I have compiled this list of helpful (I hope!) points to take into consideration when it comes to looking after your mental health. Just for anyone who is going through a rough time and may be in need of a little extra help
Be Kind to Yourself
Let’s be real here for a second, we all can feel like crap. Age, gender, sexuality, single, married, employment status, rich or poor it does not matter. You don’t have to be in hell to go through hell. When everything in life is going great and you still feel sad this can make you feel guilty. There does not have to be an exact reason all the time. You are not the only person not feeling great, Gerry from accounts could be going through a rough patch. Daniel from IT could have spent his lunch break having a little cry in the loos. You don’t know. Get off social media where everybody’s life seems so fabulous and go and have a good weep followed by a pizza. You are normal. Be kind to yourself.
Let It All Out
A good rant can do one wonders. If you feel like talking is too much at times, try building up to it. Remember that everyone has problems and it might take a few go’s to get it right. For me, I find it easier to say things in written form. Sending a message or email to explain how you have been feeling, can be easier sometimes than face to face. If you feel that you don’t want to share, that you don’t do feelings and you can sort this out by yourself – I hate to break the bad news but you could be wrong. You are not superhuman, it really is okay to talk whether it be to a friend, family member or a professional.
Nobody is Judging You
At least not as much as you might think. In general as human beings we tend to put ourselves first. Everyone is too busy worrying about their own lives than to scrutinize every little thing you do. A lot of the time, we can be our own harshest critics. You are important and people care about you. But luckily no one is the absolute centre of the universe. Try not to stress by thinking untrue thoughts about being a burden, you matter a lot and of course people will worry about you but that’s ok. I am sure you have worried about someone you love at a point. We all fall down. If you make a mistake or have a little fuck-up, just think will this matter in 100 years? The world will keep turning and you will become a stronger and better person out of it. We all make mistakes, so just do you, boo!
Practice Self-Care Methods
You may want to spend the day buried under the blankets, it happens to the best of us. Try getting up brushing your teeth, having a shower and then getting back into fresh clean sheets. Then spend the whole day in bed. See the achievement that you have cleaned yourself as a small victory regardless of how you spend the rest of your day. Practicing small changes and celebrating all the little things you managed does wonders. Try not to think of all the things you did not do but focus on the business you did take care of. When you are not feeling well, it is fairly understandable that you are not going to jump out of bed, ready to love life and take on the world. Remember baby steps, going at your own pace and that Rome was not built in a day. It is a complete lie that people only recover when they chose to. Everyone just does their best in these situations. If you can’t face the world today, try again tomorrow.
There’s An App for That
Seriously. There are apps for all kinds of areas of your well being. You can use apps for healthy eating, exercise, to track your sleep patterns and to just generally get control of life and make it your bitch. Tracking your diet, sleep, thoughts and emotions can show you if you have any triggers or recurring themes giving you a better understanding of you. There are even apps for meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises. Just start it as a bit of fun and if you find it works, keep going.
Let It Go
Leaving the past in the past is hard. For me, it is one of my biggest challenges. Sometimes writing a letter or email helps, if somebody has hurt you write out how you feel and what you ideally would like to say to them. Keep it, send it or burn/delete it. The choice is yours and might seem clearer once you complete the message and I would recommend taking in a night’s sleep before decided how you would like to proceed. The action of actually putting your thoughts on paper is an extremely helpful process. Even if nobody else ever reads it, you did and you might discover that you feel differently or have a better understanding of why this person or situation affected you so much. So make like Elsa and let it go, how we see our past has a massive impact on our future. And we should not judge others on their pasts, people change.
Perfection Ain’t Easy Darlin’
That’s because – it is impossible. No one is perfect. Focus on being a better version of yourself by all means but we all have flaws and weak points. All we can do is try our best and that should always be good enough. Even if your best is not as great as you would like it to be sometimes. Stop overthinking, you cannot make all the world’s problems go away. Work towards happiness instead of perfection. Don’t look at other people and assume they have it all going for them, we all fight secret battles that no one knows about. Learn to love yourself.
Do What Works
There is no shame in using mental health services. Psychiatry is complicated and there is nothing that suits all. There are also no quick fixes unfortunately. Small victories add up and what worked for your friend may not work for you. That is not a reason to stop fighting, keep going until you find what is best for you. While others can love and support you, they cannot take you every step of the way. You are on your own personal journey.
You deserve to feel better and you will. Take everything one step at a time and welcome help where you need it. Count your blessings and just remember every day is a new chance to change your life.