My Mental Health Journey
As someone who has struggled with anxiety among other mental illnesses for as long as I can remember, the following tips and tricks are some that i’ve actually found helpful. It can be daunting to hear suggestions that seem to make little improvements while you’re struggling.
Tips & Tricks
Because therapy and medication are not accessible to everyone, these tips may be helpful in starting your journey to improving your mental health. As a disclaimer, I should note that I am not a mental health professional and if you are in crisis or just need someone to talk to while you’re struggling, consider reaching out for help.
As cliche as it sounds, journaling has been one of the most helpful tips in improving my mental health. Like many others, I was hesitant to start journaling. The thought of pouring my thoughts and emotions onto paper was frightening, but what I found was actually the opposite.
It was difficult to talk about my struggles and to figure out how I was truly feeling. Writing in a journal alleviated the pressure of trying to accurately describe how I was feel. I could simply write. I wrote about my day, what was bothering me, what made me happy, and more.
My advice is to pick a time each day to set aside for journaling. Personally I try to write in mine before bed to recap my day. Some people like to write in the morning to start their day on a positive note. Just do what feels write to you.
If you’re struggling start writing, consider the following prompts:
- What are you grateful for?
- List your emotions for the day
- Write a letter to your past self
- Talk about your day
If none of these prompts feel write for you, find more here.
Get something to take care of
While this may seem counterintuitive to those struggling to take care of themselves, I along with many others, have found that having the responsibility of taking care of something, helps encourage you to take care of yourself.
If you are truly struggling to care for yourself, I would suggest purchasing a plant. This living thing only requires water and light. Although you may not succeed in keeping your plant alive, it will give you something to work for. Setting goals can help encourage you to take care of yourself and improve your mental health.
If you currently have the ability to take care of yourself, but still struggle your mental health, consider getting a pet. Some people struggling with their mental health adopt Emotional Support Animals.
Personally, taking care of my cat allows me to have a set routine and encourages me to take care of myself. My cat, Toad, also provides comfort and entertainment which, can improve my mood when i’m feeling down.
While this tip is my least favorite, it can be very helpful. Now i’m no body builder or gym rat, but I’ve found that getting some physical exercise has done wonders to improve my mental health.
My favorite types of physical activity that don’t feel like working out:
- Long boarding
- Jumping rope
- Going on hikes
I hope these tips were helpful and that you continue to work on your mental health journey. Although it can be hard, consider reaching out for help, if you are struggling.