Welcome back to your next Mental health Monday post. Today I’m going to be chatting a little bit about strategies you can use YOURSELF to help manage your mental health. Now there are hundreds of MH problems swirling around this earth, and it would literally be impossible to come up with coping strategies for every single disorder that’ll help every single individual. That’s why I like to use my own experiences to write these posts, and hopefully it helps someone. The strategies I’m going to be talking about today can support many mental health problems and should relate to many individuals. As I said, everybody is different and have various ways they cope- so don’t worry if my advice doesn’t match up to what you’re experiencing.
Strategy number one: Set realistic goals. I know I’m guilty for setting myself these huge goals and feeling extremely disheartened when I don’t reach them. There’s no saying I won’t reach them one day, but realistically thinking can help in the present. If reachable goals are set for yourself, it’ll take less pressure off you and enable you to feel an amazing sense of achievement when you reach it. For example, you could set yourself the goal to spend less time on social media to help your state of mind. This goal is achievable- you’re not telling yourself to come the social platforms COMPLETELY.
Strategy number two: Quiet time for your mind. This is a little fave of mine! Things like meditation and mindfulness can really help you grab that re-boot you definitely need. Meditation is one of my most favourite things to do, as I know it helps me phenomenally. Personally if I don’t have that 10 minutes a day meditation, my anxiety can actually get really bad. Click here to see my ‘How I deal with anxiety’ blog post, that has a section on meditation and how I do it.
Strategy number three: Self help books and tools. I’m a sucker for a good self help book, that’s why I’m so excited to share my faves with you! I find it really nice to listen to self-help books- having them read to you gives you time to relax completely. A few of my faves I like to listen to are: The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge and Reasons to stay alive by Matt Haig. Another book I have really really loved is Hardcore self help: F*ck Anxiety by Robert Duff PHD (he also has one for depression), along with a The CBT workbook by Dr Stephanie Fitzgerald, which I’ve just discovered and started…it seems really good!
Strategy number four: Be open about it. If you’re struggling, please do not suffer in silence. I always preach talking in most of my blog posts surrounding MH, because it’s the most important aspect of it. If these thoughts and feelings are pushed to the back of your mind, it’ll hurt more, trust me. I was in the position years ago where I didn’t speak about how I was feeling, but when I did, it was like a massive weight was lifted off of my whole body. Even if there’s just one person on earth who you feel comfortable to be open with, do it! Important info- you can receive FREE counselling/therapy on the NHS without going to your GP for referral.
Strategy number five: Do not isolate yourself. I’ve not really spoken about this before, and it probably links to talking openly about your mental health. You may find yourself isolating yourself from a lot of people, events or anything that involves you putting on that brave face when you’re struggling. I’ve found myself that a good coping strategy is to plan comfortable stuff with friends and family. I really do highlight the word comfortable though- for example, do not feel like you HAVE to go on that night out if you’re not feeling it. I mean…if clubbing makes you feel better then do it! Plan things that make you feel positive and a little uplifted…such as a nice meal out with your partner or (as I do quite frequently to make myself feel better) a day with your mum.
I hope these strategies have sparked some positive thought, or helped you think about what you can do to support yourself when going through a rough patch. I’ll be back next week with another post as usual, take care!