When sh*t hits the fan, a common tendency we have is to just brush things under the rug, tell ourselves we’re fine, and keep trucking through life. When we ignore the issues and keep acting like everything’s a-okay, it can wear on our mental state. Mental health isn’t something to be ignored. In this blog, I’m going to share the importance of mental health awareness and my tips on how you can instantly start checking yourself to improve your overall wellbeing.
Take a second and think about how much time, money and effort you’ve put into your physical health. From a young age, our society pushes images and messages to us that we should look a certain way or eat a certain diet. With so much focus on physical care, we often forget about mental care. Our mental health is just as if not even more important than our physical health, but why do we treat it like an afterthought? Maybe you attend a fitness class or go to the gym 3-5 times a week, but what about meditation or writing in a journal even just for 5 minutes a day?
Health is all-encompassing and it’s time to ask yourself, have you been sacrificing your mental health?
First, we need to be able to become more in tune with our mental and emotional state. Below are signs that your mental state needs a boost:
-Feeling irritable or on edge more easily
-Feeling compressed or stretched from all angles
-Feeling more tired than normal
-Feeling socially withdrawn
-Feeling excessively anxious with worries or fears
-Feeling unable to focus on work or projects
These warning signs may feel like nothing, but if we continue to ignore the signs, they will get progressively worse.
If any of the signs above speak to you, don’t worry! There are a lot of people going through the same thing, probably even close friends of yours. Now, let’s talk about solutions!
Talk to someone
My life changed when I started going to therapy 2 years ago. Now I understand the importance of voicing your feelings and opinions and how therapeutic it can be. But, I understand therapy isn’t for everyone. Confiding in a family member, best friend or even a life coach will still be greatly beneficial for your mental health. They may be able to offer some perspective or you may find the solution just by talking it out with someone else. Remember, people generally want to help.
Make time for you every day
Who knew making time for yourself could be so GD hard! Life gets in the way and we put other people and things before ourselves too often. Try and set aside a chunk of time for yourself and do something like meditate, go to the gym, write in a journal, take a fitness class or stretch. Even just 5 minutes a day for yourself can help you recharge and provide more mental clarity.
Connect with others
When we are feeling on edge, stressed or anxious, connecting with others can feel impossible but the benefits from spending some quality time with friends and enjoying yourself are vital to your mental health. As a proud introvert, I know how difficult this one can be. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, all I want to do is spend time at home alone. But I know that doing that causes me to be alone with my thoughts, causing me to spiral into a stressful state of worry and anxiousness. Force yourself to hang out with a friend. Invite someone over to watch a movie, go out for a drink, or take a walk in the park with a friend. When we connect with the people we care about, it helps us connect back with reality and can help put things into perspective.
Find something that brings you joy
Things that bring us joy often are related to things that provide comfort. When we are feeling a bit all over the place mentally and emotionally, using comfort as a tool is a great way to find calmness. Maybe reading a favorite book, listening to music, or cooking a delicious recipe brings you back to that place of comfort.
These are just a few of my favorite tools I use when I feel like my mental state isn’t at its best. Of course, there are many different methods so it’s important to do what’s best for you. Trust me when I say that putting more effort into your mental health, small or large, will go a long way.
Check out Molly’s blog for more posts on life post-trauma, body acceptance, and wellness.