Life can be pretty hectic sometimes, and maybe you’ve been having a worse time than usual lately. You might feel like the walls are caving in on you, and you’re not sure what actions can help. Dealing with stress and worry can be a tough battle, and you might not know where to begin. Luckily, there’s a plethora of resources at your disposal and techniques you can use to ease your mind. Keep reading for four tips to kickstart your mental health journey and get back on top of your mental wellbeing.
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1. Talk to a Professional
Before getting into what you can do on your own, it’s important to know there are professional resources too. Seeking help from a healthcare provider can be in your best interest, especially if it seems like nothing you do yourself is working. There are usually two routes taken when getting professional help for your mental health — therapy and medication.
Talking to a therapist can give you a refreshing perspective in a safe space where you can talk about your true feelings. Sure, you can talk through your problems with your trusted friends or family. However, they’re not trained to help identify underlying issues, render a diagnosis, and give actionable advice based on research. A professional can do all these things in addition to being a necessary outlet.
On the other side of the professional help spectrum, medication could give you that mental boost to get you back on your feet. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. These allow your body to absorb more of the “happy hormone” called serotonin, thus making you feel better mentally. Some of the common SSRIs are Lexapro, Zoloft, and Prozac.
Don’t hesitate to talk to a professional healthcare provider and survey your options. If you’ve been going through a particularly rough time, know that accessing these resources is easy. You can easily find online resources for both medication and therapy.
2. Try Journaling
Speaking of getting your true feelings out, one great way to do this is through journaling. You don’t have to commit to an entry every day, if it’s too time-consuming for you. However, when you have those moments when you just really need to get it out, a journal can be handy. This is a more private way to vent your frustrations without judgment.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can give you a sense of release in a moment of difficulty. This helps you better articulate and identify your emotions, which can give you a sense of control in the chaos. It can also help you take a moment to think about how much something or someone affects you. For example, write down how you truly feel after hanging out with friends or a stressful day at work. Afterward, survey your words and think about if these spaces are a good environment for you.
Journaling is also great for problem-solving. Write down what you’re worried about, and try to come up with potential solutions. You can practice reasoning with yourself and addressing situations that you’re scared could occur. When your fears are on paper in front of you, they might not seem so big or realistic anymore.
3. Keep a Schedule or To-Do List
Sometimes you might feel overwhelmed by your everyday tasks, whether it’s work, school, or chores. One way to ease this stress is to maintain some sort of schedule or to-do list. This allows you to see all your tasks and due dates at once while being able to check them off when completed.
The good thing about schedules is that they are extremely versatile. You can format them practically however you want — whether by day, week, or month view. You can also color-coordinate your tasks based on work, school, or other categories. These tools can help your prioritize what needs your attention first. .
For a to-do list, write down all the tasks you have to complete by either the end of the day, week, or month. This is also pretty versatile, just like a schedule. However, you want to pay attention to details. Don’t just write, “clean the house.” Break it down into its components: sweep the floors, wash the dishes, finish folding laundry. It can feel so satisfying to check off these finished tasks, and you’ll get that rush of accomplishment.
If you like to feel in control of what’s going on around you, using this technique can help ease your worries. You can see a task, know its details and due date, and check it off when done. Easy peasy!
4. Write a List of What Makes You Happy
It might sound a little cliché, but writing down what makes you happy can be beneficial. Seeing all the things that bring you joy can help you realize how much you can be grateful for. You can also see how many aspects of life bring you happiness, even when you feel your lowest.
Start by thinking about things you like that usually give you that pick-me-up feeling. Maybe it’s a hobby like painting, roller-skating, or baking sweet goodies. Perhaps it’s a feeling that gives you a rush, like the first day of autumn, children’s laughter, or the smell of chocolate chip cookies. Your friends, family, and pets can, of course, be included too!
Whenever you feel down and like life’s out to get you, pull out this list and remind yourself of these simple pleasures. Sure, life has its downs, but you’ll remember that it certainly has its ups as well. Moreover, you can pick an activity on the list to do to lift your spirits.
Go Easy on Yourself
Remember in these tough times to give yourself a break. It can take time and lots of effort to get on top of your mental health again, and it’s definitely no easy feat. Make sure that you’re giving yourself the grace you deserve, and cheer yourself on while you conquer your worries.