Everyone experiences mental health differently. Some might not experience it at all. Some might think that there is nothing 'wrong with them'. Some might suffer significantly. We all deal with our mental health differently and so in light of this and also linking to World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2020, I thought it would be good to do a two part series on mental health.
The first blog post, is today's post, which focuses on looking after your own mental health. Now is the time to reflect on our thoughts and feelings and to not feel guilty for taking time for just you. I hope this blog post has been useful. At the end of the both posts will be some charities and other organisations that offer help for anyone who feels they need it. Please, if you are suffering, speak out!
Understanding Your Thoughts/Feelings:
First of all, when you begin to feel like you're starting to have a bad moment or wake up feeling nervous/anxious/sad etc, analyse why you are feeling this way. Are you feeling this way because of something that happened in the past? Something that is happening right now? Or something that is happening in the future?
By analysing the reason why you are feeling a certain way will enable you to better understand where these feelings are coming from and allow you to see if it is something you can control. If you are thinking about the past then it is likely that you cannot control what happened therefore it is important to understand how to deal with your emotion. Alternatively, if you are thinking about something in the future or present, then you have a greater ability to be able to control the situation in order to make you feel less of how you are feeling.
There are also other ways that can help you feel better. One way is completing some tasks that are non-negotiable's so you can encourage yourself to do them in order to help you feel better. Some of these non-negotiable tasks could be:
Getting Out of Bed
Brushing Your Teeth
Washing Your Face
As simple as these tasks sound, by doing these tasks they will help you get prepped and ready for the day ahead. Having a strong morning routine is also beneficial as your body and mind become accustomed to your routine and can easily get into your habits without sometimes even thinking about them.
There are also some other methods that are proven to help when it comes to looking after your mental health. I have listed them below for you (as you all know how much I love a good list):
- Take a Walk - get some fresh air in your lungs and listen to the different birdsong and autumn breeze running through your ears
- Meditate - whether you choose a guided meditate or sit in silence for 5 minutes, the choice is yours! Top Tip: if you're feeling super stressed then maybe try meditating with a stress ball and every time an unwanted thought crossed your mind, squeeze the ball as a form of release.
- Exercise - the importance of exercising, not just for your physical health but also mental health is super important!
- Pamper Yourself - give yourself a pamper evening. For ideas on what you can do for a pamper session, see my recent blog posts here
- Healthy Eating - again, not just great physically but mentally also. If you're not fuelling your body with the right nutritional goodness then you're going to feel sluggish
- Hydrate - start drinking water! (well done if you do already!) not only is water good for your brain power, metabolism and overall health but it is also good for your skin, hair and everything in-between! Try and avoid hydrating with caffeine as this can heighten your unwanted feelings even more!
- Talk About It - share how you are feeling with a friend, family member or even a colleague. Talk to whoever you trust and feel safe talking to. The power of talking is so underestimated as many people are under the impression that people don't want to listen but they do. People want to help people so never feel afraid to speak up!
- Write It Down - if you don't feel comfortable talking about it to someone then maybe try writing it down. Make a note of how you're feeling, why you're feeling this way, what you're going to do to try and help yourself and then go back to your notes later on in the day and review how you're feeling now which will hopefully be better than earlier on in the day. By doing this you are seeing yourself progress in trying to help yourself
- Gratitude - start making a journal and write down everything you feel grateful for. It could be something like fresh air to breathe or a roof over your head. Make a note of it as you can look back over your gratefulness and reflect on how lucky you are for the amazing things life has to offer.
- Social Media Detox - have a social media free day or if this is too much then why not try going social media free after 8pm or first thing in the morning. Find a way of cutting down on your social media intake to avoid comparison first or last thing at night.
- Affirmations - start building yourself up and talking positive about yourself. You wouldn't talk badly about someone else so why do we feel it is acceptable to talk down about ourselves. Self love is so important therefore spend each day working towards a greater form of self love.
- Find a New Hobby - find something that allows your mind to switch off and feel engrossed in. You could pick up hobbies such as: knitting, colouring, baking etc. Explore different options and see which hobby floats your boat.
- Read - when reading fiction books in particular, it can allow you to have a sense of escapism and to explore/live in someone else's world. Similarly, non-fiction books can help you progress in yourself and allow you to become a better version of yourself through learning.
- Mindfulness - a lot of us are on full speed mode and often steam through each day looking ahead at something happening in the future. But what if we had the opportunity and the practice of focusing on the now. By focusing on the now you are allowing yourself the chance to pay more attention to the present and enjoy the moment more.
- Listen to Something - whether you prefer podcasts over music or the other way round it is good to listen to something that takes your mind to another place. By listening to music, it may also get your endorphins going and make you feel a bit better
- Spending Time with Friends/Family - socialising with other people is a good mood boaster. Spending time with friends and family doesn't have to be extravagant you could just pop over to your friend's house for a cup of tea and a chat. The fact is that you're spending time with the ones you love. It is also a good opportunity to practice mindfulness as well
- You Time - it is ok to have you time. In society this can often be frowned upon when you say no to going out somewhere or seeing someone but it shouldn't be. We all need the opportunity to spend time with ourselves and allow ourselves to recharge rather than people pleasing all the time.
I hope the ideas above have been useful for you. The information I have provided today has been more from personal recommendations however, below I have listed some charities and organisation that will be able to help if you are looking for some more professional advice and/or guidance. Remember, if you are struggling, speak up. There is no shame in it!
Mental Health Charities and Organisations - NHS
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