Claire Fountain is a psychotherapist, yoga instructor, and writer. With clients ranging from the top NBA, NFL, and MLB athletes to the likes of brands such as Amazon and Target; Claire’s unorthodox and realistic approach to yoga and mental health is grounded in education and experience.

1. Sleep

So often we overlook the importance of sleep, yet so much of how we feel (mentally, emotionally, physically,) is altered when we have not or cannot sleep. Look into good sleep hygiene with a nighttime ritual, limited screen time, softer lighting, comfortable bedding that is temperature appropriate, silk eye masks, or whatever else you need to sleep well.

Sleep can also be affected by everything from anxiety, depression, PTSD, to hormonal changes or GI issues. If you’re struggling to sleep well or soundly despite making sleep related changes, check in with a therapist or doctor to discuss what might be in the way of a restful and renewing night’s sleep.

2. Movement

Moving our bodies is one of the easiest ways to feel better from a mental well-being standpoint. Movement can be as simple as dancing to music we enjoy, walking, or yoga. Non-exercise related movement can be implemented every day. Exercise or more fitness related endeavors are also welcome, yet I’d encourage us to move in joy and appreciation for what our bodies can do, not solely for weight loss related efforts.

3. Tune Into Your Senses

We spend a lot of life in our heads, and not in our bodies. Grounding is soothing, can create more calm, and help us find presence in our lives. At any given moment, stop and notice your senses, one by one. Sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.

4. Connection & Touch

If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that being close to people we love and feel connected to matters. In my work as a trauma therapist, we affirm that “connection and belonging” can be a core wound as the need to feel like we are connected to others is that impactful. Whether it is friends, family, chosen family, community, social groups, lovers or other spaces; take the time to find connection.

“Touch hunger” is when we are starved for human touch. Skin to skin touch is necessary for mental, emotional, and physical health. Touch can be but does not have to be sensual at all, as all positive touch is considered beneficial. Some say we need 4-6 hugs a day for survival.

5. Make Space For Pleasure

Pleasure is a birthright. We often think of pleasure as something to be earned, selfish, or having to exist in certain contexts. Pleasure can be anything that brings you ease and joy. Increase the ways you allow yourself to feel good.

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