Taking Care of Your Mental Health
It’s long been understood that your health is your foundation, as without it, life becomes a struggle yet this often refers to one’s physical health. Today, we are realising that mental health is just as important, if not, more important than our physical health… and society is being encouraged to take mental health issues much more seriously - seeing them as a tangible condition rather than something people make up in order to placate a particular need.
Self care, and taking care of your mental/emotional health is incredibly important for everyone, no matter whether you suffer from a mental health condition or not; yet, if you have been diagnosed with a particular condition, then taking care of your mental health is even more important for you.
This is similar to how, managing your sugar intake each day is important for everyone in order to live a healthy and balanced life - yet, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, for instance, then your sugar intake becomes much more important to keep in check.
If you have been diagnosed with a condition, it’s important you realise you’re more than your diagnosis - and not let it get in the way of you living a fulfilled life. In many ways, if you have been suffering with your emotional health it can be helpful to receive a formal diagnosis as a reassurance, to let you know that you’re not alone and that you’re not crazy… which is how it can sometimes feel, if we are acting in ways we find abnormal and don’t quite understand why we’re doing what we’re doing.
Indeed, there can be something reassuring about being assessed by a psychiatrist, as often we read up about conditions on the internet, and often feel like we tick a few boxes in all sorts of diagnostic criteria. In fact it’s not uncommon for someone to present with little more than hypochondriacal tendencies, thinking they are “broken” when in fact they’re just having a tough time due to environmental and circumstantial factors.
No matter what, it’s important for all of us to take care of our mental health and here are three simple things you can do to help take care of your own emotional health.
IN THE WORKPLACE
Today, mental health in the workplace is becoming much more recognised and respected as a legitimate condition that requires reasonable adjustments to be made; indeed, the term reasonable adjustments comes from what is written in law - as today, just how an employer must make adjustments for a physically handicapped person to be able to work, they must also be mindful of the needs of someone that suffers with their mental health.
It’s important you tell people if you are struggling, as still today, all too many people phone in sick complaining of a migraine or stomach upset in order to disguise their mental health issue as being the reason for needing time off. It’s important you do explain what’s really going on, however, as this way you can be fully supported rather than feel distanced from your colleague and the support work can bring, or even being tense about getting ‘caught’
TAKE TIME OUT FOR YOURSELF
For instance, you could go to the lake with an inflatable canoe or kayak (find the best one for your circumstances here), pack a picnic, and enjoy a day out on the water; whether you choose a tandem kayak, meaning you can take along a friend, or an individual boat just for you… this is a great way to unwind, destress and reconnect with nature. Indeed, water is known for being emotionally soothing as the energy of water is linked with the emotional self, and therefore, if you are feeling particularly stressed or upset, it can be good to head to the water - be that the sea, a stream, a waterfall or even a manmade lake if you live in a large city.
Exercise is a fantastic cure when it comes to rising up from low-mood, the endorphins that are released into your body during exercise are natural mood enhancers, whilst the social aspect of exercise can often lift us. Then, there are the physical benefits in terms of progress; if you’re feeling blue about your body, for instance, after a few weeks of doing exercise you’ll notice a physical change in your body - and this can have a huge affect on your self-esteem.