Weekly Wellness: Tips to Take Care of Your Mental Health
COLUMBIA- It has taken a long time but, finally, the negative stigma and taboo-ness of mental health issues is starting to lift. Mental illness is as controllable as developing a cold or flu – we need to take care of our physical wellness AND our mental wellness.
Here are some ways to help us to work on our own mental wellness:
- Give yourself permission to take a mental health day when you need it. Try to take a day to relax and recharge – before you get so worn down that you end up actually sick.
- Do something else besides watching television before bed. If television shows tend to rile you up and suck you in, it might be better if you try to read or journal or something else a bit more calming before bed.
- Bring a little vacation-life into your daily life. We have a tendency to chill out when we’re on vacation. Think about some of the activities or attitudes that we have when we’re on vacation and try to incorporate those into your week.
- Meditate for five minutes. Sit quietly, focus on your breathing, and recharge your battery.
- Cut back on sugar and increase magnesium. Cutting back on sugars can help to stabilize your blood sugar levels which can help to balance energy levels. And magnesium can help to alleviate headaches and fatigue so add some dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, avocados and figs into your diet!
- Get professional help. If you’re experiencing mood changes that aren’t going away, it might be time to reach out to a healthcare provider, mental health professional or a friend.
- Find a therapist who is uniquely qualified to treat you (especially if you are a person of color). Recognizing the role that racism and racial micro-aggressions could be playing in your mental health. Race and racism play a significant role in a person’s vulnerability to mental health struggles.
- If your mental health is affecting your work, time to talk with your boss or HR department. If your mental health is affecting your job, you might need to discuss your options with your employer. You might need to take a longer lunch (to make a therapy appointment) or arrange to work from home while adjusting.
- Consider cutting back on alcohol (if you feel worse when you go out drinking). For many people, drinking in moderation is fine. But if you find that you are using alcohol as an escape or you feel a morning-after panic attack, it might be time to assess the role that alcohol plays on your moods.
- Stop glorifying being busy and get some necessary sleep. If you’re making time for every other activity except for sleep, there might be a problem. Sleep is necessary. And if you’re not getting enough, it can cause your mental state to suffer.
- Use an affirmation jar! Write down positive affirmations and healthy coping mechanisms, put them in a jar and use them when you need them!