Best Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy in Difficult Times


In difficult times, it can be very hard to remember to focus on yourself, and to take a look at your mental health and wellbeing every now and then. However, there are some ways to avoid stress and anxiety, and to try to keep your mental health up, so that it becomes easier to deal with problems, and harder to break down.

1) Don't overwork yourself.

It can be really easy to get wrapped up in work and in all the things you have to do, but sometimes it's helpful to remember to slow down. Every now and then, remember to take a break and keep some time just for yourself, to relax. This will help your brain to process all the information at a healthy rate, and will stop you from feeling too overwhelmed.

2) Learn new things.

Make your days fun and exciting by constantly learning new things, and cultivating new hobbies. This can be anything from cooking to knitting to playing an instrument, as long as it's something that you genuinely want to do, and something that you think will enrich your time, and be a healthy, relaxing experience for your mind.

3) Enjoy the little things!

Sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in all the really big problems, and forget why life is so great in all its tiny intricacies. Whenever you get overwhelmed, take a few moments to focus on something really small that can make a difference to you personally. Listen to your favourite song, eat a homemade snack, light a candle that reminds you of a warm memory, put on a soft jumper, pet a dog or cat. Anything that makes you feel happy, and that helps you to recognise the beauty in the little things.

4) Take care of your body.

Physical and mental health are more intertwined than you might think. If your body is unhealthy and unhappy, then your mind will be too. Learn to care for your body and yourself like you're caring for a loved one. Eat a healthy amount of balanced foods, drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep, excercise, meditate, whatever you prefer. As your body becomes healthier, your mind will too.

5) Soak up the sunlight.

Natural light is one of the biggest sources of serotonin for the human body; essentially the 'happy' chemical. Studies have shown that light therapy can combat depression, but on a smaller scale, why not try to combat smaller, every-day issues by staying out in the sunlight as much as you can. It'll make you feel a lot happier, and a lot less stressed.

6) Positive affirmation.

It's really important to keep your motivation and self-worth up. At least a few times per day, remind yourself how great you are, and how many challenges you've already overcome. Motivate yourself as you would motivate anyone else. Act like you're confident, and eventually, you'll start to believe it.

7) Become the person you want to be.

This seems like a really difficult one, but it doesn't have to be all big changes, all at once. You can start off with something as simple as dying your hair that colour you've always wanted, or giving a little money to charity to feel good about what you're putting out into the world. Model yourself into the person you've always wanted to become, with every little decision you make, and eventually you'll get there.

8) Break problems down.

When big issues come your way, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, and stay up all night worrying about them. Instead, why not write them down? Make a list of every single problem you have, and if there's any way to solve them, then write down every step you need to take. Then go to sleep. You can deal with it in the morning.

9) Breathe!

This seems very basic, but it's absolutely essential. Stress and anxiety can often lead to panic attacks, and one of the best ways to avoid or control this is through breathing. Learn to control and relax your breathing, maybe through meditation or similar, and everytime you feel overwhelmed just go to your happy place and breathe.

10) Ask for help.

All of these tips are helpful when it comes to moderate stress problems, but if you have bigger issues that might present a danger to yourself, then there's nothing wrong with asking for help. Connect with your family and friemds, and speak to people that you trust about what's going on. It might feel impossible, but I promise you that lots of people love you, and will want to help you, no matter what you're going through.

Penny Beretta
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Enjoys art, literature, and linguistics. Fluent in English, Italian, and learning French.