simple tips to improve your mental health - calming photo of a candle on a table

10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mental Well-being

Simple Tips To Boost Your Mental Health

It is easy to get caught up with work, the news, social media, and many other things that are competing for our attention. An important part of our well-being is our mental health, which can additionally be affected during extensive and multiple lockdowns during the pandemic. How to improve and maintain our mental health should be on our priority list, but still we often neglect it.

Building a routine that supports your psychological well-being can create an amazing environment for your general wellness and personal growth. Here is a list of some simple and straightforward activities you can easily incorporate into your normal routine and feel all the advantages.

How To Improve Your Mental Health

1. Start the day with gratitude and self compassion

Either by taking a mental note or writing in your journal, start the day with acknowledging at least one thing you are grateful for, and one thing you love about yourself. You might find this hard at first, but there are a lot of things to be grateful for, as well as there are a lot of things you can love about yourself. Practicing this daily can help you shift your mindset towards a more positive state, encouraging you to stay more present and feel content.

2. Move your body

Findings from research indicate that exercise is associated with improvements in mental health including boosts in mood and self-esteem. But even research aside, you alone can tell that you actually feel better after a hike, a bike ride, or a yoga practice. Whichever you find the most exciting, get your body moving and make it a habit – both your body and mind will thank you.

3. Maintain social connections

Humans are social creatures with emotional needs for companionship and positive connections. We’re not meant for isolation and solitude. Connect with friends, family, loved ones, either in person, or through a video call. Face-to-face connections are like food for our emotional mind. 

4. Read

Grab that book you’ve been meaning to read and get lost in it. Diving into a good book can calm the mind and relax the body, as simple as that.

5. Disconnect to reconnect

Go off the grid – move your phone away from you for a day (when it is possible of course) and disconnect from constant alerts, notifications, and distractions. Spend that time to reconnect with someone or even to reconnect with yourself – enjoy your me-time.

6. Deep breathing and meditation

Keep yourself grounded and in the present moment by taking a few deep breaths or by practicing mindfulness with a guided meditation. The benefits of practicing mindfulness are numerous. You can also read about my own experience in using mindfulness meditations to relieve anxiety and to deal with cravings.

7. Go for a walk outside

Especially if it is sunny outside, use that walk in the sunshine as a double mood booster. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen!

8. Do something nice for someone

Perform a random act of kindness. Volunteer to help someone else. Whichever you choose, doing something to help someone, putting a smile on their face, is a great way to feel better about yourself!

9. Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential to your energy levels and productivity throughout the day – make sure you get enough of it.

10. Replace unhealthy habits to unwind with healthy ones

Replace the unhealthy habits you use to unwind (like alcohol or smoking) with healthy ones. Replace that evening glass of wine with a soothing herbal tea – you will sleep better and feel better in the morning. Check out here other ways to unwind in the evening without alcohol.

How to improve your mental well-being - a calming photo of books, sunglasses and a candle

Mental wellness is achieved with good emotional, psychological, and social well-being

All in all, make sure you’re taking time to focus on your mental health activities, build steady healthy habits around your day, and most importantly – be kind to yourself, no matter what 🙂

Keep in mind that these activities do not serve as a solution for mental issues, they are helpful tools for maintaining a good mental health. If you are struggling, seek help from your physician or a professional and / or call your local hotline if necessary.

If you enjoyed this read, I recommend you look into more self-improvement ideas – check out these steps to take to awaken the badass inside you (a sassy spiritual awakening list). For more tips on embracing sobriety, I recommend reading my reasons to quit drinking, or to put it differently, the things you’ll be missing out on when you quit booze for good.

With love and compassion,

Common Unicorn

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4 Types Of Apps You Can Use To Support Your Sober Journey - phone and notebooks

4 Amazing Apps That Can Help You In Early Sobriety

4 Types Of Apps You Can Use To Support Your Sober Journey

The number of available mobile apps present today is huge. Depending on how we use them, they can be just a distraction or they can actually be a helpful sober tool. If you’re just starting out on your sober journey and you are looking for some addiction recovery tips, or you’re a sober curious person (or maybe you’re still a drinker, but you’re researching and considering sobriety), this post is for you! Learning how to navigate an alcohol-free lifestyle in a booze-driven society can be challenging, to say the least.

There is a lot of things I want to say about sobriety, like what you’re going to be missing out on, or how it can fundamentally change your life – and there are already a couple of posts I wrote on these topics, so I definitely recommend you take a look. Here I want to talk about how you can use technology (precisely, apps on your phone) to help me you out on your quest to live a more mindful and intentional life. These are just my own views and opinions and this is not a paid ad, I just genuinely find these apps very helpful.

Top Apps To Boost Your Recovery:

Guided meditation apps

Where to even start with all the benefits of practicing mindfulness meditation! It is a great tool to help you stay grounded and be more present. To stop worrying about the future (or to learn how to worry less), or dreading over the past. It is a powerful way to deal with cravings and anxiety. And thanks to technology, there is a great deal of guided meditation apps on your phone for you to choose from. I personally tried a couple of them, and all of them got the job done.

What is a good meditation app?

Waking up – By far my absolute favourite app for guided meditations. It is created by Sam Harris, and it offers you a 28 day introduction into meditations, where the idea is for you to learn the basics of meditating and mindfulness. After that, you can continue with the apps daily meditations (which are updated daily 🙂 ). Beside that, the app offers a theory section, where you can learn more about the theory and general ideas of the meditation practice.

Calm – My second favourite app, and probably the most famous one is Calm. Beside being a meditation app, Calm also offers sleep stories (which I adore and listen to almost every night), breathing exercises, music, and more. You can also enter your mood each day and that way track your moods. You can even choose meditations that focus on certain aspects of life – for example, you can choose a series of meditations focusing on anxiety, performance, relationships, etc. It really is a multipurpose app.

Journaling apps

In those early stages you can sometimes lose perspective, feel down, and question your decision. All of these are normal, but remind yourself of why you made your decision. Remind yourself of all the things that bring you joy, and what you are grateful for. I keep a gratitude journal where I write in every morning 3 things I am grateful for. And yes, there is an app for that as well 🙂 There’s a bunch of them also, and you can find the one that best suits your needs.

The best journaling app?

Since I have only tried one journaling app, I can tell you about that one, and that’s pretty much it. But not to leave you hanging, here is a great list of journaling apps you might want to try out – go give it a look. As for me, I stuck with the one I tried first, the Five Minute Journal app, it is super easy to use, and takes very little time.

Fitness apps

I started my sober journey when the corona lockdown was active, so physical activity was a bit challenged. I first used a fitness app with a variety of workouts, and later on I switched to a yoga app, and I fell in love with it. Whichever it is, choose the one you’ll enjoy the most. This way, workout can become your new and healthy way of unwinding and relaxing. Evening glass of wine can become a vinyasa flow, or a cardio workout – your body will be grateful for this change, and you’ll love your decision in the morning!

What is the best fitness and exercise app?

There are so many different workout apps today, that I am positive you will find the one that fits almost all of your needs. I have tried so many fitness apps I stopped counting, but two always come to mind when I think of functionality and simplicity:

Down Dog – to be fair, I am a yoga enthusiast so I am definitely bias here, but this app is just amazing, and my top pick for a yoga app. It offers numerous ways to modify and customize your yoga practice so it can fit your needs almost perfectly. A bonus is that beside the voice that guides your practice, the app also has built in music playing in the background – and the tone follows your flow which is just brilliant.

FitOn – if yoga is not your thing, that is perfectly fine, because (for me) FitOn is the next best thing. It offers a bunch of filmed workouts by talented trainers that will push you further, and the best thing – the workout part of the app is completely free! They offer unlimited free access to the various types workouts from celebrity trainers.

Social media if used wisely

The “if used wisely” part cannot be stressed enough! Before, I had all of your usual social media apps, and it was not doing me a favour. I followed people that gave me bad body image, made me feel less, etc. I completely turned my social media apps around, started following only content that inspired me and made me feel good. To be precise, if you’re in early sobriety, and especially if you’re like me and you don’t really know a lot of (or none) sober people, the online sober community, in my experience, on both Instagram and Twitter are absolutely amazing. Their messages, comfort they offer, even their cheering on, is just astonishing. I honestly made friends with people I’ve never even met in person and I can say I care for them a lot. Self-promo ALERT – If you’re struggling where to start – here are my accounts, I am happy to connect with you and offer you support on your alcohol free journey!


