Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being are all part of our mental health. It influences and dictates how we think, act, and feel. It also impacts how we behave, react, manage, and make decisions in our daily lives. Biological conditions of our surroundings can both contribute to mental health issues.
ADHD, ASD, and other biological conditions are examples of biological circumstances. Childhood trauma or abuse are examples of environmental factors. Many times, we are unable to pinpoint the cause of our nausea, difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite, or excessive eating.
Others show signs of mental illness in the form of unexplainable emotions of pessimism, sadness, or mood swings that negatively impact their life. Others express their problems through addiction. Mental health should always be treated, regardless of the manifestation or scenario.
5 Suggestions for Taking Care of Your Mental Health
1. Speak with someone you can trust.
Talking to someone you can trust — a friend, a family member, or a coworker – might be beneficial. You could feel better if you can honestly communicate what you’re going through with someone who cares about you. If you reside in a region with limited face-to-face encounters, a video call, phone call, or messaging app can help you remain in touch with your loved ones.
2. Take care of your physical well-being.
Taking care of your physical health aids in improving your mental health and overall well-being. Running, walking, yoga, dancing, cycling, or even gardening are all excellent ways to stay active for at least 30 minutes daily. Consume a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Make sure you get adequate rest.
3. Participate in things that you enjoy.
Continue to engage in significant and joyful things, such as cooking for yourself or your loved ones, playing with your pet, going for a stroll in the park, reading a book, or watching a movie or TV series. Maintaining excellent mental health requires a regular schedule filled with things that make you joyful.
4. Stay away from potentially dangerous chemicals.
To cope with your feelings, don’t use dangerous substances like drugs, kava, alcohol, or cigarettes. Though they may make you feel better in the short term, they might cause you to feel worse over time. These drugs are also hazardous, posing a risk of sickness or injury to you and those around you.
5. Take two minutes to notice what’s going on around you.
By reconnecting with where you are at this instant in time, you may help yourself to be free of continually whirling ideas. Take three calm, deep breaths, feel your feet firmly planted on the floor, and ask yourself:
- What are the five things that come to mind?
- What are the four things I can hear right now?
- What am I able to detect?
- What does it feel like to reach out and touch my knees or something else? What does it feel like between my fingers?
Self-care entails taking the time to do activities that will help you live a happy and healthy life, both physically and mentally. Self-care may assist you in managing stress, reducing your risk of disease, and boosting your energy levels regarding your mental health. Even little actions of self-care performed regularly can have a significant impact.
Here are a few pointers to get you started on self-care:
- Exercise consistently. Walking for 30 minutes daily can help you feel better and enhance your health. Don’t be disappointed if you can’t accomplish 30 minutes at once since small quantities of exercise add up.
- Stay hydrated and eat healthy, frequent meals. A nutritious diet and enough water can help you stay energized and focused all day. Limit caffeinated beverages like soft drinks and coffee as well.
- Make getting enough sleep a priority. Maintain a routine and make sure you receive adequate sleep. Because blue light from smartphones and displays might make it difficult to fall asleep, limit your blue light exposure before night.
- Consider engaging in a soothing activity. Look into relaxation or wellness programs or applications that include meditation, muscular relaxation, and breathing exercises. Make time frequently for these and other healthful activities you love, such as writing.
- Prioritize and set goals. Determine what has to be done right away and what can wait. If you feel you’re taking on too much, learn to say “no” to additional projects. Focus on what you’ve done rather than what you haven’t.
- Gratitude should be practiced. Remind yourself of your blessings daily. Be as precise as possible. At night, write them down or play them again in your head.
- Concentrate on the positive. Recognize and fight your unhelpful and negative ideas.
- Keep in touch. Contact friends or family members who can offer emotional and practical assistance.
Everyone’s definition of self-care differs, so figuring out what you need and love is crucial. It may take some time to figure out what works best for you. Furthermore, while self-care is not a cure for mental diseases, knowing what causes or triggers minor symptoms and what coping strategies work for you can help you manage your mental health.
Dos and Don’Ts When Helping a Loved One Who Has a Mental Illness:
Do listen with an open mind.
Let them know they’re not alone and that you love and support them unconditionally. Make yourself available to listen…really listen, without passing judgment. Empathy seems to be expressed through facial expressions, body language, and voice tone. Individuals with psychiatric illnesses are usually looking for someone who is attempting to comprehend what they are going through rather than someone who shares their feelings. For them, be that person.
Do ask questions
Do not be hesitant to inquire. Your friend does not expect you to be aware of their situation already. Respectfully inquire about their symptoms and feelings. They may not want to offer you all the answers, but that’s fine; they’ll know you’re interested just by asking.
Do encourage them to seek help.
Check to see if the person is getting the care they require. If not, offer to assist them in obtaining the assistance they need. They may refuse to seek help and become enraged with you. It’s critical to remind them that mental health issues may be treated and that they don’t have to feel this way indefinitely.
Do help out with daily tasks.
Simple, regular things can be challenging to complete when you are dealing with a mental health condition. Getting out of bed may be a struggle. Are you unsure what you can do to assist? Bring out the trash, mail, or wash a few dishes. Any modest gesture of compassion would be greatly appreciated.
Don’t make comments such as “you’re fine” or “cheer up.”
Even if you think you’re being helpful, words like these might make someone feel judged and ashamed of their feelings. Their situation is critical and will most likely not be overlooked. Please help them feel at ease and confident in communicating their feelings.
DON’T Say you know how they feel if you don’t
While you may feel melancholy sometimes, try not to compare those sentiments to their current predicament. While having someone to connect to is helpful, making comparisons may make them feel as if the seriousness of their condition is being diminished.
Don’t question their medical decisions.
Taking drugs is a significant step for most individuals with mental illnesses, and it can be frightening. There is still a stigma attached to medical care for specific illnesses today. However, there are several medications that might help people regain their sense of self-identity. So, when your loved one searches for the drug that best meets their requirements, be patient, helpful, and, most importantly, nonjudgmental.
Don’t pressure them to “stay busy.”
You may believe that a day trip or a night out can divert your loved one’s attention away from their problem. Do not be afraid to ask them to such social gatherings, but do not expect them to accept the invitation. Whatever they’re going through isn’t going to be remedied by kicking back and relaxing to get out of a funk. Keep this in mind, and believe their decision not to participate was best for them.
Don’t take it personally.
It’s important to remember that what they’re going through isn’t about you or your responsibility. Give them your whole attention, and don’t expect anything in return because they may not be able to reciprocate. Whether you believe it or not, they require your assistance more than ever.