Learning how to look after your mental health is hugely important. We are now, more so than any point in history, beginning to understand how our minds work. There is more information today on mental health, and the stigma around talking about your feelings has, for the most part, disappeared. For the vast majority of us, bottling up your feelings and not talking about them is an archaic tradition. Still, a great number of people struggle with their mental health. If you are one of those people, you will be glad to know there are a great number of things you can do to manage your mental wellbeing. Today we are going to take you through some of those things.
Keeping active and exercising if you struggle with anxiety or depression is hugely important. That’s not to say you have to run a marathon, as you may be in a bad place mentally. But taking small steps and trying to keep active is significant, and if you manage to do this it should be celebrated. Not only does exercise promote self esteem and confidence growth, but it promotes a chemical reaction in your body that actually helps you feel better. Endorphins are released when you exercise, which triggers a positive bodily response in your brain.
Do Things You Enjoy
It is important if you are having a tough time to take care of yourself by doing things you enjoy or are good at. If this is something creative, even better! There can be a great sense of accomplishment achieved when you play a piano, for example. If there is something you previously loved to do but have recently not enjoyed, perhaps try it again. In life you need to strike a balance between work and play. If you find this balance, it is going to help your mental health immensely.
Ask For Help
The stigma around mental health has dissolved over the years. Now people are encouraged to open up and express their feelings. Although, as a society, we have come a long way, there are still many of us out there who struggle to summarise and voice our feelings. Asking for help or support is not a sign of weakness, and it takes a significant amount of courage to admit you are struggling. If you are finding it difficult to cope at the minute, reach out to a loved one or a friend. This is a fantastic start. From there, you may wish to seek the help of a qualified medical professional who will be better equipped to support you on a long term basis.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
It goes without saying, but your alcohol consumption should be heavily reduced if you are struggling with your mental health. You may even want to consider taking a break from drinking, or going sober altogether. Alcohol is a depressant, and it alters your brain’s serotonin and dopamine levels. It may make you feel somewhat better at the time of drinking, but you are likely to feel a lot worse days after. To some people, drinking is an easy way to manage difficult feelings and escape themselves. But this is a damaging strategy for combating difficult feelings, and will make you feel much worse in the long run.
Seek Professional Help
Sometimes, you may feel like you can manage your feelings on your own. In some cases, this may even be true. Still, if you are really struggling and have seen a spike in levels of anxiety, or you feel depressed, you need to speak to a professional. Anxiety and depression can be debilitating, and you may need medication or support to go about your day to day life. A good place to start is with your GP, who will examine you and then may refer you for counselling or write you a prescription. There is a wealth of information and other services out there though. Charities like Samaritans support those in need, and they are not alone.
Give to Others
Small acts of kindness towards others can go a long way in improving your mental health as well as your perception of yourself. Whether it is spending time with family or friends and listening to them, helping out a neighbour or saying thank you for something, giving to others is hugely important. Not only does it help you connect with the people around you, but it can improve your self-worth and give you purpose.