We all try to take time away from any bad habits that maybe causing our body sickness, and it’s important to remember that treating your mental health the same way is just as vital to your overall well-being.
Taking a mental health break from anything that is causing you anxiety or affecting how you deal with day to day life benefits you in the long term as it allows you to steer clear from destructive coping mechanisms, and improve your relationship with yourself as well as with those around you.
The Mental Health Foundation said that self-management for mental health enables a person to live a fuller, more active life, and is especially important for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder and other psychological problems.
Experts recommend foremost to identify the things or situations that cause a heavy impact on your mental health, and to follow it up with ways to reduce how you stress about it.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has tips on reducing your stress:
Accept your needs. “Recognize what your triggers are. What situations make you feel physically and mentally agitated? Once you know this, you can avoid them when it’s reasonable to, and to cope when you can’t,” said NAMI.
Manage your time. Prioritize your activities to help you make use of your time in a productive way. NAMI advises that making a day-to-day schedule can help in making sure you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Practice relaxation. Taking a deep breath during tense moments, progressive muscle relaxation, and even meditation are all good methods to calm one’s self.
Exercise daily. Exercise aids in producing stress-relieving “happy hormones” in the body to improve overall well-being. The Huffington Post has more reasons why it’s good to break a sweat for your mental health.
Set aside time for yourself. Include happy “me moments” for yourself in your schedule. It might be taking time to read light- hearted material, watching a movie, playing with your pet, or listening to music.
Eat well. Turns out the stuff we put in our body affects our mood more than we thought, so it might help to avoid too much food that can make you feel gross, like processed food and sugary drinks.
NAMI said eating healthy food like whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruit is the “foundation for a healthy body and mind.”
Get enough sleep. Symptoms of some mental health conditions, like mania in bipolar disorder, can be triggered by getting too little sleep, NAMI said.
Avoid alcohol and drugs. Mood-altering substances don’t work in reducing stress in the long haul and in fact may worsen it by affecting your sleep, appetite, and cause you to become addicted, NAMI warns.
If you’re struggling with substance abuse, educate yourself, or reach out to a loved one and get help.
Talk to someone. Engage with your friends, family, a counselor or a support group.