Nowadays, there has been a substantial improvement in the way people view mental health. Most people are fighting to destigmatize mental illnesses and work on improving themselves. This is why it has become easier for people to talk about their mental illness and not feel ashamed by it. While, this is a first step to help show us how we’re working to finally prioritize our self-care. However, when it comes to actually practicing taking care of our own mental health, it tends to be side-lined. People think they’re too busy or don’t have the extra money to spend on therapy.
This is why, I’ve come up with some important and manageable ways you can start taking care of your mental health. We need to start acting to help ourselves, and not just talk about it. Especially after the stressful year we’ve had!
- Allow yourself a mental health day – Giving yourself a day off which is completely just for you. This will help to improve your productivity and help reduce your stress. If you feel guilty to do this, think of it as a form of preventive medication before it becomes too late for your body to function. By taking a day to yourself to relax, you will be able to recharge and strengthen your immune system to prevent you from needing to take an actual sick day. You’ll know when the time is right to take a mental health day.
- Take care of your body – By taking care of your physical body, then you can help improve your mental health as well. Make sure to eat healthily, drink plenty of water, exercise and get enough sleep! Exercising and sleeping well will help reduce anxiety and depression and improve your overall mood.
- Do something you enjoy – Just binge-watching Netflix is not enough for you to recharge, because you might still feel tired. Try going out for a walk, calling a friend, or just having a relaxing bubble bath. If we don’t find time to do the little things we enjoy, then we’ll just remain unhappy with our lives.
- Quiet your mind – Try meditating or mindfulness techniques to help you quieten your mind and forget about everything that is stressing you out, at least for an hour or two. By using relaxation exercises, they can help you to have a more positive outlook on your mind and improve your mental health. If you don’t know from where to start, then simply take a few minutes to sit quietly by yourself and focus on breathing in and out.
- Seek help – You don’t need to seek help when it becomes too late. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, then talk to someone. That someone can be a family member, a friend or even a therapist. There’s no shame in needing to ask for help when you’re not feeling yourself. What you’re going through is normal, and everyone experiences feeling low at one point or another.
By being more open to taking care of our mental health, the easier we will find it to take a break when it is needed. As well, by making sure to discuss when we’re not feeling our usual selves, then others can learn to become more supportive and understanding of others’ mental wellbeing.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Mandy Brincat is a Gestalt psychotherapist who enjoys working therapeutically with adults on various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing. She also has experience working with anxiety, victims of domestic violence and eating disorders.
- Gueren, C. (2017). 11 Small but Important Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.self.com/story/take-care-of-your-mental-health
- How to take care of your mental health | 10 effective tips – FutureLearn. (2021). Retrieved from https://www.futurelearn.com/info/blog/how-to-take-care-of-your-mental-health