My Mental Health Journey
When it comes to my mental health I've gone through some major ups and downs. And though that might be obvious because we all do, I wanted to say it out loud.
In this post I will not be going into any of my issues too deeply, I rarely do it by myself any more. I am here to shine a light on what I did and do to improve my mental health.
Please keep in mind that I am not a therapist nor am I a doctor, this is just me and my experience dealing with shit that happened in my life.
I have struggled with parentification and anxiety and because of these I have come up with some methods that have really helped me cope. I have truly transformed inside and now know a lot more about what I need to avoid and lessen the triggers of very seldom rough patches.
For some, depression, anxiety and other struggles can feel like a mental battle, one that is hard to snap out of and trust me it's as unique as you are, there is no one way that'll work for everyone.
What may feel like the end of the world to someone, might not be that to someone else, so please be mindful about everyone's journey. No one thing is harder than some other thing for another person.
I found that it might not necessarily get easier, you just get stronger and to me that's important to understand from the get go. We will always have struggles in our lives and it'll never be smooth sailing, but when you have tools that work for you, you don't have to stay in a rut for too long.
Nowadays I feel like I am much more stronger, like I have a grip, as if I am in control of my situation.
While these 6 suggestions may be obvious they may still be helpful and I hope that they can be a reminder to anyone who needs to hear this at this moment.
1. Physical exercise. Though I have been active most of my life and still gone through some horrendous things, I still feel the need to emphasize the importance of this.
When you are not feeling your best for whatever reason, it might not feel like this will do anything but moving your body can help immensely with any kind of depression and/or sadness.
I totally get not wanting to get off the couch and leave the cozy blanket, but you know you feel better when you do a little workout even if it's only for 15 minutes. The smallest bit of exercise can make a big difference.
When you are able to break through that mental block and go to the gym or wherever it is you enjoy your type of exercise, you'll feel better at least for a second.
2. Simple things I love. Each day, I make a bit of time to do something that I love or that is just for me. This might be as simple as painting my nails, watching a favorite YouTuber, reading a book or something online, and sometimes it might be taking a nap. Me time is an important part of good mental health, I make this a priority.
3. Breaks. Take breaks from your responsibilities. You need to have time away from work and other responsibilities. Vacations or a day off to enjoy a lazy day and unwind periodically.
4. Mental check-ins. Spending time noticing how you feel. Getting to know yourself. For me it's writing and visualization practices. For some it might be meditation or driving in a car by themselves.
Find away to connect with how you feel, how you want to feel and lose the negative self-talk. This has helped me become stronger, to manage more and to find a lot of meaning. This also includes telling or noticing things I like about myself.
5. Good sleep. I always wake up in a better mood when I go to bed early the night before. (Will she ever shut up about this whole sleep thing? Probably not. Because it really works.) Good quality sleep will cure most things. If you are not sleeping well on a regular basis, why is that. Now is the time to rethink those things that aren't allowing you to get the kind of sleep you need and deserve. You know what you need to do, do that.
6. STOP IT. Stop welcoming traits of depression into your life. I understand that this might not be that easy, but sometimes you need to choose to not allow them in and find the simplest things to create a healthy environment in and outside your body.
I want to note that in some cases therapy will be a must. I've gone through a bunch of therapists in my life for different stages and different reasons. And though some were fine, in my case I never felt like they could ever provide the actual help I truly needed and therefore I stepped back. I am not saying that this isn't the way for everyone and that I didn't get anything out of it, I just realized what worked and didn't for me.
Mental health journeys never have a one size fits all method and you might have to try a variation of things to find what suits you the best. You will evolve and so will your mental health journey.
I hope these things have been and will be helpful. They have genuinely made such a huge difference in the way I think, so I hope they work for you too.
Let me know if there’s anything you do on a daily basis to look after your mental health, I’d love to hear from you.