important to invest in the wellness of your mind. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed – and even if you aren’t – take a moment to pause and have a breather.
Free mental health services
The truth is, having a professional to guide you is the best route to take. Fortunately, there are services out there that are free or a lot more affordable than a private practice. Here are a few:
Sometimes sitting and breaking down a situation and how it makes you feel is the first step to resolving it. Mindfulness offers that to you. When you’re mindful of where you are and what is happening, you are better equipped to respond and react to the situation at hand. This is a basic human ability, but it may not be as strong an ability for an individual who suffers from mental illness. Some of the basics to know include:
- Putting aside some time: no special equipment like cushions or benches is needed, just your time.
- Looking at the present moment for what it is: the aim of mindfulness is to pay attention to the moment you’re in, without judgement.
- Noting your judgements: make a mental note of the judgements we make and let them pass.
- Going back to looking at the current moment for what it is: the aim is to come back over and over and not get carried away in thought.
- Being gentle and kind to yourself: don’t judge yourself for your thoughts, and teach yourself to be aware when your mind has drifted off and bring it back gently.
Get some sleep
Sometimes all it takes is getting some shuteye. Take a nap when you can or try going to bed 30 minutes earlier. It’s important to relax and quieten your mind when you get into bed, so avoid or minimise screen time and listen to meditation music instead.
<subhead> Drink more water
Having the slightest bit of dehydration can cause stress. Any percentage of water lost by the body can affect your mood and your ability to remember things. Adopting the habit of carrying a bottle of water around and drinking a glass of water in the morning and in between meals will ensure you remain hydrated.
Whether it’s a brisk walk, a jog or yoga, any form of exercise will do your mind a great deal of good. Exercise can improve your mood, increase your energy levels, improve your sleep at night and your memory. Over and above these benefits, exercise affirms positive feelings about oneself. So don’t skip the chance to do some exercise each day.
Prioritise going outside and grabbing some fresh air or some sunshine vitamin (vitamin D). Ultimately, being outdoors forces you to move around, which is a great way to get in some exercise.
Keep a journal
Sometimes speaking about the things weighing on you isn’t easy, or you just don’t know how to articulate them, so write them down. No matter how small or big the thought or feeling, it helps to write it down so you can keep track of it or reflect on it at a later stage. Much like talking to a therapist, journalling absorbs your thoughts and puts your mind at ease.
Switch your phone off
Whether we are aware of it or not, being on your phone is a distraction and disturbs your peace of mind. Consider having your phone off for at least an hour and just relax your mind. The great thing is that all the updates will still be on your phone after an hour.
Clear your space
Some people use music, exercise or talking as a way to de-stress. Cleaning, surprisingly, can also help put your mind at ease. The simple sight of an organised room or clean kitchen can be enough to loosen you up. So the next time you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, grab the broom and sweep your home or polish the cutlery.
Crank up the music and get down! Dancing is a great way to loosen up and shake the funk and stress off, and forget about the horrible day you’ve had, even if it’s only for a moment. It is said that dancing can reduce depression symptoms and boost your memory as well.
With all the daily challenges we are faced with, keeping a healthy mind in the midst of it all is crucial. So don’t deprive yourself of the moments where you can refill the wellness tank of your mind. Your mind will thank you for it in the long run.