Mental health maintenance is a topic that isn’t discussed enough. And it’s a shame because mental health is the foundation for everything you do in life. If your mental health is suffering, everything will also suffer. If you are struggling with a mental illness like anxiety or depression, then you know that it is hard to make plans or stick to them. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t take action to better your mental state.
When things are going well, life is good. You have a lot of energy and motivation and are able to remain stable. When stress occurs that stress can bring you down. Maybe you didn’t sleep enough? You had too much to drink? There’s too much on your plate? No matter where the stress comes from, it can affect your mind which affects everything. But don’t worry, while we can’t fix mental health overnight, here are 5 quick tips to take care of your mental health and get yourself back on track when things are tough.
Mental Health Maintenance Tip 1 – Me Time
When it comes to mental health issues, one of the biggest causes is that we aren’t giving enough time to take care of ourselves. It’s so important to take a moment or two everyday to just focus on yourself. This could be something as simple as stepping away from the computer and enjoying a warm cup of tea.
Really, it doesn’t have to be a major thing. If you are really burning out and feeling the pressure, it would pay off to take a long weeekend. Friday’s are basically made for this. There’s nothing like clocking off work on Thursday and knowing you have three solid days off.
Just make sure you spend your me time doing something you want to do. Don’t let your kids or partner control this time too much or you won’t get the mental health benefits you need.
Mental Health Maintenance Tip 2 – Meditate
If meditation were a medication, it would be really expensive because it works. According to the Mayo Clinic:
“The emotional benefits of meditation can include:
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations.
- Building skills to manage your stress.
- Increasing self-awareness.
- Focusing on the present.
- Reducing negative emotions.
- Increasing imagination and creativity.
- Increasing patience and tolerance.”
This is a fantastic way to release stress and take further care of your mental health. When it comes to meditation, I love using the Waking Up App by Sam Harris. It’s an easy and fun way to get in 10 minute doses of meditation when you need it.
He also has a feature that prompts you with little one minute lessons that help you take a pause. I use these if the day is getting particularly stressful.
Mental Health Maintenance Tip 3: Walk/Exercise
If you aren’t taking part in regular exercise, you’ll often find that your mental health will suffer. I had to have a surgery a while back and it caused me to miss 6 full weeks of working out. I felt tired, lazy, and my mental clarity dropped by about 25%.
In short, I was miserable. If you haven’t experienced the amazing benefits of exercise then you need to start right away. One small way you can get started is to plan a walk to start your day. Try skipping breakfast and going for a walk outside instead.
If you get really stressed during work, just stop what you’re doing (if you can) and get up and walk. The stress tends to leave faster when we’re moving and especially when we’re outside in the sun.
Now, when it comes to muscle-building exercises, I highly recommend you try out the X3 Bar. You can read about it here on my blog.
Mental Health Maintenance Tip 4: Social Media Blackout
Taking some time off of social media is a great way to get your mental health back on track. Between political fights on Facebook and Twitter, unrealistic body images on Instagram, and mind-numbing videos on Tik Tok… it’s enough to make you scream.
According to Social Media News Daily unplugging from social media can be very beneficial:
“If you’re extremely plugged into social media, the constant contact might weigh on you. Seeing a barrage of political posts, personal problems, and catfights in comment sections can also be a strain. There’s nothing wrong with taking a self-imposed break from social media – and removing all of your information so no one can engage with you – until you feel like facing it again.”
There’s a whole world outside of social media. A real world, with real people who aren’t trying to look good or act better than they really are. Some time spent in this real world can do you a whole lot of good.
Mental Health Maintenance Tip 5: Journal Your Feelings
I am not a natural journaler. I have to make time to do it. But I can say since I made it a part of my workflow, I tend to journal more than I ever have before. I actually use a process called Interstitial Journaling and it’s been a huge help for me in terms of mental health.
This is how it works. When something happens, I go ahead and write about it then and there in my Roam Research software tool. Roam is like Evernote or Notion, only WAY better (in my opinion). You can see more of how I use Roam here.
Anyway, the idea is to write out what you are feeling and thinking when it happens. By doing this, you deal with the feeling right away. Later on, you may not be as close to the feeling and you’ll lose most of the real reasons why you were bothered.
This means that later on you probably won’t deal with the real issue which hurts your mental health instead of helping it. It’s all about becoming as self-aware as you can. And journaling seems to really help with that, at least for me.
Final Thoughts On Mental Health Maintenance
Many people can relate to going through rough patches in their lives, and sometimes it feels like nothing is going right. A common misconception of mental health is that when you go through a tough time, it is always the external world bringing you down. For example, someone may say that they are having a rough time at work, or have been dealing with family issues. While these things could be making an impact on someone’s mental health, there are also internal factors that could be causing this as well.
These 5 mental health maintenance strategies can help you fight back and do the best you can to take care of your mental health and ultimately your life. While it’s never easy, you are worth it.
As a final note, if you are struggling with mental health and it’s not getting any better, no matter what you try, don’t worry. That’s perfectly normal. You should reach out to a mental health counselor right away and get help.
No one deserves to suffer in silence. And know that you are not alone.
10 More Tips For Mental Health Maintenance
Here are 10 more tips from a good video I found on YouTube: