How to actively take care of your mental health: an opinion piece
By Alex Burton
Evaluate your situation
You need to identify what may be causing you problems. Is it a relationship, job, your situation? Finding out and understanding what is causing you issues is the first step in tackling mental health problems. It might not be the aggravating factors and simply just an underlying mental health condition that can cause us to be down and overthink on our situation. That said, the guide below should still be of use, irrespective of your situation.
Cut your losses
Figure out if a situation is worth holding to. A toxic relationship, for example, where all you do is argue and fight is not worth jeopardising your own mental health. Although, when in a situation it is hard to see or understand that is not worth it, get some advice from close family or friends because it is easier to see from a third-person perspective.
Understanding that repeating the same unhealthy behaviours or fostering the same relationships with people will only get a negative result is key.
However, the separation from the situations you face does not necessarily have to be permanent. You may find that the situation may improve, during the separation period.
Build healthy bridges
Once you’ve cut out the negative situations and people in your life, you should build bridges with those who encourage and support you when you’re feeling at your lowest and happy for you when you are at your best.
With these newly built bridges, you will see the positive impact they have on you from their support and encouragement.
Accept your mistakes and forgive yourself
Learning to understand that you cannot change the mistakes you have made and that what you have done is in the past is key. You need to learn to move on and learn from the mistake and better yourself for it, rather living in regret.
Hanging on to past mistakes will only cause extra stress, anxiety and depression.
Exercise encourages your brain to release endorphins and hormones that lift your mood and promote healing in your body. Exercise is not only for your body but your mind as well.
Exercise does not need to be strenuous; it can be going for a walk or a 10 minute work out.
Your mind needs the right fuel fo it can function properly, just like your body. Eating junk food is actually linked to conditions such as anxiety and depression. Eating fresh fruit and veg and a balanced diet you get the right vitamins and minerals to fuel your brain properly.
Get a hobby
Hobbies are great ways to keep busy and entertain yourself. When feeling low it can be hard to find an interest but it is worth trying out different things, you may find out that you are really good at something you never thought you would be.
If you’re suffering from a mental illness and you’re unable to control it, speak to your GP, they can refer you to a professional, who will listen to your problems and offer you solutions such as therapy or medication if required.