We all have those moments where we need to de-stress because there’s a bit too much on our plate.
Unfortunately, these feelings tend to rear their ugly heads stronger and more often when you’re living with a mental health issue. Seeing a psychologist is the best thing you can do to boost your mental health in the long term. But there are also many little activities that help you deal with these negative emotions in the moment. If you’re not ready to see a psychologist, or you want some simple at-home activities for between sessions, read on…
Schedule some time for self-care
You know those moments where you’re stretched so thin that you think you can’t spend any time on yourself? That’s when you know that you’re in need of a little self-care. It doesn’t matter whether it’s work, family or school – you should always prioritise activities that help you feel relaxed. Even if it’s only for a few moments every week, you will notice the difference.
Your self-care time should help you to feel more balanced, at ease and recharged by the end. With this in mind, be sure to choose an activity that you genuinely enjoy doing. Some examples of these might include…
- Having a bath.
- Lighting a candle and reading a book.
- Spending some time with a friend.
- Playing sport.
- Going for a walk.
- Listening to music.
- Watching an episode of your favourite TV show.
- Playing a video game.
Of course, everybody is different so what might be the perfect self-care activity for someone else might not be right for you. Once you find what makes you de-stress, schedule it in a few times a week.
Get rid of exhausting, unnecessary commitments
If you’re feeling down and unmotivated, every day can feel like a chore. Of course, there are many responsibilities we simply cannot avoid doing, such as going to work, studying for exams or looking after our children. However, it’s not uncommon to commit ourselves to unnecessary or just plain unenjoyable activities. If these things are taking their toll on our mental health, it’s best to remove them from the equation.
So how do you do this? Firstly, you need to spend some time thinking about all the things you regularly commit to that might be non-essential. This could be anything from coaching a sports team to babysitting for a friend. It might seem hard to untie yourself from these commitments, but your mental health should be your top priority. When you rid yourself of these non-essential activities, you leave time to prioritise things you do enjoy. This, in turn, can help you de-stress and feel much better day-to-day.
Move your body
Finding the motivation to exercise can be tough even for those of us who aren’t suffering from a mental illness. So why is it on our list?
While it might be difficult to work up the motivation, doing some sort of physical activity just a few times a week can help alleviate symptoms of mental illness. Going to the gym, for a jog, bike ride, hike or even a brisk walk is thought to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. Plus, it can be a great way to get out of the house and socialise with friends if that’s something you wish to do more of. Even if it’s just 15 minutes a few times a week, try it out and see how you feel afterwards!
Begin a weekly planner
When commitments are piling up and you think you have no time to get everything done, a weekly planner is your friend. When you think of your responsibilities all as one big mess of things you need to do, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed. However, when you sit down and plan out the best time to do them, they become less daunting! For this reason, organising your commitments week to week can really help make that big ‘To Do’ list in your head seem far less frightening.
In this planner, you should also schedule times each week to do activities that will help you to further prioritise your mental health. Remember – making your mental health a priority is super important and will help you to feel better in both the long and short-term.
As we mentioned earlier, all of these techniques are short-term solutions only. The best help for your mental health issues is seeing a psychologist that understands you. If you’re thinking about taking this important next step, Ok To Talk can help by matching you with someone who is perfect for you. The process is simple and will take just a few minutes – so click here to get started today.