1. Build Confidence:
Stop dwelling on what you aren't good at and start focusing on what you are good at. Change statements like "I am not a good artist" to "I am a great cook" or "I hardly ever exercise or eat right" to "I can eat right and exercise if I choose to" Starting to change your negative self statements to truthful positive self statements is a great way to begin to build your confidence. After that, try new things to find out what things you might be really good at. Confidence is half of the battle against poor mental health.
2. Eat Right, Keep Fit:
Eating nutritious meals full of vitamins/minerals give your body the things that it needs to maintain proper hormone levels, blood glucose levels, and other bodily responses that help moods. Also, exercise releases endorphins that create a stress relieving quality. By far the biggest benefit of exercise and proper diet to mental health is how you feel about YOURSELF when you take care of YOURSELF.
3. Make time for family and friends:
A person who spends their life working or in solitude tends to be overall not as happy as those who make time to spend with the people they love. Even if you only have one day a week to see family and friends, make that effort. If you have no time in your week to do that, make sure and at least call people you love and reconnect. It is amazing for your mental health.
4. Give and Accept Support:
Often times, people who have a hard time in life and feel overwhelmed are those who cannot ask for help or receive it. Giving support seems to be easy for these people but accepting is another matter. We are very relational creatures and we were not created to be alone or do things by ourselves. Take advantage when people say things like "How can I help you" or "Let me know if you need anything." Life's journey is difficult, but it is that much easier when someone is holding some of the burden.
5. Create a meaningful budget:
Money is a source of a lot of stress and hardship. The word "budget" is never pretty for those who feel that money is stressful or for who money is not plentiful. The first thing I advise people to do is make a priority list. Yours may look something like this....
If this was your priority list, it might be best to think first about taking out your tithe/offerings or charity contributions. After that, you may do things like budget in your date night with your spouse or savings for family emergencies or vacations. You may then pay for things for your business like marketing materials or travel. Ideally, the way to mental health is not just "paying your bills" but making sure that you are doing with your money, what your heart feels is most important. We all need to provide for our families in ways like rent/mortgage but again, that falls under the sample priority list of Marriage/Family so that is a meaningful choice with what you have been given. Make sure that your money is going where you want it to go and where it is best suited for your priorities.
There is little that feels as good as giving to people/animals/things in need. Good examples are helping out at an animal shelter, giving food to the needy, cleaning up your surroundings, etc... These things make us feel purpose and feel that something is more important than ourselves and put our worries in perspective.
7. Manage Stress:
Some of the above tips are helpful in managing stress but there are also stress relieving activities like Yoga, deep breathing, artistic and creative measures, etc..that will help to maintain stability in your moods and chemicals in your brain. Find out what calms you and make it a choice to do these things on a regular basis.
8. Find Strength in Numbers:
Sometimes when we are overwhelmed with a problem, we can't see the solution because of our fears, concerns, and anxiety. Take the time to take your cares to another person or in prayer if you practice spirituality and begin to open your mind to others' suggestions. They may think of something you could not get to because of your emotional connection to the situation. The more advice you get from wise sources, the more options you have to choose from in solving your problems.
9. Identify and Deal with Moods:
Being able to identify feelings and figure out where they started is a great way to begin a journey of mental health. If you feel like you need a list of "feeling words" shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to provide you one. Many people cannot put words to how they are feeling at any given time. Learn words and definitions of feelings in order to become more aware of how certain situations affect you. Keep a "feelings journal" if necessary to track your moods and triggers. Let me know if you need help in executing this awesome tip.
10. Learn to be at peace with yourself:
Beating yourself up for mistakes or slip ups is never helpful nor productive in your mental health. Accept quickly that you WILL indeed make mistakes in life and when you do the way to compensate for that mistake is to learn from it, be at peace with your mistake, and do your best to change that behavior. Being hard on yourself is never the best choice, the world is hard enough without being your own worst enemy!
Have a wonderful week and if you have any questions feel free to comment or email me if needed!