Hey Everyone! For those who do not know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. So, I decided to dedicate this post to Mental Health and Mental Health Awareness.
Everyone deserves to be healthy. We need to look after our minds as much as we do our bodies and come up with ways to ensure that the mental aspect of our lives is healthy.
“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life.”
I’m going to share a few general tips on how to boost one’s mental health. I hope you find this helpful.
- Write your thoughts down– Personally, writing my thoughts down is extremely freeing. I have a journal where I sometimes write down how I feel when I am overwhelmed or when I am stressed. Writing your thoughts down is extremely therapeutic. It just empties you. It gives you somewhere else to store your thoughts instead of crowding your mind with so many things that aren’t giving you peace. It’s safe to do especially if you are not ready to talk about whatever may be bothering you yet. I’ve recently had very raw and deep experiences with my pen and paper and even though in the moment writing everything down seems hard, there is just some relief that comes with knowing it’s not all in your head anymore.
- Make voice recordings– I’ve tried this on two occasions. I think this would help if you don’t want to write. Just talk. Pour it all out. Take it all out of your head and note changes in your mood. Give little updates about whatever isn’t bringing you peace just to see how you are growing or moving from it. The goal is to not have so much stored in your head but to create an outlet for yourself.
- Pray– This is top 2 and not number 2 for me. Extremely therapeutic. There’s nothing more comforting for me than telling God exactly how I feel in a particular moment. Just let it all out in a good conversation with Him. He wants you to have peace and be healthy after all so that really helps.
- Selfcare- After a long stressful week, a face mask goes a long way. Take a long bath/shower just to unwind. Use your favourite shower gel/body scrub/ bath bombs and just treat yourself. If you have comfort food, take it. My go to comfort foods are caramel popcorn (from the cinema), snickers and lightly salted lays. They just make me happy. Just do something that makes you happy.
- Seek help/ Therapy- Talk to a therapist, a psychologist or anyone who will be able to give you the help that you need. I’m so glad to see that therapy isn’t something that is totally looked down upon these days and people are beginning to understand the need for therapy. Get help when you need it. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak. There is only so much you can do for yourself.
- Sleep- Most students are very quick to sacrifice sleep in order to get things done. I’m one of those. However, sleeping well is restorative and helps handle stress. That’s why there are people who just sleep when things get too stressful for them. Also, research has shown that less than adequate sleep increases symptoms of anxiety and depression. I really need to get my sleep in order.
- Be positive- Try as much as you can to counter negative thoughts with positive thoughts. “If you’re feeling anxious and regretful about staying in bed til noon one day, follow that with a reminder that you really needed some extra rest and alone time this week. You can get back out there tomorrow.”
- Take breaks– You don’t have to be on the go every single time. Slow down or you’ll burn out. Breaks give you time to gather yourself and to step away from what could be making you anxious or stressed. Enjoy the sunshine, take a walk. Breaks are extremely important.
- Look after your body– Regular exercise and a good diet can have a direct impact on your mental health. I’ve been trying to work out as often as I can but I’m struggling now because it gets boring. I’ll keep trying though because that’s the best way to look after my body as my diet is not the healthiest.
- Set realistic goals- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and don’t let others put pressure on you. Unrealistic goals will make you push buttons that you shouldn’t and this may lead to break downs that you don’t want. Be realistic. Put things into perspective and then act. This helps academically, professionally and personally.
- Do not isolate yourself– This is extremely easy for me to do but you’d be surprised how many people are willing to help you get through a rough patch. Surround yourself with people you love and people who love you.
Lastly, if you suffer from anything that affects your mental health like anxiety, depression, addiction etc. seek help from professionals or talk to someone about it and they can help you through it. See a therapist if possible and get medical and professional help. It’s okay to seek help. Also, take time to read different articles that could give you more information about how to get through certain seasons in your life.
We should all be interested in our mental health and do things that help us maintain a healthy lifestyle. I’ve only shared 11 tips but there are so many more so do yourself a favour and educate yourself on Mental Health.
Stay safe, practice social distancing and stay home if you can.
Thanks for reading!