go or store blankets nearby for bedtime. Being able to access what you need in the moment gives you peace of mind and keeps you comfortable throughout the day.


May 25

Create a stim box fi­lled with ­fidgets or soft things to occupy your hands.

When you feel stressed, anxious, or need help focusing, grab an item from the box to recenter your mind.


May 26

Try listening to white noise if you have trouble falling asleep.

You can use a white noise machine or a phone app, or turn on a fan.


May 27

Give yourself a break!

Take 10 minutes today for a walk. Small breaks (and exercise) improve your ability to deal with stress.

May 28

Put your phone in do not disturb mode.

Consider changing the settings on your phone to mute your noti­fications when possible. You can put your phone in do not disturb mode manually or set an automatic schedule to eliminate interruptions. 

May 29

After you're done using something, put it away, don't just put it down.

This can help prevent clutter and piles of stuff from accumulating. 


May 30

Keep a journal or notepad by your bedside.

If you struggle with shutting your mind at night, write down your thoughts to attempt to clear your mind and ­find rest. 


May 31

Make a wall or jar of gratitude.

Write down things you are thankful for, bring you joy, or positively impact your mental health.