Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
At some point, we are all likely to deal with the giant that is mental health issues, whether we are experiencing them personally or directly helping someone who might live with them. While working with medical professionals to get to the bottom of and help with these issues are key, our lifestyle can also have a massive impact on them. As such, there might be some lifestyle changes you can make to address emotional health problems you or someone you love has been experiencing lately.
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Something to do
It might sound like a flippant piece of advice to “get a hobby,” but it is anything but. From painting to playing musical instruments to writing to knitting, activities that are in any way creative, engaging, or make use of your imagination have been found to have huge mental health benefits. Aside from being a welcome distraction from what your brain is saying to you, they also give you the means to express yourself and put energy into something constructive and fun rather than destructive thought cycles.
The better you treat your body, the easier it is for your mind to take care of itself. For one, exercise can help release positive feeling neurotransmitters like endorphins and dopamine that can cause both a short-term mood boost and long-term improvement in symptoms like stress and depression. Exercise allows us to take control of our lives which can help fight issues like low self-esteem and confidence, as well. It’s important to have someone that you can work towards and see the improvements in directly, such as your own fitness levels.
Finding your community
It can be hard to control, sometimes, but bad living situations and toxic communities can exacerbate mental health issues greatly. Self-care does sometimes include cutting of those people who harm your mental health. However, there are also communities that offer things like upscale sober living property that are purpose to built to help address certain forms of mental and emotional illness. As mentioned, it’s not always easy to simply move, but it might be a long-term goal to start planning for if you’re wondering what you can do to improve your mental health.
Talking about it
If you haven’t already found someone you can share your experiences with, then you might want to look at online counselling and chat services that can help you get anything and everything off your chest. Some of these aren’t as well suited to providing therapy or direct advice but being able to express your concerns can help you get them out of your head, allowing you a fresh perspective on them. It can also help to remove the taboo of talking about it, allowing you to more regularly look at solutions without feelings of embarrassment or shame.
Mental health is becoming much more of a conversation at the forefront of daily living as we continue to explore just how widespread it is. Simply talking about the solutions above can help us eliminate the stigma and help us be more focused on our own recovery and health.