Mental health is not a destination, it is a process. It is about how you drive, not where you are going.Healthyplace.com
TAKE A BREAK
We often hear the phrases ‘mental health day’, or ‘duvet days’, this means taking a break from the daily grind.
Taking meaningful breaks allows your body, mind, soul, and spirit to recalibrate or refuel the necessary emotional or physical energy to carry on.
Sometimes, overly exalting yourself may seem fruitful, but it can negatively impact your mental health and performance. Listen to your body and mind, and take meaningful breaks to recharge.
A break can help you to refocus your attention, reflect on progress and understand your emotions and feelings.
Don’t feel guilty for listening and obeying your body and mind.
RETAIN YOUR POWER
The best advice for optimal mental health I’ve ever come across is this: STOP GIVING PEOPLE POWER.
This is how:-
- Take responsibility for your emotions and find helpful ways to deal with your emotions.
- Don’t let people dictate your self-worth – you know you are worthy.
- Live by your core values and beliefs – make sure they match your actions: people will respect you for this.
- Make your choices your own, don’t allow people’s opinions to dictate.
- Express your feelings when hurt or upset – this is detox for your mind.
- Under no circumstances should you accept, condone or tolerate toxic behaviours
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR EMOTIONS
The big question is, “how do you take responsibility for your emotions?”
Here are some ideas:-
When you feel:-
- Depressed – take a walk, talk to a trusted friend, tend to plants or pets.
- Angry – engage in a heavy workout and raise your heartbeat.
- Anxious – practice mindfulness or meditation.
- Irritation – widen your perspective and be creative.
- Self-doubt – write down your feelings.
- Jealousy – pay attention to yourself and your accomplishment. Focus on your goals.
- Tired – turn off technology and sleep.
- Uninspired – take a hot shower and body scan yourself i.e. acknowledge every part of your body and senses.
This is a requirement for optimal mental health and holistic wellbeing.
Setting healthy boundaries reduces levels of stress and anxiety; it gives you a sense of control and freedom over how you live your life and spend your time. It will help you gain a greater sense of identity and self-esteem. Having clear and sensible boundaries brings focus on yourself, cultivates your sense of independence, enhances your mental health and emotional wellbeing.
REMEMBER: People will respect you for having healthy boundaries. The only people who get upset about your firm boundaries are the ones you benefited when you didn’t have any.
In basic terms, this concept means recognising patterns of negative thinking or unhelpful behaviours and changing them. The idea is to shift your mindset to look at situations, people or relationships from a different perspective. This allows you to identify and appreciate the positive aspects of any situation.
However, never invalidate your emotions associated with a situation, show compassion for yourself by accepting the situation has happened and you feel how you feel.
Sometimes disappointments or problems are opportunities for change and growth, but you have to see things from a different perspective for the change and growth to occur. And most importantly, this is beneficial for mental health and wellbeing.
Invest in time for self-care.
Unapologetically, take time off to unwind and refuel your emotional tank.
Remove yourself from people and situations that drain your emotional energy or undermine your wellbeing.
You are worthy of it.
PROTECT YOUR EMOTIONAL ENERGY
Your emotional reservoir is much like a petrol tank – a car won’t run on empty! And neither do we, we have to refuel when low. To avoid unnecessary usage, here are tips on how to protect it.
- Pay attention to your body – is your jaw clenched? Are your shoulders hunch? Relax
- Focus on your actions and not other people’s
- Say no as often as you feel necessary
- Think before responding – even in texts
- Set boundaries and respect your choices
- Trust your intuition i.e. gut instinct
- Practice active listening.
- Beware of energy vampires
Self-awareness is the ability to pay special attention to and on yourself, your actions, your thoughts, your emotions and how these align with your personal standards and expectations of people.
Be objective and critical and look out for your red flags. Red flags are not just about other people, watch out for your red flags.
Most people are aware of their red flags but they chose to ignore them through denial, doubt or fear. This then creates an internal conflict which can lead to anxiety, depression and excessive stress.
Setting intentions means stating what you intend to achieve and accomplish, and then taking actionable steps, reframing your mindset and being committed.
Research shows that the habit of setting intentions is not only good for raised self-esteem and heightened self-belief, but it is essential for overall mental and emotional health.
Make your intentions WILFUL and not wishful thinking.
Make reflecting part of your routine.
Take one thing from the list, and reflect on it has impacted or improved your life and mental wellbeing.
Please bear in mind that nothing happens overnight and be patient with yourself.
Things like building trust or rebuilding trust, dealing with trauma, healing from grief etc all take time and require commitment and persistence. Seek professional help if you need it – there is no shame in this.
However, these things can become easier when we build new productive routines and change or adjust our patterns.