Content warning: this article contains content surrounding depression and anxiety as well as general mental health issues.
As many of you reading this article may know, mental health is an incredibly prominent issue that affects most of our lives. finding useful and effective methods to manage it can make all the difference when it comes to living your daily life. There is no right or wrong way to Manage your mental health as we are all individual and different, however I want to provide some insight on 5 key areas that I have personally found to be useful in managing my mental health.
I personally have suffered with my mental health for as long as I can remember, and it has taken me till the age of 23 to be in the right place mentally to seek support. I have always struggled with socialising with people around me due to my severe social anxiety and this has held me back and isolated me in multiple aspects of my life. As well as the difficulties I have faced with my social anxiety, there have also been many periods of my life that have been consumed by depression. Not being able to get out of bed and having no energy or enjoyment for life are among a few of the troubles that I’ve faced, all while feeling immense guilt about the fact that I am not like everybody else. However, despite this I have managed to use these 5 methods in order to give me some balance and begin the process of healing my mental state.
Your mindset and outlook on life is a key defining aspect of your mental state, I know that it is incredibly difficult to harbour positive thoughts and support a positive mindset when you are struggling mentally. However, developing a positive mindset and outlook can give you much needed relief. An article by very well mind shows a range of methods for not only identifying your negative thoughts but also gives some helpful tips on how you can replace them with a more postitive outlook. The best way to develop this mindset is not to stop these negative thoughts, but to identify them and to let them pass without dwelling or working yourself up. Meditation is another key technique when it comes to gaining control over your own mind. If you can take just a few minutes out of each day to sit peacefully and focus on your breathing it can provide you with a sense of calmness and peace. Meditation can also be a useful tool in allowing the negative thoughts to pass in a safe and peaceful manner.
Exercise is another highly effective method when it comes to managing your mental state. It can be useful for both depression and anxiety as well as general well being and your physical health. Not only is it a effective method, but it is also something that can be very enjoyable. Finding the right sport or exercise for you is important so that you can have an enjoyable time whilst also pushing yourself both mentally and physically. The research shows that Exercise can help by reducing anxiety, depression and negative mood. This is due to the release of endorphins and serotonin both during and after exercising. Other benefits of exercising may consist of improved sleep, stress relief increased energy and stamina as well as improved metal alertness.
Nutrition and diet are another pillar when it comes to Having sound mental health. Ensuring that you eat a well-balanced diet is incredibly important not only to your mental wellbeing but to your physical well being as well. The food we eat is used by our body as fuel, so it is a good practice to be mindful of what we put into our bodies. Too much unhealthy food can put a strain on our bodies which may lead to complications and decreased mental state. Getting into a good habit of eating will not only make you feel much better, but you may also even start to enjoy the process of cooking. Cooking is another useful method as it has a clear purpose, and you can practise your organisation and time management in the process. MIND supply a useful guide on how different foods can affect how you are feeling while suffering from mental health issues, as well as how you can manage your diet while not feeling your best.
Getting the right amount of sleep each night has proved to be an effective way of managing your mental health. It is also an important part of setting up a routine. The research shows that over 75% of people that suffer with depression also show symptoms of insomnia. so, ensuring that you are getting enough sleep each night can alleviate the mental struggles. Sleeping may be difficult when suffering form mental health difficulties, however there are a few things you can do to make falling asleep much easier. Having a bedtime routine is important as it lets the brain know its time to sleep, also sleeping at the same time every night is beneficial as is allows your body clock to adjust and makes it easier to drift off. Building a good habit of not looking at screens at least an hour before bed is another useful trick to help with sleep.
Getting support in any form is extremely useful and you should never feel any guilt or shame for asking for help. Whether its from a family member or seeking medical help there are many avenues that you can go down to ensure that you are receiving the support that you need. There are many charitable organisations that can also be contacted if you are feeling like you need to speak to anyone. They are also important resources for advice and many different coping mechanisms, as well as somewhere to turn to if you feel like you're in crisis. Click the links below to be taken directly to their websites.