Early sobriety can be challenging. Always remember that addiction recovery is not linear, and we all have different paths. The most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself. Healing takes time, and if you are considering an alcohol free lifestyle, you are already doing better than you were before.

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With love,

Common Unicorn

If you enjoyed this read, subscribe to my mailing list so I can keep you updated with the latest posts, regular freebies, amazing opportunities, exclusive discounts and more. Also, by joining the list, you receive right away for FREE the amazing 30 Day Self-Care Challenge and a Printable Calendar!

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How to Use Mindfulness to Cope with Anxiety and Cravings

How I apply what I learned from guided mindfulness meditations to relieve anxiety and deal with cravings

Mindfulness meditation is the process of training your mind to focus, redirect your thoughts, and bring yourself to the present. As my favourite mindfulness meditation guide Sam Harris said: The practice of mindfulness is extraordinarily simple to describe, but it is in no sense easy. If you know nothing about mindfulness meditation, I suggest his page / book / app as a place to start – that’s how I did it anyways. 🙂

It is Sunday around noon, I have just returned from yoga practice and I am feeling amazing. The sun is shining, I am sipping on a fresh cup of coffee, and I have the whole afternoon to enjoy my process of typing my thoughts out loud. It seems so easy to be happy. This, however, is not always the case, right? Sometimes something bad happens and I need time to process it, or out of nowhere I start feeling anxious, even panicky. What now? How did that same girl that was feeling absolutely perfect is now feeling like shit, and sometimes without any apparent reason? This shifts in mood and emotional stages, especially the ones without an apparent reason, I took really REALLY hard, and by doing that, I’d even prolong the negative state.

I am an anxious person and I experience (all) emotions very deeply, I feel so much. It can be hard sometimes to deal with it all at once. A couple of months ago I started practicing mindfulness meditation, and I’ve been pretty steady with it. I still feel negative emotions, I still have thoughts I sometimes don’t even understand, and I still get very anxious. What is different now is that I have a tool – mindfulness helps me become aware of the sensations that happen in those moments. It helps me dissect them and see them for what they really are. I am still a beginner in mindfulness meditation so the best I can give you is my own experience and how it helps.

Using mindfulness for Anxiety Relief

When I’m experiencing sudden anxiety, I become more mindful of how my body feels, where do I feel it the most. Part by part I observe my breath, the pulsating in my hands, sweaty feeling on my palms and feet. I become aware of my thoughts. How they come on go. I don’t try to influence them, nor do I identify myself with them – realizing I am not my thoughts, I just let them come and go, and just like that, they are no longer here. By doing that, I don’t avoid completely the anxiety, but I don’t amplify it and it passes much sooner.

How to Overcome Cravings with Mindfulness

When I get sudden cravings for a glass of wine (or really anything with alcohol), I observe how this craving manifests physically. Realizing that the physical part of the craving (for me) is almost non-existing and that the craving is simply a product of my thought (the thought that is conditioned by the false idea that alcohol will calm me, unwind me, help me cope), I then shift my focus to becoming more aware of my emotional state, my thoughts. Usually, it means something else was on my mind, something was bothering me, or I needed some unwinding or something like that – I don’t just dismiss that emotion, I try to understand it, and then I cope in a healthy way (a cup of tea, stretching, a bubble bath, talking to someone, etc.).

Every body and every mind is different – these are just my experiences with it. If they spoke to you in some way, there are loads of apps with amazing guided mindfulness meditations. All you need is to just start and be patient with yourself – approach it with nothing but self-compassion 🙂

If you enjoyed this read, subscribe to my mailing list so I can keep you updated with the latest posts, regular freebies, amazing opportunities, exclusive discounts and more. Also, by joining the list, you receive right away for FREE the amazing 30 Day Self-Care Challenge and a Printable Calendar!

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