Mental health is something that affects each one of us, everyday, even though you may not realise it. From possibly living with a mental health condition, to knowing or even experiencing others who may be affected by mental health.
Realistically, everyone has their own technique of dealing with their mental health, and others are more open to trying different things. Finding ways to help and better yourself can be really great, because by now, most of us know that being affected by mental health problems can be hindering in life. Together with Mulenga, we came up with some ideas (that may not be anything new, but..) we use, and find helpful and we thought we’d share them with you.
1. Talk to Someone, Anyone
Not everyone wants to physically go out and talk to someone because it can be daunting. How about texting a friend or family member? Someone you can confide in. In this day and age of social media many people have mutuals alike online, so why not talk to them about how you feel?
The truth is, many more people find it easier to talk to someone or be open to people that don’t know because they feel safer and less judged. There are many help lines (like 7 Cups and TalkSpace) some open 24/7, you can reach out to and actually talk to someone. Don’t suffer alone.
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2. Find a Positive Escape
When I go through low moods, I often find myself dwelling on my situation, which leads to me overthinking, which leads to me being stressed which leads me to feeling anxious, which leads.. (tbh you know where I’m going with this).
But I found that once I did something to occupy my time with, I had less time to dwell on what’s going on with my situation. For instance, I started blogging as my escape, giving advice (that I’m still learning to take), and essentially helping others while helping myself.
Whether it’s reading, writing, exercising or even baking, finding a hobby to put your time into will really help you focus less on whats going on with you and more on what’s going on around you.
3. Don’t Isolate Yourself
I know the vast majority of us live with our phones on Do Not Disturb, and when you feel low, you’re less likely to turn that setting off. You’re less likely to go out because you “can’t be asked”, and you find yourself alone more often especially while at university.
While being alone is sometimes good (it allows for self reflection, learn to love your own company, and so on), when you’re feeling less like yourself, being alone can amplify that feeling and make you feel worse overall.
Honestly, when you don’t feel like doing something, that’s the best time to do it. Make an effort to see your friends, and even though you may not be up for it before you go, you will definitely not regret it when you get back home (tried and tested, trust me).
4. Time Management
I have the poorest time management in the world, and when I’m feeling low, it definitely gets worse. Feeling out of control is something easily associated with anxiety and with so much in the world that you can’t control, it’s not hard for you to feel flustered and want to just give up on everything you’ve got going on.
Try to keep a diary and set yourself weekly goals and targets. This will not only help you keep on top of everything going on in your life, but will also help you feel more accomplished once you can tick off the weeks list. It may seem menial, but the little things add up and make you feel much much better.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Before anything, I know it’s not easy. Question: when was the last time you had a decent meal? No not Mcdonalds or KFC no. A home cooked meal or going out for a proper dinner. The fulfilment of having a decent meal can make you feel so much better.
When was the last time you treated yourself to a new book? changed your sheets? Anything. You have to take care of yourself. Please check in with yourself because no one matters more than you. You matter, you always will and remember we see you, we hear you, you are not alone and know healing takes time.
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However, you deal with your mental health, please remember, your current situation doesn’t define you and you are not your mental illness.
This blog was in collaboration with Mulenga, who is a student journalist blogger who has created a space for her and her readers to connect. Check her blog out!