Being Mentally Healthy
Being mentally healthy can look different for each of us, as everyone has their own struggles they are dealing with and journey’s they are on. Start with looking at where you are now and where you want to be and work towards this goal. How are you currently coping? This is a question I often ask myself and should be something you ask yourself as well! Finding efficient ways to cope can truly benefit us in the long run and help us become healthier overall. Coping helps us learn to forgive, accept and move forward with life. It also teaches us how to navigate through difficult times and develop ways to push through these situations in the future.
I believe that one of the hardest coping strategies is asking for help and support. It can be difficult to admit that we need help because we may feel that people will look down on us, or that asking for help will make us seem weak. In my opinion, I feel that asking for help is both healthy and necessary, especially during difficult times. It is very empowering, shows strength and vulnerability, and can help you take back control of your life. Additionally, being able to process and deal with your emotions is also a great way to decrease your stress levels and improve your mood overall.
Being mentally healthy can also look like resiliency. Being able to pick yourself back up after life tries to knock you down and adapting to changes throughout our lives takes a lot of mental strength! COVID-19 and all of the frequent changes that have come with this pandemic certainly tries our resiliency and demonstrates our interconnectedness. It has come with adjusting one’s work life, school and even home life. We have all had to learn how to work through the chaos and unknown. Sometimes it can be hard to remember to take care of yourself.
There are many times when one’s mental health can be put on the back burner, especially when you’re juggling too many things at once; however, paying attention to how you are feeling throughout these uneasy times is important and involves placing yourself at a high priority to maintain that healthy balance in your life. Your mind and body are connected and play off of one another to create this balance. When you are physically healthy and working to take care of yourself, this impacts your mental health in a positive way.
You can practice taking care of yourself by incorporating self-care into your life. The concept of self-care has stuck with me and has been so helpful for my own anxiety and stress that I manage. It involves recognizing when you need to take the time to decompress and slow down to focus on your needs. The best thing about self-care is that it is all personal and involves doing things you enjoy! Personally, I know that my schedule can become hectic and self-care can seem like a chore when you feel you have no time to incorporate it. Remember, self-care can be absolutely anything that will help you decompress and relieve any stress or anxiety. It can be something as small as taking a few minutes out of your day to do some deep breathing techniques or listening to an audiobook on the way to your destination. Sometimes this means seeking support through counseling. Practice finding a balance that works for you and your lifestyle, as this is what being mentally healthy is all about. You are important and taking time to focus on you is ok, especially when it comes to bettering your mental health. Being mentally healthy takes work and is an ongoing journey, but remember that practice makes progress!