“JUST BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE CAN HEAL OR DO YOUR INNER WORK FOR YOU, DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN, SHOULD, OR NEED TO DO IT ALONE.” -LISA OLIVERA
I know what it feels like to have anxiety consume you and take you to a place of defeat. Becoming flooded with emotions, fearful, irrational thinking, finding it difficult to breathe, all of it. I’ve been there. More times than I could count in the last year or so. Mental health affects people of all ages from children through adulthood. There are many many factors that can play a role in our mental health problems, but a pretty common denominator is the affect that it has on our mood, behaviors, and overall way of thinking. I have been through A LOT in my 28 years of life and although I wouldn’t say I am healed from my mental health issues, I definitely believe I’ve got a grasp on better ways to manage. So, I pray that this post brings you clarity, healing, and inspiration to get up each and every morning with a new purpose, routine, or thought process to fight and win this battle of your mind that, in due time, will better serve you. I am still on this journey with you and I want to pour into you the way others have poured into me. So, grab a glass of wine and let’s chat. It’s gonna be a long one but well worth it. Here are 10 ways you can better manage your mental health.
1. Allow Yourself Time to FEEL Your Emotions.
We oftentimes try to avoid going through the extremely difficult process of allowing our bodies to release all that we are feeling. But sis, this is what will FREE you! We eventually get to a point where our bodies decide that it can no longer contain all those emotions, thoughts, etc., and we find ourselves on the floor or in bed crying uncontrollably, having to force ourselves to breathe, or thinking our life is about to end. Giving yourself time to release is a very important step in managing your mental wellbeing. The beauty of this is, while you can’t always control a breakdown or difficult situation/circumstance that happened to you, allowing yourself time to work through those emotions is what will build the strength, knowledge, and understanding needed to better equip you for future situations to come.
2. Limit Your Time On Social Media.
Let me say that a little louder for the people in the back, LIMIT YOUR TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA! Girrrrrrllll, this will drag you into a comparison pool and take your thoughts in places they have no business being! Scrolling for hours on end looking at everyone’s highlight reel will only sink your mind into a deeper, darker place. I’m not sure about Androids but I know Iphones have a screen time feature under Settings that will show you a breakdown of how much time you’re spending on social media. I personally have placed a 1 hour limit each day on Instagram so that my phone will alert me when my time is running out. Some days I never even reach that limit and some days I ignore it and exceed it (I’m human) but it serves as a great reminder and sometimes eye opener for where I’m spending a lot of my time.
3. Do Something Nice.
It’s really as simple as that. Buy a friend lunch, send someone flowers, tell someone how much you appreciate them, help with a chore, anything! Just do something nice. For a lot of people this brings purpose to their days or even just a warm and fuzzy feeling inside that they made someone’s day. This shifts your mind in a more positive direction and can just help you feel GOOD. So, go do something nice. And be a kind human! 🙂
4. Move Your Body.
Did anyone else just immediately think of the song “Move Your Body Girl” by Nina Sky? LOL That was the jam back in the day! Ok back on topic, it is so so important to fit movement of any kind into your days! Please don’t complicate this. It could be anything from working out to something as simple as parking in the farthest parking spot at Target. It could be throwing on some Beyoncé and dancing in your living room or instead of having lunch delivered, you walk to go get lunch. Find something doable and enjoyable that you can stick to. You’ll be surprised how much of an antidepressant movement and exercise can be!
5. Get Sleep.
Don’t you hate it when our minds decide that the perfect time to overanalyze or think about everything under the sun is RIGHT before bed? *Insert side eye emoji* Then we spend half the night unable to fall asleep because we’re worried or stressed and our thoughts just won’t calm the hell down. Yea girl, same. Well I recently discovered an idea that may help! Instead of staying in bed awake tossing and turning, find something calming or boring to do that doesn’t involve a screen (the blue light from screens can actually keep you awake). Examples could be reading a book, cleaning, folding laundry, etc. Doing these things early on in your bedtime routine could help take your mind elsewhere and in turn help you become sleepy sooner!
6. Utilize Your Support Systems.
Whether it be family, close friends, or your therapist, I think it is important to have people that you can talk through things with and get a different outlook on whatever it is you may be going through. This helps you to get out of your own head and release (as I mentioned earlier). But you want to be sure these people are truly there to SUPPORT you. Your support system shouldn’t include negative Nancy, or petty Pam, or jealous Julie, you get the point lol. These need to be YOUR PEOPLE! Who will speak life and positivity over you, pray with you or for you, encourage and uplift and overall move you into a direction of freedom and peace.
7. Learn To Say No.
I know this can be a tough one. Trust me. I spent many years of my life people pleasing and feeling guilty for saying no to things, people, or situations that didn’t serve me. But this is another important part of protecting your peace and protecting your mental state. You know those people, situations, or circumstances that bring toxicity to your mind and to your life. As you are embarking on this journey, it is important to keep YOU in the forefront. Remind yourself of the oxygen mask principle. You must put your mask on first before you can do anything for anyone else.
This is another form of release if you don’t have anyone to talk to in the moment. It is so relieving to just let everything out on paper unfiltered and be able to look back at how far you’ve come over time. You’ll be surprised how much knowledge you gain about your thinking process and be able to find ways to grow and improve in your mental clarity.
9. Develop a Routine.
When you know better you do better. Pay attention to the habits that aren’t serving you right now. Do you eat like crap and then feel like crap and then just sit and sulk and think about crap? Do you come straight home from work and binge watch Netflix to escape from the day or from your emotions? Do you wake up and rush straight to work in the morning without allowing any time for yourself? You have to honestly take a look at your daily routine and find positive shifts you can make that better serve you mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and/or physically. As I mentioned in the beginning, YOU have to make the decision each and every day to fight and win this battle of the mind. Check out my previous post, The Ultimate Guide to Self Development, for a list of ideas you can implement!
10. Find Meaning.
I believe that when we find meaning in life, it gives us a sense of hope, responsibility, and purpose. I think many people get this confused and will find themselves chasing happiness when instead they should be chasing after what it is that they love or love to do. Whatever that is whether it be painting, working with children, working in the medical field, doing hair or makeup, photography, life coaching, etc., EMBRACE IT!! This will give you a sense of purpose and help keep your spirits lifted. So, take the time to figure out what’s truly meaningful to you and dive wholeheartedly into it! You can do anything you put your mind to sis!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out this one as well where I share 6 ways to turn your mood around! For those days when you’re just in a funk! 🙂