Mental health is a really difficult subject to talk about for a lot of people, and I thoroughly respect why. I understand that everyone who suffers with mental health issues, suffers differently. There are many different mental health illnesses. I am definitely no expert, however as someone who has lived with these issues since I was 13 I understand the difficulties people face.
I personally have suffered with depression and anxiety, to the point where anxiety and panic attacks were common in my everyday life. I am very lucky to have been able to pull my self out of some really dark times. This was never easy, but along the way I have found that some certain life changes that I made did make it much easier to find the strength to lift myself up.
Here are 6 techniques/changes I have used over the years that have really worked for me. I still implement these techniques in my every day life as they have really improved my mental health and I hope they work for you too.
Reduce your time on social media
Personally one of my biggest struggles has come from social media, I have already mentioned this in my previous blog post - but ever since being a teenager I have really struggled with the use of social media. I believe a lot of my lack of "self love" came from comparing my life to others online. Whether these people were celebrities or people in my town, I always felt as though everyone was doing better than me, or living the life I wanted to live. This is where you need to realise that social media is someones "highlight reel" and it is not real life. It doesn't show the quiet times, or the reality of what someones life is like behind closed doors and it is really difficult to relate your everyday life with these images.
This is where I decided that social media was making me really unhappy. I decided that I would minimise my time online and focus on other things such as spending time talking to my friends and family, either face to face or on the phone instead. Or being productive by choosing to clean my room, or go on a walk etc. I can't even explain to you the difference it has made to my life, it allowed me to become grateful for the life I have as I was now unaware of what was going on in others lives. This is probably my biggest tip for improving your mental health if you struggle with comparing your life to others. "Out of sight, out of mind" really, really works.
Another MASSIVE tip I have for improving your mental health is to start journalling. This can be just jotting down your feelings daily, making a note of how your day has been or to use gratitude journalling. I have found that in 6 months of journalling I have been able to become in tune with my feelings, and really understand what things make me happy vs unhappy. I believe that understanding yourself and how you work is one of the best things you can invest your time in and journalling really allows you to open up. The other great thing about journalling is that if you are not quite ready to talk to others about your struggles, you can use journalling to let out your feelings without having to open up to others yet.
Talk to your friends and family about how you feel
Like I mentioned above, it is incredibly important to talk about your feelings and sometimes it can be really difficult to open up. However, talking to your friends and family about your struggles will help you feel better, and more supported. Others opinions may also give you an insight on how you can help yourself moving forward.
Try and fit exercise into your routine
I am in no way, shape or form a good role model when it comes to working out. But I have found that running, and being out in the fresh air can thoroughly help you when it comes to your mental health. By exercising you release hormones that increase your happiness, but as well as this, you are able to push yourself and really have time with your thoughts whilst doing something that is good for your health.
Focus on self care
It is really important to not only take care of your mind but take care of your body. I don't mean "self care" as in pampering yourself daily, but by having one evening a week to yourself to have a bath and relax will really do you the world of good. My self care nights are Sunday evenings, and it really prepares me mentally and physically for the new week ahead. I wash my hair, pop some tan on, paint my nails etc. as they are all things I like to do in order to feel put together. Having this time out for myself to just relax really helps me before a new, busy week ahead.
I have also found that meditating, or spending 10 minutes just relaxing with your eyes closed allows your mind to settle, and for you to readjust how you are feeling. You can find loads of good meditating videos on YouTube, and the app "Calm" is also great to help you become in tune with your feelings.
I hope this list of tips has given you an insight into what has helped me over the years to create a routine, and to allow myself to understand who I am and what makes me happy. I am in no way suggesting these techniques cured my mental health illnesses, but they did allow me to understand myself and find things that increased my happiness.
If you are struggling with mental health issues, my biggest advice is to try and find things that you can put into your daily routine that you will look forward to, and to find things that make you happy. This may be trial and error, but have the strength and courage to keep fighting. And please know my inbox is always open to anyone who needs a friend.
Love, Moll x
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