3 Ways To Add To Your Mental Health Toolbox
Mental Health is a hot topic right now, as it should be.
Celebrities coming out and openly talking about struggles, depression, and anxiety are getting more vocalized by the masses.
But what happens after these brave steps?
Unfortunately, you don’t suddenly become healed, and the world is all rainbows and unicorns.
I am not a therapist, nor have I gone to school for any mental health training, but I am a regular person like you who has struggled with PTSD symptoms after an extremely tough breakup. Also, severe depression and anxiety after watching my father wither away from Parkinson’s and then suddenly die from cancer.
I can relate to you.
I can understand the daily mental health struggles while dealing with paying your rent, keeping your job, not losing your friends and hopefully finding happiness and love again one day.
But mainly, the deep down desire to feel normal again one day.
What I will share below isn’t a quick fix, nor should it be taken as ‘this is the only thing you need to do.’ Mental health comes from a combination of areas in our life that differ from one person to the next.
3 Key Mental Health Toolbox Additions
If society can change how we look at going to therapy, we all will be happier in life. It would be best to look at your therapist in the same mindset as hiring a personal trainer. You don’t know what you don’t know. Only someone who is trained and skilled in this area can help guide you.
Take time when looking for the right therapist for you. Therapy is like any other profession, where there are individuals with specific skill sets, you may not need some practice. You also want to take your time because you might not connect on a human-to-human connection with a therapist.
If this happens, don’t get discouraged. Accept that it happened and move forward, finding the next therapist to try.
Get moving, get your heart rate going and get sweating! Adding 5-6 days of exercise into your week doesn’t mean you need to join a gym or buy a monthly membership somewhere. The act of throwing on a pair of shoes, popping in your headphones and getting 30+ minutes of walking in where you live is sufficient enough to start.
The endorphins created when moving are our body’s natural way of changing your mood for the better—however, the creation of endorphins isn’t the only reason to start moving for your mental health.
The act of getting more exercise can trigger new thoughts and goals within you. The desire to eat healthier is one. By doing this, your gut and brain will benefit from eating cleaner foods and getting away from the highly processed, high sugars and fatty foods that are so common in our diets.
Every morning you start with a blank slate. 6-8hrs of sleep, physically and emotionally getting away from all that’s going bad in life, start each morning with a plan to better yourself. Find a set time to wake up each day, making sure you don’t feel rushed and stressed. Leave your phone alone until your whole routine is completed, making the morning entirely about you.
What can be part of a morning routine?
- goal setting
- peace and quiet
As you can see, your mental health toolbox won’t be filled with anything that doesn’t already come into your daily life. That is the beautiful thing about our mental health; we can work on it every day without having to change who we are.
It is also important to point out the correlation between physical health and mental health. They are not two separate areas competing for your time. Instead, they work together, feeding off the positives and negative daily actions made.
So take some time today and think about a few areas you start focusing on each day to better your mental health.
You can do this.
Paul Marlow is a mental health advocate and the founder of Never Alone, helping society change the way we view mental health help content.