Ten Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health | Mindfulpath | Erica Ives
TEN WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
by, Erica Ives
In our everyday life it is common to experience and feel stress, whether it be minimal or extensive. Unfortunately, it seems almost unavoidable with everyday life. Issues emerge from work, taking care of our families, rising costs of living, health, or even the weather.
There ARE skills you can learn that can help you to take care of your mental health, even in the most stressful situations. These skills can be learned and used to bring you calm not only when you’re feeling stressed but also as a way to help prevent overwhelm or additional stress.
Here are TEN tips to help bring some calm into your day:
1. Stop and Pause
Taking the time to stop and pause, even for a moment, throughout the day can be an effective way to reconnect to self and the world around you. Even a quick pause helps you to refocus and gain clarity. These pauses can help you to feel centered, calm, and are so easily accessible whenever needed.
2. Breathe… breathe… and breathe again.
Take some deep and cleansing breaths to help you calm yourself. All you have to do is inhale and exhale. You do it all the time to stay alive, the only difference is now you are being encouraged to focus on it. Focus on the breath can slow down the focus on the anxiety-provoking thoughts.
3. Focus on your feelings
Whenever possible, take a moment to focus on your feelings throughout the day. This gives you time and space to anticipate, reflect, and improve your day or situation. Even noticing how you are feeling can change how you feel and let you know what you need. You can actually change your feelings about a situation. The more you practice noticing your feelings, the the more masterful you will become. The important thing is to focus on the feeling without judgement, just kindness and compassion.
4. Notice your surroundings
When your mind is full of thoughts and it feels very chaotic and stressful, it really helps to just pay attention to what’s around you. Look around, there is so much beauty around every corner if you choose to seek it out. Focus on what’s going on around you – the people walking past, even the color of the sky, sounds around you, or anything else that is in your immediate vicinity. Notice the colors, the textures, even the smells around you.
This reminds you that you are more than the thoughts you are experiencing and brings you back into the moment.
5. Have fun
Life is serious but every minute of our lives does not need to be. It is about balance. Ensure there are people in your life that make you laugh because laughter is medicine. Listen to upbeat music, dance in your kitchen, skip, jump rope, or even do an art project. Just make sure to keep looking until you find things that truly spark your soul.
6. Surround yourself with good people
People with strong family or social connections tend to be healthier than those who isolate and lack a support network. Make time with supportive and safe family members and friends and find activities where you can meet new people, such as a class or support group.
7. Take care of your body:
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to:
Eat nutritious meals
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
Exercise, which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods
Get enough sleep
8. Set realistic goals
Decide what you want to achieve academically, professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to realize your goals. Aim high, but be realistic and don't over-schedule. You'll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth as you progress toward your goal.
9. Talk kindly to yourself
Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Set the day with an intention and make sure to take the time to reflect on that intention throughout the day. Always make sure to follow the negative with a positive. Reflect on three or more positive things at the close of the day that worked or you succeeded with that day.
10. Get help when you need it
Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness and addiction and lead full, rewarding lives.
Should you or someone you know and care about need help, please reach out.
Wishing you all the best,