Mental health issues and challenges have risen alarmingly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Losing our social support systems and staying confined within our homes has exacerbated stress and anxiety. We all feel the occasional highs and lows, the Monday blues, and the mid-week slump.
But then there are bigger issues, such as depression, anxiety, mood disturbances, eating disorders, substance abuse, and other psychiatric illnesses. Managing and coping with such debilitating diseases requires us to stay vigilant about the signs and risk factors. We need to prioritize our mental health more than ever, incorporating mental wellness into our daily routine.
Keep reading to explore some mindful ways to take care of your mental health.
- Recognizing the Symptoms
Everyone has unique challenges and concerns when dealing with mental health issues. Some struggle with their body image and eating habits, while others struggle with depressive thoughts or post-traumatic stress. Recognizing the symptoms and risk factors is a crucial step towards getting attuned to your mental wellbeing.
Do you recognize the signs of depression in your daily lifestyle patterns and habits? Do you find yourself increasingly anxious and overcome with compulsions that trigger panic attacks? Do you find yourself struggling to fall asleep with suicidal thoughts and depression gnawing at your brain?
Recognizing the signs will empower you with the confidence, resources, and decision-making capacity to help yourself. Self-diagnosis isn’t advisable, but learning about symptoms will help you understand your concerns and seek professional help. It’s wise to undertake an anxiety and depression quiz to identify the issues you’re dealing with every day.
Taking a quiz will not only validate your struggles, but more importantly, it will offer a road map to take action. The results will help you understand your issues and concerns by tapping into your lifestyle and habits. It’s a wise first step to prepare yourself before sitting down with a mental health professional. Learning about symptoms and obtaining validation will empower you to end your suffering and improve life quality.
- Exercise Regularly
Did you know that exercise or any form of physical exertion stimulates the release of happy hormones in the brain? That’s right; physical activity stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine – the brain neurotransmitters associated with euphoria, satisfaction, and happiness. Interestingly, exercise also encourages the release of happiness-inducing endorphins – brain chemicals that regulate the mood.
Research reveals that regular exercise, in any given form, encourages mental wellness by fighting off stress and anxiety. Have you ever of the runner’s high? It’s a feeling of euphoria and intense adrenalin rush that runners experience once they push themselves with more demanding challenges.
You don’t necessarily have to run to experience this chemical goodness in your brain. You can take up any exercise or activity that brings you joy and contentment. Some enjoyable activities include dancing, hiking, yoga, martial arts, swimming, or walking your dog. Be sure to add at least 30 minutes of physical activity to your daily routine.
- Pamper Yourself
The phrase pampering usually conjures up images of world-class spas and luxurious massages. It depends on how you like to get pampered and the activities that allow you to unwind and relax. Interestingly, pampering yourself doesn’t always require you to burn a few hundred dollars. You can do it without spending any money at all.
For instance, cook yourself your favorite meal, and enjoy it with a tall glass of wine and a good TV show. Prepare a hot bath with Epsom salt, and light up some scented candles as you luxuriate in the bubbles. You can even curl up with a hot cup of cocoa and a good read, enjoying reading for hours.
It all boils down to prioritizing self-care and looking after yourself. You can pamper yourself by supplying your body with essential nutrients that energize your organs and mind. Taking care of your body, mind, skin, and hair is also self-pampering that will uplift your mental wellbeing.
- Surround Yourself with Positive Affirmations
Do you have a mantra that you practice to inspire optimism in situations of conflict, chaos, and complications? If not, it’s about time you made and embraced one. A positivity mantra serves the purpose of affirming and reaffirming your confidence in yourself.
You see, believing in your ability to overcome whatever challenges you face is of paramount significance. Whether you struggle with body image, eating disorders, stress, social anxiety, or phobias, positivity will help you conquer all. Surround yourself with positive affirmations by hanging up quotes and posting sticky notes to your mirror.
When you wake up, the first thing you should see is a wall of positive affirmations, encouraging you to seize the day!
Mental health illnesses aren’t very different from biological diseases when it comes to diagnosis and disease progression. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek the professional help of a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist.
Taking care of your mental health will help you improve your life quality, overall wellbeing, and productivity. Prioritizing your mental wellbeing will help you actualize your life and career goals with revitalized energy. A simple decision to look after your mental health leads to a more rewarding, deeply fulfilling life. Staying attuned to our mental health makes us more empathetic and compassionate to the struggles of others. Simply put, it makes us good human beings.