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Strengthen Your Mental Health through Small Daily Practices
Mental Health

Strengthen Your Mental Health through Small Daily Practices

By Renee Dillard, Director of EAP & Community Behavioral Health
Posted: May 2, 2023

Small daily practices yield big results for our overall health and well-being. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a good time to remember that we can boost our mental health by establishing a regular routine of small, healthy practices.

Daily Practices to Improve Your Mental Health

Practice Mindfulness

Draw your attention to what is happening right now, within you (thoughts, feelings, or physical sensations) or around you (using your senses, what do you notice?). Weave mindful moments into your day.

Take a Walk

Movement is good for us in body, mind and spirit. Even a short walk can improve mood and focus and can stimulate relaxation.


Frequently stand and stretch throughout the day, every hour if possible. Gentle stretching can help stabilize our mood and reduce stress.

Enjoy the Sunlight

10 to 15 minutes of sunlight generates Vitamin D. Sunlight boosts our mood and focus and reduces stress. Light exposure positively impacts our sleep/wake cycle, decreasing insomnia symptoms.

Eat Your Vegetables

Good nutrition is good for our body and for our brain. Consumption of leafy green vegetables has been linked with improved mood and decreased symptoms of depression.

Spend Time in Nature

Time in nature is linked to positive mental health outcomes, including improved focus, lower stress, improved mood and reduced risk of developing a mental health condition. Visit a local park or spend some time in your backyard. Even having houseplants can have a positive impact on mental health.

Experience The "Awe" Moments

Experiences that remind us of beauty and vastness help us expand our understanding of the world. A moving worship experience, a breathtaking landscape or simply looking up at the sky can create an experience of awe. Research reveals that awe is good for our mental health as it reduces stress, quiets our inner critic and inspires us to feel more connected spiritually and with our community.

Seek Out Connection

Humans are built for connection and community. Be intentional in cultivating and maintaining relationships that have healthy boundaries and are mutually supportive.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Adequate sleep and rest are the foundation for our well-being. There is a close relationship between sleep and mental health.

Explore Your Feelings

Emotions are part of the human experience. Feelings come and go whether we pay attention to them or not. Be curious and give yourself permission to feel. Deepening our emotional awareness allows us also to deepen our ability to regulate our emotions thoughtfully and to understand ourselves and others better.

Practice Gratitude

Practicing gratitude can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Practice beginning and ending your day by identifying three areas of gratitude.

Practice Breathing

Breathing exercises can lead to better mental health and positive emotions. A breathing practice can alleviate stress, depression, and anxiety and help us manage anger. Begin by noticing your breath as you breathe easily and comfortably. Then practice by slowly breathing in for the count of 4, pausing and then breathing out for the count of 4. There are many ways to incorporate mindful breathing as a practice. The main idea is to breathe slowly and mindfully to calm the body and mind.


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Small daily practices yield big results for our overall health and well-being. Choose life-giving practices that reflect your values or what is most important to you. By incorporating some of the abovementioned practices, we can proactively create a firm foundation and strengthen our mental health. This allows us to better manage life's losses, stressors and challenges. It also allows us to more fully enjoy the joys and celebrations of life. Healthy practices will enable us to flourish and contribute to a life of purpose.

Our EAP Counselors are available to help you determine which practices align with your values and purpose. Call 901-683-5658 for an appointment.

Renee Dillard

Renee Dillard, LCSW, CEAP, SAP

Director of EAP & Community Behavioral Health

Renee Dillard is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (licensed in TN, AR, and MS), a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP) and a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). A native Memphian, Renee earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Memphis State University, her Masters of Science in Social Work from The University of Tennessee, and her Masters of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary. She is an Ordained Minister in the United Methodist Church and is working toward a Doctorate of Ministry in Faith and Health/Pastoral Therapy.

Renee has experience in behavioral health, ministry, grief and loss, nonprofit leadership, and community-based social work. She is passionate about promoting healing and hope for individuals, families, and our community. Renee loves time with her family, meaningful conversations, getting lost in a good book, and exploring nature through a long walk on a beautiful day.