Recently, life has remained taxing in every way imaginable. Between trying to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing for ourselves and our families, and challenges with work and/or school, everything might just overwhelm your mental health.
To be able to take care of those around you, you need to take care of yourself first. It’s important to protect your mental health and wellbeing every day. That way, you can handle daily stress and remain effective in helping others when they need you.
Protecting your own mental health helps you with a lot of things. This includes taking care of your physical health and recognizing emotional and spiritual needs. Aside from that, it also includes fostering and sustaining strong relationships. Plus, you can achieve balance in different areas of your life.
Ways To Protect Your Mental Health
Express your feelings.
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. It isn’t a sign of weakness. However, it’s part of taking charge of your well-being and doing what you can to stay healthy. Aside from that, this can also be a way to cope with a problem you have been carrying around in your head for a while.
When you know someone is listening to you, it can also help you feel supported and less alone. It also works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same. Of course, it won’t be easy to describe how you’re feeling. If you can’t think of one word to describe what you’re feeling, use lots of words to do so. What does it feel like being inside your head?
Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can also boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.
Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. Exercising doesn’t just mean doing some sports or going to the gym. Of course, these include walks in the park, gardening, or simple housework. Experts say most people should do about thirty minutes of exercise at least five days a week.
Eating and drinking healthily.
There is a strong link between our physical health and our mental health. With that said, we should also watch what we eat as it could also relate how we feel. For example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect. However, food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health.
Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A good diet means you can have a good physical health which is also good for your mental health. You have to eat with lots of different types of fruit and vegerables, wholegrain cereals or bread, nuts and seeds, dairy products, oily fish, and plenty of water.
Keeping in touch with your friends and family.
Supportive friends and strong family ties can help you deal with the stresses of life. Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can also offer different views from what is going on in your own head. They can help keep you active, keep you grounded, and help you solve practical problems.
Plus, there is nothing better than catching up with someone face-to-face. Sure, that’s not always possible, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can reach out, give them a call, drop them a note, or chat them online. Keep communication open with them. It’s good for you. Working with relationships will make you feel loved or valued.
Seek for help.
We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things become too difficult for you to handle or cope with, you can always ask for help. Sure, it won’t feel easy to ask for help. But, people will always be there for you to offer help and lend a listening ear.
Take a break.
A change of scene and/or a change of pace is/are good for your mental health. Sometimes, a five-minute pause to take a breather, half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend getaway, can help your mental health. Take a deep breath and relax. Listen to your body. And, if you feel tired, give yourself time to sleep and rest. Without good sleep, your mental health suffers. Aside from that, your concetration might go downhill.
Due to the stigma, it’s hard to seek medical help, and these are only six of the mental health disorders that often go undiagnosed. Please share this article to let people know that it is okay and that they are not alone. That way, they can finally have a better mental health condition.
Angela Grace P. Baltan is a Communication graduate from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, and mental health among others.