8 Points about Dealing with Mental Health Issues.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

This post is intended mainly as a reference for people both starting out in their battle against mental health issues and for those who have been battling them for some time but have lost their way a bit (which can definitely happen!)

Like any illness you have to battle it every single day. Like a person with an addiction would. Each day is different and should be dealt with as it comes but while that sounds simple enough sometimes the simple practices we put in place to help us can slide by the wayside because of work, personal stuff or simply because life gets in the way. 

So here are my top pointers that I feel need to be understood when tackling mental health issues.

1) Only YOU can do it.

No matter what kind of support network we have, only YOU can deal with what is going on in your mind truly. People or counsellors can give you advice, listen and implement tips and tricks to help but if you don't make changes or put those tips and tricks into practice then nothing will ever change .

2) Talking Helps.

It really does. I didn't see the benefit of seeing a counsellor until I had been seeing her once a week for about two months. At first I felt awkward and unsure on what was meant to go on but eventually I realised that as much as it was dealing with existing deep rooted issues it was also a great way to offload current worries and issues that were presenting themselves. It was nice to have an impartial person to dump my worries and problems onto and get advice from who had nothing to do with my personal life.

3) Exercise Helps.

We all know this and yet many of us still don't do it. I am guilty of this too sometimes. If you can't afford the gym go for a half hour walk every day instead. That is all it would take.  Exercise can be as effective to the mind as anti depressants in some cases. I find it best to walk with no distractions; no phone or music and no thoughts, just a clear mind. Take in the here and now and your current surroundings. You will feel great for it trust me.

4) Living Day by Day is the Only Way.

OK that sounds a bit dramatic but if you suffer especially with anxiety then future upcoming events or tasks can sometimes be a huge contributor to how we feel. Not only that, when you are feeling particularly anxious or down the thought of the future in itself can make you feel awful. Focus on today and today only. Deal with how you feel now and how you can make the best of the day ahead.

5) Set Tasks to Help You.

I am now a huge fan of lists and tasks. I feel it organises my thoughts and stops overthinking and it also means I know exactly what I am meant to do for the day and stick to it. I don't start thinking about tasks for other days and if I do I put them out of my mind and stick with the current tasks in hand. Sometimes if I am really low I make tasks lists as simple as:

Wake Up.
Make Bed.
Get Dressed.
Put on Make Up.
Make Breakfast.

Seems silly but when you feel low it is harder to get up in the morning whereas if you know you have a task list to follow your brain is clearer and you can force yourself up and on with the day. 

6) Do Simple Things that Make You Happy.

They can cost money if you want them to or it can be as simple as making time once a week to go for a coffee with friends, read your book or have a long bubble bath. Something for YOU and YOU only. Shutting out the rest of the world.

7) Surround Yourself With Positive People.

The people in your life should make you happy and build you up. If they don't they don't belong. Seriously. Who wants people in their life who makes you feel shit about yourself? It may seem harsh and I am by no means saying you have to have a big confrontation with them just phase them out of your life. They may as good friend for others but not you. 

8) Be Honest.

If you're not having a great day don't hide it from loved ones. Tell them. Not only will it make you feel better for being honest it will also reassure them that if you're moody or quiet it isn't anything they have done.

*Disclaimer, Please note that I am not a medical professional just someone living with depression and anxiety, I don't claim to have all the answers just tips and advice that helped me.

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