By Rachel Akins
2019 was one of the hardest years for me, mentally I was struggling.
Trying to live with mental illness is not easy. Sometimes it feels like a problem without a clear solution. Finding the right coping mechanism (a healthy one) can take sometime and patience but it can have a very positive impact on how you feel. There are a number of strategies that can help one improve their mental health. I’m going to elaborate on a few things that have been recommended to me and have found helpful for myself:
Increase the amount of exercise that you do! This can take your mind off fear and anxiety. Physical activity release endorphins – powerful chemicals that lift your mood and provide increased energy. Regular exercise can help relieve stress, improve memory and help you to sleep better.
- Do things that make you happy
Nowadays everyone is so busy working with no time left to do something fun. Try to prioritise this as much as you can. Even if it’s spending sometime watching your favourite TV show, listening to music, reading or even talking to a friend.
This includes exercising, having a healthy diet and getting enough sleep. Take time away from your occupation regularly so you don’t burn yourself out. With a little bit more attention to your own self-care you’ll feel more connected with yourself. Relaxation and mindfulness are very useful techniques – not always useful for everyone but I would still recommend it to everyone to try it out and see how they feel. Practicing mindfulness can help you become more aware of your moods and reactions. Along with self-care, maintain a healthy diet to support strong mental health – this can also affect the way you think and feel. An unhealthy diet can take a toll on your brain and mood, disrupt your self and also weaken your immune system.
- Maintaining a social connection
No matter how much time you dedicate to improving your mental health, you will still need the company of others to feel and function at your best. We were not created to survive on our own, avoid isolating yourself because it will own make things worse. Surround yourself with the people that make you feel good about yourself and avoid the people that don’t.
- When to seek professional help
All of these strategies suggested are very useful ways to help one dealing with mental health issues. But if you really do feel like you’re struggling, seek help.
2019 was one of the hardest years for me, mentally I was struggling. I found so hard to accept that I needed to speak to someone about what I was going through, and keeping it all in pushed me to a breaking point. I decided to see someone, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It is a safe space for you to just express how you feel and not be judged for it. It isn’t an easy decision to make, but if you feel deep down that everything you’ve tried isn’t working then maybe it is something that should be considered.
Thank you for reading,