We all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and this includes our mental health. Though mental health problems can sneak up on you, there are some signs to look out for. Just a few red flags are feeling down most of the time, anxiety attacks, insomnia, loss of appetite, fatigue, headaches, loss of interest, and any emotional symptoms that aren’t normal for you. These symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have a mental illness but are worth taking note of. If you feel you aren’t quite yourself, do talk to your doctor as soon as you can. Meanwhile, here are some smart ways to care for your mental health.
Take a Mental Health Day or Vacation
Just as when you are physically ill, taking a mental health day or break should be a no-brainer when you aren’t feeling yourself. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with most people…not to mention most businesses don’t want workers missing work unless they are really sick. That said, stress, emotional strain, and overwhelm are all things that can lead to greater illness (physical and mental). It’s important to take responsibility for your health by allowing yourself to rest when you need to. Taking a mental health day will help you be more productive and actually do your job better.
This type of preventative action gives your body and your immune system the chance to heal and regenerate. This is especially true if you are going through a hard time such as an illness, family death, or breakup. Don’t be hesitant about using your time off to get help in any crisis situation. For example, you might contact doctors, family members, or a divorce lawyer to help support you during your difficult time.
Get Away from the TV
If you have lost track of how many nights you’ve binged on Netflix only to wake up feeling groggy and tired in the morning, you are not alone. Unfortunately, this common pastime is not doing much for our mental health.
Try not to watch TV before you go to bed for a week and see how you feel mentally and emotionally. If you do watch TV at night, try to stay away from heavy news and violent programs. Instead, take a bath, or use this time to do something creative. For some, watching TV at night can be a therapeutic coping mechanism and this is fine if done in moderation. This is more about finding a balance and varying activities to help stimulate the mind and body.
Do What You Love
When we do what we love, it’s easier to feel happy and content with our lives. This can apply to our jobs, hobbies, and general activities. Try to do at least one thing you love a day to help boost your mood and level of feel-good hormones in your body. Remember to keep this a simple exercise and not another thing on your to-do list that overwhelms you. Things like a walk in the park, a hot bath, and reading your favorite book are all things that don’t require much time but can be beneficial to mental health. Do what you love!
Take Five Minutes to Meditate and be Grateful
Meditation is just something that yoga teachers do. In fact, it can mean simply stopping what you’re doing for five minutes while you count your blessings. Meditation is about letting go of control for a short period so your mind, body, and spirit can realign and balance themselves. I like to stop for a few minutes a day and think about all the wonderful things I do have in my life.
Don’t worry about trying to accomplish anything or even reaching a goal in your meditation. Simply focus on your breathing or some other small object, prayer, or mantra. If you don’t know where to start, sit quietly, and focus on your breathing pattern and take note of how you feel.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Women’s lifelink, it’s owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors, and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.