I’m not one to talk about my experience with mental health online. It’s a personal thing for me that I do not wish to share, but one thing I would like to share is how I manage my mental health and stop myself from falling back into that mindset.
One thing I’ve learnt about myself is that no one can save me. I have to be my own saviour and recognise my own behaviours. I have to stop myself and be tough on myself to prevent myself from getting to a certain stage because if I don’t, it’ll just get harder and harder for me to pull myself up.
I have bad days, but I would say my bad days are normal. They are not extreme. I have moments of overwhelming sadness, but they pass. I am very lucky in that I have the ability to switch off when I need to. Here are some things I’ve learnt to manage my mental health.
If I’m in a stressful situation, I apply logic to it. I put things into perspective and that always makes me feel much better. I remind myself that even though this situation is terrible right now, in a week or month it won’t matter. This is really helpful when I’m feeling stressed about work. I remind myself it’s just a job, I might have to work really hard for a couple of days but I am not going to die.
If it’s out of your control, don’t give it power.
Now, this is a big one. I do not worry about things that are out of my control. It can drive you insane. Instead, I focus on the things that are within my control.
Take moving house for example – it has been very stressful and there have been bumps along the way. Having to wait for answers for things or not getting anywhere with communication.
These are the type of things that you can waste too much emotional energy on thinking about. It can drain you. Instead, think of what is within your control – follow the process of what you can do and do not worry about the rest. It is not worth it.
Everything will work out in the end.
Use past experience to remind yourself that things will work out okay in the end. The journey might be tough and uncomfortable, but you will come out of it on top. You will have happy days in the sunshine again, fun holidays, moments of love, joys, time with friends and family. There’s lots of happiness in your future, don’t let the smoke block it!
Look after yourself.
The best thing I can do for myself is exercise and eat well. It instantly helps me. If I get out of an exercise routine, I feel slow, clunky, and a bit gross. Same if I eat rubbish. Even if my body doesn’t change, my mindset does. That’s not to say I don’t eat chocolate and cheese, I totally do! Just not every day. Exercise and looking after myself really is a great mood booster. I’d be lost without it.
I focus my goals on gaining strength and improving my form in exercises rather than my weight. Setting goals and targets is really encouraging for me. There are loads of ones you can set rather than losing weight or getting ‘skinny’. If you run, aim to improve your time, if you are doing yoga, aim to unlock a new move that you find hard, aim for personal bests and bettering yourself!
Be treated with respect.
I’ve already posted about how I once had a friend at school who was manipulative and controlling. Toxic friendships are not just reserved for high school. If you find yourself in a friendship group that is causing you more distress than joy, then you need to ask yourself if it worth it. Surround yourself with people that lift you up and celebrate your successes, not those that bring you down and point out your negatives. There is a difference between a concerned friend trying to help you and give advice to a friend who is trying to make you feel bad. You deserve better.
You only have one life.
Sometimes you need to remind yourself that you only have one chance at life, one chance at happiness. There are times when you have to dig deep inside yourself to get out of a dark patch and learn to enjoy life.
How do you manage your mental health?