There may be times in life when it seems like everything is coming at you too fast. The stressors associated with your daily activities, anxieties surrounding COVID-19, and even the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can catch up with you and overwhelm you. Stress, anxiety, fear of the unknown, and physical, psychological, and emotional exhaustion can cause adverse health effects. Being able to effectively manage your thoughts and feelings and cope with everyday challenges is essential to maintaining good mental and emotional health. To do so, you may need support from a mental health professional and engage in practices that boost mental and emotional wellness. Listed below are three ways you can promote your mental health.
1. Talk to a professional about your thoughts and feelings.
When you feel troubled, overwhelmed, and anxious, like you have too many personal issues to cope with, or you recognize negative changes in your thoughts, behaviors, and relationships, these experiences may be too much for you to handle alone. Confiding in trusted family and friends may help, but ultimately, it can be more beneficial to seek mental health treatment and psychotherapy from a licensed professional.
Societal or cultural stigma against receiving therapy can make acknowledging that you need help and wanting to talk to a counselor or psychotherapist about your mental health seem like an admission of weakness, but it’s not. It never will be. Recognizing that you may need professional help and support to learn healthy coping skills and make necessary changes to improve your mental health is a courageous move. You can find a skilled therapy provider, such as a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist with years of formal training, using the internet. When turning to a professional, you can get the individual therapy you need and other types of psychotherapy like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, family therapy, and couples therapy. If your current concerns are regarding more specific issues like anorexia, substance use, relationship challenges, or particular mental illnesses, consider seeking professionals who received more specific training. Whether you need long-term or short-term therapy, working with providers to create a treatment plan and set goals ultimately allows you to achieve the mental and total wellness you deserve.
2. Take care of your body.
The professional treating you may relay to you that you can practice everyday acts of self-care to improve your mental well-being. Self-care refers to one’s ability to promote and maintain health, prevent disease, and cope with disability and illness. Considering how significant the relationship between the mind and body is to one’s total health, you should engage in healthy habits like exercising regularly. Physical exercise can help boost your energy and mood throughout the day, improve your sleep quality, sharpen your memories, and give you a more positive feeling about your well-being and life overall. Likewise, eating a clean, well-balanced diet can support better mental health.
Eating certain foods can promote enhanced brain health, as demonstrated by recent research that concluded individuals who eat more nutrient-dense foods experience greater mental well-being and happiness and less depression. Eating salads and exercising won’t cure mental illnesses, but increasing your intake of healthy foods, improving your physical health, and other self-care acts can be influential in lifting your mood and promoting mental wellness.
3. Recharge your mind.
In addition to receiving professional support and treatment, another self-care act that can enhance your mental health is relaxing. Replenish by taking a break from your daily stressors and giving yourself some time alone. Breaks and “me time” could mean engaging in recreational activities you enjoy or doing nothing at all. Consider going on vacation. A change of pace and scenery could be just what you need to give your body and mind well-deserved rest and protect your mental well-being.