It seems fair to say that we have all been through the ringer over the last couple of years when it comes to our mental health. We have all seen just how big of an impact the events of 2020 and beyond have had, and we all have a much greater awareness of the kind of issues that a lot of us are facing. And even though things are looking brighter out there right now, that does not mean that we can stop taking care of our mental health.
To put it another way, we do not wait for our boiler to break down before we do anything about it. We make sure that we are getting it checked on a regular basis so that it can continue working properly. Mental health is not something that should be left until it is in a desperate state, and it is not the kind of thing that you can fix overnight. Making sure that you are looking after your mental health is about getting into good habits and practices. This way, you can identify potential issues before they arise, and you can find some routines and aids that work for you. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Are You Getting Enough You Time?
It feels like the answer to this question is always going to be no, but in all seriousness, giving yourself some time and space to simply relax and breathe is one of the basic steps that we should all be taking. It can be particularly difficult if you have a demanding job and/or a lot of family responsibilities to take care of. A recent study showed that many Americans are afraid to take time off work. Meanwhile, every parent knows that it is rare that you get much time in the day that is not focused on your kids in some way, and we are all familiar with the need to put our personal stuff to one side to focus on getting a piece of work done. However, there is always going to be some time in the day that you can carve out that is just for you. Take a look at your daily schedule and see where you can take a break, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes.
Find A Professional Service That Works For You
Amazingly in 2022, there is still a serious stigma around the idea of seeking professional help for your mental health. However, the good news is that the increased awareness of the last couple of years means that it is starting to lessen, and more and more people are seeing the benefits of talking to a professional mental health specialist. From anxiety and depression to more severe issues, there are so many mental health conditions that can be alleviated with the proper professional help.
However, we understand that there are some more practical obstacles preventing people from seeking therapy beyond the mental hurdle. For example, many of us find it hard to find enough time in the day to travel to a long appointment. It is also the case that people suffering from issues like anxiety find it hard to leave their homes at all. This is why it is so exciting to see the advances in virtual counselling sessions, and new software to help practitioners improve their care services. You should also make sure to take advantage of any mental health support that your employer, higher learning institution or school provides.
Look For Ways To Cut Down On Stress
We would all like to be dealing with less stress in our daily lives, but this is certainly one of those points that is easier said than done. Stress can come from so many different areas, whether it is worrying about finishing a project on time, making sure that you have everything that you need to take care of your children, making sure that you have enough money to pay the bills, or making sure that you have done enough work to pass a big exam.
While you may not always be able to remove the stress factors in your life, there are ways that you can work on your ability to handle them. Stress and anxiety go hand in hand, and many of the techniques that work for one will help with the other. For example, giving yourself a routine, making sure that you do not cut yourself off from your friends, and getting help when you need it can make a huge difference. If you want to learn more about grounding techniques for anxiety, these techniques are a great place to start. Talkiatry can help you to find the right psychiatrist for your needs, and they will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan.
Look At What You Are Eating And Drinking
When it comes to our mental health, our diets can often play a bigger role than we realize. First of all, high fat and high sugar foods can cause us to feel sluggish and lethargic, which can create a cyclical effect where we rely on comfort foods to make us feel better before crashing shortly afterwards. Think about adding lean proteins to your diet such as chicken and fish, and make sure that you are getting plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
You also need to consider how much caffeine you are drinking. Caffeine can give us a great boost at the start of the day and help us through those long nights studying or working late, but there is a price to pay for that buzz. Caffeine can cause high blood pressure and it can impact your sleep more than you realize. You also need to take a good long look at how much alcohol you are drinking. A lot of people treat alcohol as something that can help will issues of anxiety, depression, and self-confidence, but this is a mistake. Alcohol is a depressant and can often make these issues significantly worse. And, like caffeine, it can play havoc with your sleep patterns. If you are having a drink at the end of the day to help you drift off, you should look at some alternatives instead.
Get Outside Into The Fresh Air
This step is much easier now that we are in the summertime and the weather is much better, but it is so important to make sure that you are getting outside. When we are feeling stressed or anxious, staying inside often feels like the right thing to do.
However, getting outdoors for some fresh air and exercise can have a real impact on our mental health as well as our physical health. Now, we know it can be tricky if you are still working from home, but you should think about carving out some time in your day to get out for a brisk walk or a jog. If you are finding it difficult, think about asking a friend to join you. You can also make it a project by downloading a fitness app and giving yourself challenges. Being able to track the progress you have made can really help to turn something you find difficult into something that you find rewarding. What’s more, it will help you to stay social even if you are feeling stressed.