Taking Care of Your Mental Health

LifehacksStudent Life
Jun 11, 2019

The current times have finally been kind to the idea of mental health, as more and more people are now talking about it. Steps are taken to end the stigmatization, and more so, there is a surge in the number of people reaching out to help. These improvements see that those affected are now slowly being empowered to open up and get the help they need. Educating people on what mental illnesses are really like is the priority, and movements on social media have helped tremendously. Society is slowly becoming progressive and inclusive on mental health, and it has been amazing. As great as it sounds, though, people still do not quite understand how to take care of their own mental well-being. It is so easy to call someone out for an insensitive remark on anxiety attacks on social media, but what do you do when a million thoughts invade your head before sleeping? Talking about it is one thing, but taking care of your mental health is another entirely different one.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Eat well.

You are probably unaware that what you put into your system actually affects your thought patterns and feelings.  An unhealthy diet, take for example the ultimate stereotype - greasy burger, fries on the side, and soda - can actually take a toll on your brain. Like a virus, this quickly spreads to your mood, sleep, energy, and even immune system. So, while the thought of eating an entire bag of Cheetos and an entire tub of ice cream for dinner seems sounds enticing, you must think of how it actually affects you – the long-term effects, so to speak. Perhaps your unhealthy eating habits make you cranky all the time, or might be the reason why you are feeling weaker in the knees. Switching to a balanced diet, which is usually low in sugar and high in healthy fats, will boost your energy, sleep, and mood. Overall, it helps you feel and look your best, helping you take care of your mental health in the process. People respond differently to certain foods, though, and it’s important that you understand which whole foods will work best for you. To begin, here are things you should be avoiding entirely:

  • Caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Trans fats or any food labeled with “partially hydrogenated” oil
  • Processed food or anything with added chemical preservatives 
  • Sugary snacks
  • Refined carbs (white rice or white flour)
  • Fried food

Eating better is a long process that entails patience and discipline, so remember to be kind yourself as you figure it out. 

Get moving.

Studies have shown time and time again that exercising leads to releasing endorphins, chemicals whose sole purpose is to lift your mood and provides for a healthy source of energy. Building a habit of moving can help tremendously in your journey of taking care of your mental health. Studies have shown major impact on the improvement of emotional and mental health problems. It has also been proven to relieve stress and help you sleep better.

But what if you hate exercising?

There is no need for you worry, you are not the only one. The thought of lifting weights, hitting that treadmill, or the horrible burpees is enough to make you scream a resounding “NO ”. And that is okay – being stuck in a gym with a trainer or strangers does seem overwhelming and boring. Lucky for you, you do not have to force yourself to participate there – there are other ways of staying active! Your window shopping can turn into a walkathon. You can take your beloved pet to the park and play catch. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. You can also walk instead of driving to your appointment – there are plenty of possibilities! You do not have to be drenched in sweat to get the exercise that you need. 

You may be tired of hearing this, but - sleep better.

Alright, you have a busy life. And that busy life requires you to cut back from sleep, which seems the right thing to do. Your mental health is non-negotiable, though, which means your sleep is, too. As you find ways of taking care of your mental health, keep in mind that skipping just a few hours can drastically affect your mood, energy, and overall mental capacity. If losing sleep has already become a habit, think about the kind of chaos it will bring to your entire life if you let it continue. 

Experts say that adults need around seven to nine hours of good sleep every night, but let us face it – sleeping the moment you close your eyes is nearly impossible. That is because your brain needs to slow down and unwind, too. While you have your hot bath and good meal, your brain may be glued to all that has happened within the day or distracted with that new show. Perhaps your idea of rewarding yourself is to catch up on cute cat videos on YouTube. Point is, failing to help your brain unwind will lead you to a poor night’s rest. Avoid screens two hours before sleeping. Put everything aside and work on arguments and controversial issues , brainstorming ideas, and yes, even worrying, in the morning instead. 

Give yourself a mental health day.

Contrary to what many of us believe, busyness does not equate to productivity. You can work forty hours a week, sometimes even on weekends. But that does not mean you’re performing at your best. The only likely outcome is exhaustion, both mentally and physically. So, as you begin taking care of your mental health, make it a part of your plan to give yourself a mental health day. You will know when to take it, perhaps once a month off of work, or every weekend as you reconnect with yourself. Pampering yourself after feeling low can bring wonders, and you will come back ready to seize the day. And oh, fight off any feeling of “ but this is selfish”. It is natural, especially if you are at that point in your life where everyone else is busy #hustling . That is not the case, though. You know deep down you deserve to slow down and recharge.

And yes, do practice mindfulness.

People mostly roll their eyes at the thought, because the practice seems ambiguous – what exactly does it do ? And what do I get out of it? It seems difficult, but mindfulness is actually something completely innate. If you choose to spend a bit of time to appreciate it, it becomes readily available for use whenever needed. Practicing mindfulness means the art of creating a space for yourself – a safe space – to breathe, relax, and separate ourselves from emotions. Psychologists promote this practice, as it reduces the effects of anxiety and helps you in taking care of your mental health. When you feel an onset of emotional attack, mindfulness can curb it. It is difficult to do at the beginning, so here is a little guide for you. 

  • Sit down and find a quiet and comfortable place. 
  • Set the time limit. If you are a beginner, choose a short time, anywhere from five minutes to ten. 
  • Pay close attention to your body. Make sure you are comfortable. 
  • The key to mindfulness is to feel your breath. Inhale and exhale, and focus on thing but that. 
  • Your mind will wander, and that is okay. As soon as you notice this, return your focus on your breathing pattern. 

Do not berate yourself for wandering, ever. Simply just come back to the exercise. 

Stay connected.

No matter how tempting, or how it would feel like it is for the best, never isolate yourself. Human beings need interactions, connections, and warmth. When facing a battle against your mind, it’s integral that you hold on to your loved ones. You are not a burden to them, and will never be. Interacting calms your nervous system, and relieves stress. Just having someone around to listen to you and help you make sense of what’s happening helps you in taking care of your mental health. 

Taking care of your mental health is difficult, yes, but absolutely necessary. Start now, and get that life you have always deserved. If you feel like something is wrong within yourself, however slight, seek help. If an aspect of your life is beginning to be a burden, reassess your priorities and seek help. If you are a student and you feel like your academic worries are taking over the other aspects of your life, stop and reevaluate what may be bogging you down. Help may come in the form of a short vacation. Or by way of a well-prepared dorm meal with your dormmates. Or enlisting the assistance of an essay writing service firm so you can unburden yourself.

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While it is undeniable that stigma surrounding mental health is still rife, it is safe to say that times are changing for the better. Now at the forefront of the today's more pressing issues, mental health does not deserve to be sneered at, for it is a medical matter. Your suffering or of those people you know cannot be labeled. Everybody copes differently, and feels differently. If you find that self-care just is not working as much as you would hoped, no matter how mild your symptoms may be, do not be afraid to ask for help. If you elect to do so, then our essay writing service at CustomEssayMeister are more than happy to assist. Be it custom essays, research papers, reaction papers, as long as it is academic writing, let our writers give you the break you deserve through custom written papers. Send us a message if you have any concerns before you order. 

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