An unfortunate truth is that we live in a stressful world. Even if we do our best to stay healthy, sometimes our mental health hits a pothole. After all, we can’t control every stress in our lives, and it’s normal to experience anxiety or a low mood, especially after a worrisome event. Additionally, stress in general impacts people in different ways. For some, it’s very obvious when they’re struggling. Others might be able to hide it well. Fortunately, managing the ebb and flow of mental health doesn’t have to be a solo task.
There are multiple resources and tools you can add to your arsenal to take care of yourself mentally. But how do you know when it’s time to get help? If you really think about it, even small frustrations take a bit of care, even if it’s simply a breath of fresh air. However, if you’re looking for more options, here are some ways to mind your mental health for better days ahead.
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Spend Time Outside
Going outside isn’t going to magically make all of your problems go away, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Humans are designed to enjoy the outside world. Even if you prefer indoor activities, like watching films or playing video games, it’s still beneficial to spend some time outdoors every day.
It’s scientifically proven that sunlight is good for your mental and physical health. Sunlight is a primary source of vitamin D, which strengthens your bones and improves your mood. It also affects your circadian rhythm, which regulates your sleep. By going outside, you’ll feel more awake during the day and sleepy when you need to go to bed.
Plants are also shown to be good for your health, both physically and mentally. Even a houseplant can improve your concentration and mood, so being in an area surrounded by nature is even more helpful. Go for a walk, play a game outside, or just sit in your backyard for half an hour each day. It can work wonders for managing your mental health.
Talk to Your Friends and Family
There are people in your life who love and care about you, and your mental health isn’t a battle that you should tackle alone. There’s no shame in needing help now and then, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. If you have a relationship where you can honestly and openly talk and lean on each other, you’ll see that you’re not alone when it comes to managing your mental health.
But what if it doesn’t come naturally to you?
You may find it easier to write things down. Journaling in general is a great way to work through your feelings. However, writing a letter to someone you trust can also be a good way to communicate how you feel without being afraid to get your words wrong. A listening ear can make a world of difference: You know someone understands what you’re going through.
Generally speaking, spending time with your friends is good for your mental health. But if you find that you’re actively avoiding spending time alone, you might wonder what it is that you’re afraid of. Do people often ask if you’re okay or otherwise express concern about your mental health? Do they mention that you’re more irritable or less engaged than usual? While it’s beneficial to have others checking in on you, it’s also important to make an effort to ask yourself questions and evaluate your current mental health.
Be sure to pay attention to other habits as well. For example, do you drink alcohol a lot more than you used to? Yes, sometimes you might go through phases of drinking more, such as on vacation or a night out, but increased alcohol or drug use can be a sign you’re trying to self-medicate. Additionally, they’re never the answer for mental health concerns. If you suspect your use could lead to a far more severe addiction disorder, look into treatment that caters to your needs, such as addiction therapy services for women.
Seek Medical Help
Just as you’d see a doctor if you were worried about a physical health condition, you can also seek medical help for a mental health issue. Although many people are able to cope without medical intervention, therapy and other treatments can equip you with helpful tools for managing your mental health. There’s no shame in getting professional help for a mental health issue, just as there’s no shame in needing a doctor to fix a broken bone. The important thing is that you get the help you need.
Header: Mental Health America (MHA)