Mental Health: Self Care Tips
“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once” – Paulo Coelho
Mental health comes under the bracket of your emotional, psychological and social well-being. Emotional aspects affect how we feel and respond to situations, psychological aspects impact how we think and make choices, while psychical aspects affect how we act and relate to others. So in basic terms, mental health is everything. Biological factors such as your genes, brain chemistry and family history of mental health issues can also play a part, as well as your life experiences such as trauma, loss of a loved one or abuse.
Society has created a stigma around mental health making it taboo and unspoken but discussing this sensitive topic can shed a light, support people in need and even save a life. I have found when in my darkest times that speaking about my problems lifted a weight off my shoulders, even though I procrastinated doing so for a long time.
As reported by ‘Mind’ 1 in 4 people will experience mental health problems every year.
Being in a negative mental state can make you feel like you are in this world alone and that no one understands what
With these mental health
- Get Some Sleep
We know, this sounds cliche but it is so important. If you ever find yourself clouding your mind with pessimistic thoughts and self-doubt ask yourself, have I slept enough today? The average adult needs around 8 hours of sleep a night. If the answer is no, close your laptop, flight mode your phone and have a nap, you deserve it.
- Speak to Friends and Family
Bad mental health can sometimes lead people to distance themselves from others, not wanting to place their burdens onto other people. This only further stimulates the growth of this grey cloud. You don’t have to discuss with them how your feeling if your not comfortable, just hearing someone else tell you about their day can take the pressure off of your mind. Let your hair down with loved ones who, as much as you think won’t understand, turn out to be the most supportive.
- Have a 14 Day Cleanse
When feeling low it becomes increasingly easy to turn to smoking, drugs, alcohol and unhealthy eating habits. These substances numb the pain for a short time, only for the same feelings to return more aggressively. If you have found yourself turning to these mediums, have a 14 day cleanse, where you don’t consume any drugs or alcohol and monitor your eating habits. This could be only 7 days if 14 is too long, or even a whole month, whichever you see fit. The first few days will be the hardest but shortly after you will start to reap the benefits.
- Balance Work and Play
Mental health problems can occur when you feel like your work is not receiving the acknowledgment or rewards it deserves, making you focus on working even harder. Even though this can be a good thing, balance is key. Someone who is overworked can not perform to their best ability, even the greatest of minds needs a break. Create a schedule which works for you, with a healthy balance of work and play.
- Create a Mental List of Coping Mechanisms
We touched upon the unhealthy coping mechanisms (drugs and alcohol) but what are the healthy options. Each person is different and will have a difference in preference but here are some common and personal favourites.
Listen to music, go to the gym/for a run, meditate, read, write, draw, visit an art gallery/museum, make a list of things you are grateful for, dance, watch your
My personal preferred coping mechanism is listening to music, artists like Mac Miller and Amy Winehouse vent their personal experiences with mental health into beautifully constructed songs.
I have linked one of my playlists which have helped me release and understand my emotions, feeling much better once the songs were over.
- Acknowledge How your Feeling
One of the worst things to do is suppress your feelings, attempting to sweep them under the rug in hopes they will disappear but, they never do, they only manifest to a point of no return. By facing your issues head on you can, learn your triggers, are there common topics that bring on this feeling? You can develop your communication skills not only with others but with yourself “I feel.. Because…” You can also strengthen your emotional resilience, helping you feel more able to deal with your situation.
The mind is complicated, confusing and constantly working so remember;
You are not alone
You are not crazy
You are strong
And you are loved