Let’s face it. We don’t always look after our mental health in the way we should. Life gets too busy, or ignorance is bliss – until it’s really not.
There are loads of things we can do for ourselves to help manage our mental health, but sometimes we just don’t know what to do. To help narrow down the options, here’s a few of the very best things you can do to look after number one this year (that’s you!).
Take time out
Yes, here comes the self-care shoutout. You’ve probably heard it a million times before but self-care is in my opinion, the most important thing to do when your mental health needs some pampering.
I’m not about to tell you to go and buy a book on hygge or a gratitude journal. Instead, I’m here to tell you to do what you consider to be self-care. Maybe that’s binge-watching Gilmore Girls with a Domino’s, or maybe it’s a little preening – an eyebrow pluck here, a leg wax there. Perhaps its playing video games, or reading a comic.
Whatever it may be, find time for it.
We all have busy lives, but burnout is absolutely 0% fun. Your mental health will be all the better for it, if you make time for you. Here’s a recent post on some of my favourite ways to spend “me-time”.
If taking time out by yourself isn’t useful to your mental health, make some fun plans with friends or go along to a local meetup to make some new ones. I’m very much an introvert so need to be alone to take time out, but appreciate not everyone is the same!
Weekday evenings and weekends are the best time to set aside to take time out, but it’s also so, so important to take the time when you really need it. Taking time off of work is not a crime, remember that.
Manage your feelings
No, that doesn’t mean suppressing them! In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
I find my counselling sessions incredibly useful for managing my feelings. I’ve been pretty stressed recently but since starting therapy I have been able to better express and channel those emotions. Yes, I will have the occasional outburst but I can now bring myself back from the brink much easier than in the past.
If counselling isn’t for you, there’s plenty of other ways to manage your feelings. Whether that’s through chatting with a friend or family member, to sharing a blog post or writing a diary.
Feelings expressed are much healthier and more manageable than feelings suppressed.
Creative hobbies are so helpful when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. This is a classic example of when I really need to get better at practising what I preach though!
I love decoupage and find it a great way of being a bit creative to help me unwind. There’s something so therapeutic about it. It’s also really helpful to combat my trichotillomania (hair pulling).
Even if you don’t feel like a particularly creative person, there’s something out there for everyone. I’d recommend decoupage because I am not artistic at all and yet I love it. Alternatively, if you are more artistically inclined you could doodle, draw, paint…whatever you want!
What’s your favourite thing to do to manage your mental health?