I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Fourth of July weekend. I used the time to my advantage. I haven’t taken a break from social media in years. I post announcements for two different churches and newsletter postings for both of them. I enjoy what I do, but it can be challenging and frustrating because of a lack of communication from all parties involved. That’s why at the last minute, I opted to take some mental health time from both places.
There was once a time in our history that it was embarrassing to admit we need a mental health break. Times have dramatic changes. We all have pressures in our families, jobs, friendships, relationships, and other obligations that add stress, tension, anxiety, and depression to our hectic lives. It doesn’t matter what stage of life we are in because mental health is affected every day. Recognizing what I am dealing with made me realize how many others face these battles daily. I did some research to help me deal with the struggles I face. I hope the information helps you as well.
How to look after your mental health
- Talk about your feelings. Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. For me, this happens far too often. I handle so many different facets in life that I tend to bottle up how I feel and only talk about what I feel when I’m overwhelmed. This action isn’t always a healthy one.
- Keep active. When I have the world on my shoulders, I have to force myself to keep busy. Some people thrive on exercise. I fight depression daily, and getting myself motivated to stay active can be extremely challenging. It’s times like those times where I remind myself to keep going. Maybe I’ll start dancing to the music on the radio or force myself to go for a walk in the park.
- Eat well. I’m not even going to try to lie about this option. This task is one of the most challenging tasks for me to do. I am probably one of the world’s pickiest eaters. I don’t deny this fact by any stretch. I’ve gotten a little better over the years, but I still struggle with this daily. I would not be a good candidate to try foods from master chefs. I try to expand my palate, but my love of sugar is too ingrained in my soul. I struggle with taking sugar out of my diet. Even in the home cooking I grew up with, sugar was a staple for my grandmother’s green peas. That’s part of the reason it’s been so difficult to eat better. The foods I grew up with are memorable with lots of sweetness.
- Drink sensibly. Water should be the go-to drink to stay hydrated. My problem is the taste. I have to have some flavoring with water. I know that I need to work on these two areas a lot, but I don’t struggle with these items are a bold-faced lie.
- Keep in touch. My friend Darla and I are each other’s sounding boards. The same is true with my friend Kayla. Both of these women are strong and help push me when I’m feeling down. They understand why I’m doing things the way I am and don’t judge me for my actions. Maybe that’s why it feels so good knowing that I have a support system. If you have strong friendships with people, treasure them, communicate with them, and include them in your life. It makes a world of difference.
- Ask for help. This task is something too many of us struggle to do. There is a sense of pride and accomplishment when you do something without assistance, and often it feels like you are vindicated when you do things without the support of others. The problem with this type of logic is that there will be occurrences in your life where you need help and struggle to ask for it because of pride. People have often told me that I needed to suck up my pride and ask for help. It took me a long time to get to that point, and when I did, I found I had a group of friends that could assist me in making dreams happen.
- Take a break. I can’t stress this option enough. When you are going full steam ahead, sometimes you forget to recharge your batteries. Eventually, you will lose momentum, begin to either panic or stress, or get very snippy with those you care for because of exhaustion. Learn to take a step back. It doesn’t have to be a long break, but you need to recharge your emotional, physical, and psychological batteries to keep moving forward.
- Do something you’re good at for fun. This option is one of my favorites. I love to read and watch movies. My imagination can take off into worlds where I don’t get to travel and express my adventures without judgment. Reading gives me the escape that the rest of the world can’t begin to comprehend. Sometimes my dislike for people is so high that reading allows me to see a story unravel in my imagination so clearly that people are not required. In a sense, it’s my version of heaven. It’s the ability to do something I love to do without the constant interruption that the rest of the world often brings. There’s something to be said for a bit of solitude in the craziness of the day.
As we all get back to the craziness of life, I hope that each of you can carve a little time for yourselves. We all get bogged down with other people’s needs and wants. We often forget that to take care of others, we must take care of ourselves first. We continually support each other through various times in our lives that we know we need help. So, today I hope you remember you are important and that you are the only one who can change the toxic patterns in your life. Have a great day, everyone