As human beings, there’s a lot we have to take care of, both externally and internally. As amazing as great days feel, it’s no secret that work, school, and other pressures can add a level of stress that’s sometimes hard to bear. Even if problems can’t wait until later, it’s important to check on yourself and what you need when everything around you feels like too much. Every day has its own ebb and flow, and knowing when to take a beat to support mental health — Yes, your own! — is the first step to navigating the ups and downs.
Do you feel as though your mental health isn’t quite as good as it could be? Maybe you’re concerned because you have been feeling a little down lately and you don’t want things to spiral. Either way, there are steps you can take to benefit your mental health today, so you can look forward to a brighter tomorrow.
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Find Ways to Relax
Once you know that it’s time for a little R&R, start thinking about ways you can relax. If there is something that helps you to unwind, then go ahead and do it. It may be that you need to have a bath or that you need to go on a walk. If you have the time and space, you could cook a favorite comfort food, grab a coloring book, or pick up a light read. Having trouble switching off can be a stress response, so take the time to look after yourself and do something that you love that also brings you peace of mind.
Take a Break
If you’re feeling somewhat overwhelmed by a stressful situation, it’s probably time to take a break. A change of scenery is one of the best ways to relax as it can help you to relieve any feelings of anxiety. Step away for some fresh air, or unplug from the world and tap into your favorite playlist. If you’re having trouble getting away, try to find someplace safe and quiet that’s just for yourself. That could mean letting someone else know that you need a moment of Me Time. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, it’s a great way for you to start taking care of yourself.
Manage Stress with Mindfulness
If you’re under a lot of pressure and feel that things are out of your control, then you may begin to feel overwhelmed. One method of managing stress is to try and practice mindfulness. Focus on deep breathing, pay attention to the present moment, and acknowledge thoughts and let them go. You could even give yoga a try! Changing up or prioritizing a mindfulness routine is one method to help you support your mental health by managing stress as it comes and goes.
Take a Tech Break
Information travels quickly on the internet — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Often, there’s too much digital noise in a really small amount of time. Believe it or not, it can add to the stress of your day. Stepping away from social media and tech in general could help to ease worry and anxiety. Many take stretches of time away from social media to regroup. Even if you just have a break for an hour or two, it’s a great way for you to unwind. Put your phone in another room if it keeps on going off, or set an alarm so you can give yourself a cut-off time.
Sometimes, you just need to find something to do. Getting creative is always a positive outlet if you are stressed. If you want to get involved with something then try your hand at painting, or even try and crochet. This encouragse you to be in the moment and detach yourself from the source of your negative feelings.
Speak to Someone
If possible, speak with someone about the way you feel. Remember that you don’t have to carry the weight on your own. Bottle up for too long, and you may find that you’re struggling to get the mental health support you need. If you’ve lost someone close to you through an accident, you could talk with a wrongful death lawyer, ring up a counselor, or both. Talking through your feelings can help make it easier for you to work through them. It can be scary to face them head on, but a strong network of support can benefit your mental health in the long run.
Header Photo: Thought Catalog