It Starts With Me: 7 Ways To Improve Your Mental Health
When your mental health is on a downswing, it’s easy to want to find and blame any external factor you can. It’s hard to think that you may be contributing to your bad mood, but that is a definite possibility.
The next time you find yourself in that situation, remind yourself of this simple mantra… “it starts with me.”
While you’re not in charge of how other people behave or treat you, you are in charge of what you put up with. PYM has seven ways that you can improve your mental health by putting yourself first.
#1) Learn How To Say No
One of the best, yet hardest, ways to decrease your stress level by saying “it starts with me” is to learn how to say no.
It’s important to note that that doesn’t mean saying no for the sake of saying no. Learning how to say no is more about identifying additional strains on your time, especially those things that you may have agreed to out of guilt.
It’s also about learning how to say no if you’re already overtaxed, instead of just saying yes to make someone else happy. If you’re not happy, how can you make anyone else happy?
#2) Work Out More
Exercise is good for both your body and your mind. While many people think exercise is just for weight control, there are so many other reasons why you should add at least a few days to your weekly schedule.
Exercise not only helps lower your risk of developing certain diseases like diabetes and hypertension, it can also help you feel less anxious and depressed. Even just 30 minutes 3 - 5 days a week is a game changer for most people. Once you get those endorphins pumping through your system, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
#3) Watch What You Eat (and Drink)
It’s no secret that food and mental health are linked, but it can be hard to remember that when you’re having a bad day and really want to dive into a pint of ice cream. No one is perfect, and you don’t have to be either, so focusing on eating healthy most of the time can be a huge reminder of that “it starts with me” mentality.
Try to eat less sugar and simple carbs, and drink less alcohol and caffeine. Drink more water, eat more whole foods, and consider supplements like omega-3s.
To also help supplement your diet while helping your body more easily cope with both biological and mental stressors, consider adding PYM Mood Chews to your routine. With adaptogens, amino acids, and natural citrus flavor, these chews are an easy thing you can add to your daily routine to help your body help itself.
#4) Make Time For Self Care
We can’t underestimate the importance of good self care. Be honest… when was the last time you really took time out to take care of yourself? It’s easy to put self care on the back burner while you take care of everyone else’s needs, but where does that leave you?
Make sure, no matter what is going on in your life, to set time aside to make sure that your needs are taken care of too. Whether that means taking a bath without distraction, going to get your nails done or get a massage, or just heading to bed early to read a book, self care should be at the top of your list for helping to improve your mental health.
#5) Seek Help When You Need It
Part of learning the basic concepts of taking charge of your mental health by saying “it starts with me,” is knowing when you can’t do it alone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and you don’t feel like you can handle it on your own, seek help.
Licensed therapists are there to help you deal with life, and to give you coping techniques that you can take back out into the real world and apply on your own, too. You may even want to consider heading to a medical professional to discuss medication if your symptoms are bothering you enough, because anxiety and depression can need medication just the same as any other medical issue (like diabetes or hypertension).
#6) Forgive Yourself
It’s human nature to hold onto things that you think you’ve done wrong for much, much longer than anyone around you does, but that doesn’t make it healthy.
We don’t have the ability to travel back in time and do things differently, so why not learn to forgive yourself? It can help to write down all of the things that you’re blaming yourself for. This not only gives you a physical view of how much stuff you may be holding onto, but it can also be something you can discuss with a counselor in the future.
#7) Break Out of Your Routines
Let’s face it… we can only do the same thing, day in and day out, for so long before it starts to wear on us. If you’ve noticed that you’ve been dreading waking up in the morning, or just find yourself losing interest in the things that you used to love doing, you might need a change in your routine.
Take a mental health day or a small vacation, grab a drink with a friend, or even consider looking for a new job. It’ll do you good, and it doesn’t require big changes if you’re not ready for that.
How long has it been since you really considered the role that you have in maintaining your own mental health?
PYM is here to remind you that learning to believe in the “it starts with me” mantra can have massive, positive effects on your entire life.
When you truly absorb that you have the power to control your attitude, and how you react to the things that happen to you, you’ll find that your life becomes just a little bit easier.