By Tim Hoopmann
Taking care of your mental health is something you need to focus on each day. Consistency is the key. By doing so you build resilience in preparation for those times when things may become more challenging. It is during these times that we rely on the good habits that we have cultivated around taking care of our mental health to help get us through.
If we also understand the triggers in our lives that lead to increases in our stress levels, then when they occur, we can acknowledge them and focus on things that will help to alleviate the stress.
Here are some ideas to help you to manage your wellbeing:
Look after yourself
Taking care of you is not a selfish act. Take time to eat well no matter how busy you are. Drink plenty of water. Exercise regularly. Exercise is one of the key activities I do daily to look after my mental health. Do your best to get enough sleep. My aim is between 7-8hrs per night so I can function effectively each day.
Focus on your breathing. Especially when you are feeling stressed or anxious. Take a moment to stop and take evenly spaced breaths – try to use your whole diaphragm.
Do this whenever you feel your stress levels increase.
We are social by nature. It is important to stay connected so you do not feel alone. Reach out to family and friends and talk honestly with them about how you’re feeling. It may feel uncomfortable at first so first try choosing someone who you know will be supportive.
Do something you enjoy
I love doing things I really enjoy. It puts a smile on my face. Doing something you like can improve your confidence and help you stay well. Make time to do things you enjoy, like working in the garden, painting, listening to music or reading.
Challenge your negative thoughts
We all have negative thoughts; however, it is how we manage them that is important. Question the facts behind your thoughts and assumptions, rather than letting them dictate your mindset. Try focusing on the positive things in your life and for what you are grateful.