Life happens. It’s a reality we all face. We all have unique personal challenges and stresses. However, it doesn’t mean that we have to go through life constantly feeling stressed or unhappy. Good mental health takes work and conscious thought. Here are some tips to create better mental health, everyday:
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff - Write down a list of what’s important to prioritize and what isn’t. The things you write under “priorities” are where your energy will go. Reread it a second and third time and decide whether you’re still willing to put your limited energy resources in those areas.
2. Be realistic - A person is not a machine: we are human, flesh and blood, with real limitations. Don’t overschedule your days and then kick yourself, if you couldn’t get it all done. When creating your daily schedule, leave periods of time blank for taking breathers. Know you’re only one person with real limits.
3. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and embrace all of them - If you have a hard time visualizing this, write down two separate lists of each. Applaud yourself for what you are good at, and accept, with love, what is difficult for you. No one is perfect, and that’s okay and normal! Embrace yourself, for you have gifts to offer the world that no one else can.
4. Be the gatekeeper of your thoughts - We live in a society that always seems to be running somewhere, taking no time out to breathe and just be. Our constant mind chatter can be exhausting and leave us feeling depressed. However, you can control what you think about and for how long. It takes effort at first, to lasso in those wandering thoughts, but you can! You are the gatekeeper of your mind; don’t forget to take control.
5. Take care of your physical health - This can be challenging for many who are balancing numerous responsibilities. However, it is crucial. You can’t be calm, collected, and able to function at your best, if you’re constantly drained of energy. Eating healthy, taking time out daily to exercise, proper hygiene, and getting enough sleep, are crucial for good mental health. You can’t be a good role model or take care of others if you are not well cared for.
6. Distance yourself from unhealthy people and unhealthy relationships - This can be hard, especially if you are a giver. However, if certain relationships are depleting you and making you irritable, it’s time to say bye-bye.
7. Believe “yes you CAN!” - Don’t stop dreaming. A quote I saw today said “You don’t have to be great to start, but you can’t be great if you don’t start!” Embrace reality while striving for those dreams. Regret can be the worst thing a person can live with, so don’t forget your dreams are important!
8. Appreciate what you have -There is nothing more powerful than gratitude, and more destructive than envy. It may be hard, but you have to exercise your muscles in ignoring the neighbor’s grass. It’s not your grass. Once you embrace your own talents, possessions and resources that you’ve been blessed with, you’ll feel better about your life and circumstances. Gratitude is expressed in your attitude. Gratitude can help us feel we can handle anything life may throw at us, and that what we already have is good, abundant, and enough!
9. Create meaningful relationships - I know that while I don’t have a mile long list of friends, the few I do have are special and meaningful to me. We share our deepest, darkest secrets and our happiest blessings. We support each other in times of good and bad. People need relationships and to feel connected. Don’t underestimate the power of a good friend!
10. If you’re alive, you’re important and needed in this world - The goal here is not narcissism, however a healthy feeling of self-importance and purpose is crucial for optimal mental health. If you’re alive, you have a purpose here. The world needs your light! Embrace this as truth and go about your day shining your own special light that only you can shine.