15 February 2021

6 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health this year




I hope it's not too late to write some sort of new year type blog content because, well today I'm doing it. It's been quite a few months since I've felt able to dish out advice given that my life has been a total shit show, but what I've realised through the mess is that I've learnt a lot about how to take care of my mental health going forward. Which is exactly why today, on a bright Monday morning whilst I drink my vitamin C, I want to share all that I've learnt to help you. 


Set boundaries


Identify your boundaries in particular your mental and emotional and begin contemplating what you're willing to tolerate or accept. Prioritise your life and simply give yourself permission to say no. Think about your relationships, your happiness and general wellbeing moving forward and conclude any changes you can make to feel better this 2021.


I have an example. We all have negative relationships in our life we might've been unhappy in for a long time e.g. with an unsupportive or unreliable friend, a partner or even a family member. Well, this year it's time to let them go. To not let them take up unwanted space and cause continued upset this year. I've had to do exactly that in my personal life and honestly, it's disappointing but, letting a person drain your mental health in such a way, yet letting them take up space in your life is nothing short of counterproductive. If you know this individual is the only reason you sometimes feel a heightened sense of anxiety or impacts your emotional wellbeing in a huge way, it might be a tough decision to make (it certainly hasn't been easy for me) but, it's time the relationship either changes or ends.


If for whatever reason you can't let them go, just ease away and set strict rules surrounding how much of your energy you're willing to let them zap or, are willing to give them in future e.g. only seeing them for family events when absolutely necessary or, only allowing yourself to spend short bursts of time with the individual.


Speak kindly to yourself with love


Even on days when you don't feel the love, can't get out of bed or feel productive, there are still subtle things you can do to treat yourself with kindness.


I used to feel guilty on days I couldn't muster the strength to even shower, but I've come to accept that sometimes my anxiety wins and one bad day isn't going to stop me from having a good week. So, like the recent me, accept your mood for what it is and don't allow thoughts of guilt or angst to creep in. Tell yourself you need this time and try to set aside another day to attempt the things you wanted to do today. Be gentle, rise from your bed when you're ready, or don't. Eat your favourite comfort food, watch nostalgic TV and find small acts of good to show yourself some love without pressure.


Do more of what makes you happy / something you're good at


Speaking of small acts of good...

This one should be easy peasy! Or, maybe easier said than done sometimes? We all have those boring chores and mundane day to day things we have to partake in e.g. going to work, doing the dishes and making your bed. But, there are many many opportunities in the free minutes we have each day to step away from our phones and find a little calm in our lives through participating in activities we adore. For me, cooking is always my go to when I want to unwind, playing the Sims or, even going for a walk. But for you it might be reading, writing, knitting, whatever! Just make sure you don't forget to do them. Assign your time to even just ten short minutes for that hobby you enjoy so much. I promise you'll feel better for it every time.


Care for others 


Often when my brain feels overworked and my heart hurts, I've found comfort and joy through looking after those around me. Whether in my past life as a dementia care assistant or currently now, being there to support to mum or, simply cooking dinner for my partner every day, I can always find value in caring for others. There's no better feeling than helping someone else in need, sharing experiences, kindness and friendship. This act distracts yourself from whatever pain you're going through and helps both parties in their mental wellbeing. So, reach out to your neighbour, loved one or friend and just show that you're there. Even in these unprecedented times when we can't cuddle or hold a hand, we can still do small things to show that we're there e.g. sending flowers, giving a loved one a call or helping with their food shopping. 


Write down your feelings


Whether you're getting pen to paper, jotting notes in your phone or writing a full-blown blog post you might never publish, just getting those unwanted thoughts out of your brain and into writing can provide so much clarity. 


Living with anxiety for me personally means that my brain is never ever quiet. There's not so much a running commentary of everything I'm doing, it's more chaotic than that. I suppose, it's more like my brain jumps from thought to thought becoming more restless by the minute on some days. But, bullet pointing these thoughts or sometimes just words, helps me to analyse what on earth my brain is up to. Sometimes these notes turn into blog posts I'm proud to share and some, turn into never ending rants or letters to myself that will never surface online. Some even turn into short term plans or, lists of things to help me ease out of a vicious cycle. 


Regardless of what's going on with your mental health, it's important that you write! That you get whatever your feeling (good or bad) outside of your mind, in order to free up a little storage and take any weight off your shoulders. 


Decide who to follow on social media 


Now, this is a biggie!! I couldn't shout it loud enough... our social media is OURS. OUR SPACE. Our space to follow anyone who sparks joy and shares content that we're interested in. Follow those who are just like you or those you aspire to be someday, but if you follow anyone right this second who creates content that makes you feel unworthy or upset they must go. Right now. Scroll through the people you follow across each social media platform, including Facebook friends and say goodbye to any negativity. Discover new brands / bloggers / creatives etc and refresh your attitude towards social media moving forward. I promise this activity is the most satisfying thing! 


Ask for help


Don't forget! If you're struggling beyond words, continuously can't take care of your basic self-care needs or feel much more emotional and overwhelmed than usual, don't ever stay quiet. Know you're not alone and that there's a wealth of support you can tap into at any time. 


Samaritans: call 116 123 anytime.


Anxiety UK: 03444 775 774 Monday - Friday 09:30 - 17:30.


Crisis text line: text SHOUT 85258.


CALM: call 0800 58 58 58 from 5pm until midnight 365 days a year.


No Panic: for panic attacks, OCD 0300 772 9844 daily 10:00-22:00. 







3 comments

  1. These are some fab tips, I always think that we can be our worse enemies and that we can be kinder to ourselves! Talking about things makes me feel so much better x

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  2. This post is so important and you've included some helpful tips and resources too. Being kind to yourself is the no1 thing to do xx

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  3. I love this positive list of ways to look after my mental health! I have been focused on talking to myself with as much respect and kindness as I would talk to others. Writing down my feelings has also been a wonderful way to release. :)
    Thanks for sharing!

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