You may have noticed the rise in the conversations revolving around mental health. This is such a positive change compared to a few years ago when it was perceived as a shame to have a mental illness or disorder. Atleast now more people are bravely admitting that they are struggling mentally wilth the popular slogan” it’s okay not to be okay”; it’s nothing to be ashamed about.
I firmly believe that taking care of our mental health is as important of taking care of our physical health.You don’t have to wait till you have a mental illness/ disorder in order to start taking care of your mental health. Same way about physical health: you don’t have to be physically ill so that you can start taking care of your physical health. More so as millennials when there may seem to be so much pressure left ,right and center to figure our lives out, other times it’s unhealed childhood wounds that start to open up, traumatic experiences and relationship break ups that can really mess with our minds.
If we are not really intentional about taking care of our mental health, things can get out of hand.Mental health isn’t just about depression or anxiety, it also includes your daily state of mind. What kind of thoughts are you harbouring throughout your day?
The first step to take it taking care of your mental health is being honest with yourself. To thy own self be true. You may not fully understand what you are going through but can feel things aren’t right/ normal. You mind may always feel clouded with dark thoughts. You may have lost the enthusiasm you once had in life and things just feel overwhelming and jumbled up in your mind.
You can then follow up with the following steps;
1.Open up to someone
It could be a friend you trust, your parent (s)/guardian(s). The popular saying that a problem shared is a problem half solved is quite true. Don’t struggle on your own. You don’t have to pretend that everything is okay or be the ‘strong’ friend. It’s okay to need help from others. As one of the mental health advocates Phyllis Wanja says,Toa mask.
2. Seek professional help
Sometimes things can be talked out , a few changes made here and there and everything turns out okay. Other times, it may be a little more complicated and a professional needs to come in. Don’t shy away from it. They understand your situation from a different view and will help make your journey easier.
Daily Practices on Taking Care of Your Mental Health :
a)Have me time and journal
I Know sometimes life can get a little busy and we may not get time to just relax and be by ourselves everyday. But it’s so important, even if it’s once a week to simply sit down and listen to yourself.
Sometimes there are so many thoughts and feelings inside of us that remain suppressed that will come back to haunt us if we suppress them for too long. Journaling helps offload these thoughts and feelings and even though you may not be able to Solve everything in that moment, it helps lighten the load in your mind and see things from a better perspective.
With journaling you can;
✓ write what you’re grateful for
✓Your best moments of the day
✓Your lowest moments of the day
✓A life lesson you learnt
b) Careful with what you’re watching/ listening to
This also includes social media. If you’re exposing your mind to depressing things, it’s quite easy to also feel the same. Sometimes it’s getting yourself in the comparison trap via social media where it feels like almost everyone is showing off their ‘wins’ while things may not be going perfectly for you. We all know that none of us has it perfect , however much they try to fake it. So why not focus more on fully living your real life with all it’s imperfections(which make life more interesting!). Also watch things that make you happy and build you up.
c)Do something (s) you love
What lights up the fire in your soul? Writing? Singing? Listening to music? Drawing? Fashion? Reading? Whatever it is, do that! Set aside time in your days to do the things you love and watch how your happiness levels go up. Those things that awake the inner child in you will make you You feel more alive and enthusiastic about life.
d) Watch your thoughts
The things we say to ourselves, think about our selves and life in general are very crucial. Don’t allow thoughts that don’t build you up to linger in your mind too long. Replace the lies with Truth. And one way you can do that as a Christian is God’s word. Memorising Bible verses is essential.
We pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5
I know sometimes it gets hard as a Christian even when it seems like you have the perfect relationship with God. This Facebook post by Cornelius Lindsey is so raw and honest on his struggle with depression.
Seek help if you need to. I know recovering from a mental illness isn’t as easy as A, B, C, D. But there are things we can do on the daily to take care of ourselves.Don’t neglect your mental health and get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. The things that you push away or numb will one day come back to haunt you in full force and it’s gonna be way harder to deal with them . Do what you can right now.
Have a blessed day 🤗💕
Got more tips? Kindly share them with us in the comments 😊.