5 Things You Can Do For Your Mental Health
Since this is mental health awareness month, and my previous gig was a mental health therapist, I tend to care a lot about this topic. Unfortunately the term “mental health” gets a bad rap. People seem to be quite afraid of it and what it potentially implies. However, just the other day I was reading a book and there was a wonderful analogy about mental health and therapy. In The Crossroads of Should and Must, Ella Luna writes:
“working with a therapist in your day-to-day life is like having a trainer at the gym, except rather than work your muscles, the therapist works the organ that thinks.”
To me, this is a wonderful way of conceptualizing it. If only everyone thought about therapy this way!
Mental health is just like physical health, if you neglect it, it will get worse. But if you try to improve it, it will get better. There are many things you can do to improve your mental health, and many don’t take very much effort or time. Here’s my list of my top ways you can improve your mental health!
1. Treat Yourself Right
This includes so many things. But first and foremost, speak to yourself with respect. Speak to yourself with kindness. It’s one of the hardest things that we can do in this day and age, but that little self critic that you have in your head, Tried to challenge it as much as possible. Also, value your time. Learn the wonderful word of no. Make sure that a yes to someone else isn’t a no to yourself.
2. Care About Who is Around You
I’m not talking about that saying that says you’re the average of the five people that are around you. I’m talking about having people around you that can support you and be there for you when you need them. And when you’re picking those people, you want the right people, so make sure to choose well.
3. Honor Your Body
This is the “basics”.Eat nutrient dense meals, get enough rest, stay hydrated, move daily. All the things that contribute to a healthy body..
4. Know What to Do With Negativity
No, I’m not gonna tell you where to shove it ;). But learning how to manage negative emotions is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You’re going to have bad days. You’re going to encounter stress. You need to know how to manage it. Figure out some coping skills to have in your tool box before you need them. Practice them just like you would anything else.
Some ideas? Coloring, going for a walk, meditating, listening to music, calling a friend (see #2), playing with a pet or working out. Almost anything can be a coping skill (as long as it’s positive for you), if you don’t like one thing, try another!
5. Reach out for help
This is the most important one. When you need someone else, whether it’s a friend or professional, please reach out and ask for their help. Help isn’t weakness, it’s strength and treatment is effective.
Asking for help does NOT mean you are less.
This is obviously not an all inclusive list. But it’s a great foundation to build upon!
What are some other things you do or can think of to build a strong foundation for your mental health? Let me know!