Wednesday, March 25, 2020


By Patrick Adams

How to Look After Your Mental Health & Wellbeing

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Until recently, mental health and mental illnesses have been a taboo topic. People were shamed for having mental disorders and little to no resources were invested in the area of mental health. Mental disorders and other related problems were usually disregarded and people were treated horribly. Some were locked up in tiny rooms, while others underwent painful and dangerous procedures in order to "get cured". Even if some disorders can't be eliminated, with the help of psychologists and psychiatrists, patients can learn to undisturbedly function in society.

Only by the end of 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, people realised how important mental hygiene is. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. However, we can’t rush to therapy every time we run into a problem; we think we can’t solve. That’s why it’s important to learn how to look after our mental health and wellbeing.

1. Talk about your feelings

When negative emotions bottle up, they cause that irritating, uncomfortable lump in the throat. It makes you want to cry out of frustration or do and say something you might regret. These piled up feelings may cause anxiety and depression that is demanding to deal with. That’s why talking about your feelings is essential before they cause harm to your physical and mental health.

Talking about your feelings can be scary and distressing. However, if you know how to properly express your emotions it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s a healthy release if it’s done in a non-judgemental environment. It doesn’t matter if you’re opening up to your family member, friend or a therapist, as long as you feel accepted. Throwing temper tantrums, yelling and guilt-tripping the other side is everything but a civilised, mature conversation. On the other hand, you shouldn’t lie about your feelings. If you’re feeling angry or disappointed, let them know. In case you get the negative reaction or the reaction you didn't expect, it's only a reflection of their (mis)understanding of mental health and how you feel. Don’t forget that talking about the problem is the right path to recovery.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

2. Don’t neglect physical activity

Even if you’ve had a deep, meaningful conversation with your friend about your thoughts, worries and feelings, you can’t expect to feel magically better right away. Some issues can’t be resolved straight away, and the healing process may take some time. But this doesn’t mean that you should give up on your mental health and expect things to meliorate by themselves. Take the matter into your hands and work on your recovery.

Have you ever heard about feel-good hormones? Those hormones are secreted when you’re physically active, which means that you should get out of bed and do some light exercises or yoga. Physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean joggingswimming, or playing basketball; simple movement around the house or walk to the park is enough to start hormone secretion. Even though it may be difficult to leave the bed when you’re feeling anxious, stretching those tensed and stressed muscles will get you back on track. Besides that, by working out you’re increasing your lung capacity which allows more oxygen to the brain, calming you down. The type of activity doesn’t matter, the persistence is important.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Adams

3. Do something you love

Not everyone finds physical activity useful. Sometimes other issues and disabilities are stopping us from reaching our full potential through it. This doesn’t imply that you should give in and stay depressed for the rest of your life. But on the contrary, you should try to find the best way to keep your mind off of negative thoughts. And it is by doing something you love.

To be honest, when you have depression or other mental disorders, it’s quite hard to stay focused and motivated to do anything. That’s why it’s fairly important to keep our body and mind busy with things we love to do. By doing things you love and enjoy, your motivation increases. Simple life satisfaction is enough to make you happy, at least for a while. Organise a film night with family, dinner with your significant other, or shopping with your best friend to lift your mood. Additionally, consider taking up an exciting hobby. Even something light like gardening or pottery is an amazing coping mechanism. Life is filled with small pleasures, and learning how to appreciate them will make your recovery process easier for you and your environment.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

4. Relax

To be fair, 21st-century life is pretty stressful for an average man. People are constantly overworked trying to earn enough money to live comfortably, that they sometimes forget to take a break and relax. Working 12-hour shifts 7 days a week is extremely tiring and leaves you almost no time to rest. This can cause burnout and a wide range of mental problems including depression and anxiety.

Your body and mind can benefit from relaxing for at least 20 minutes a day. Take time to close your eyes and breathe deeply. Deep breaths help you relax your muscles and slow down the heart rate. Consider going for a relaxing massage once a week to fully loosen up the stiff muscles and stress zones. However, getting a pro massage can be quite expensive. Instead of that, show how much you care about your and your family’s mental health by getting a massage chair. Getting a high-quality therapeutic massage chair that includes neck massage and stress relief is an ideal relaxation method for everyone, including the elderly, children and pregnant women. So, sit back and relax.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

5. Talk to a professional

Sometimes fighting a big issue can be so demanding it leaves us with no resources to cope with everyday life. Being stuck at the dead-end can be frustrating leaving you helpless, which causes anxiety and neurosis. Instead of spinning around in the loop, try solving the problem by seeking professional help. The hardest part of the healing process is admitting that you need expert advice.

Let's face it, most people were raised to believe that suppressing your negative emotions is the healthy way of coping with problems when in reality it's the opposite. Talking to a professional isn’t a sign of weakness. Rather than wallowing in self-pity, admit that you have limitations and that you require assistance to overcome them. But be careful with the help you’re offered. Sometimes we throw the best ideas out of the window simply because we’re not ready for the change. Appreciate the time your therapist is investing in you, but stay realistic with your goals according to your possibilities. Change can’t magically happen overnight.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash


Problems related to mental health don't only affect people with mental illness or disorder. Mental health is about every day life, interactions with our surroundings, and successfully coping with difficult situations and people. Just like physical health, you should be aware of your mental health. So, talk about your feelings, spend time with people you love, and do things you enjoy. But most importantly, don’t neglect your wellbeing. If you’re feeling unwell, seek help and consolation. Remember that you’re only human and that limitations are natural; so, love every part of yourself and strive to be a better person every day.

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