Supporting your mental health, today and every day
In a world where the only thing that is certain is change, it is more important than ever to take care of your mental health. And while taking care of your mind can seem like a full-time job, below are some consistent tools to help support your mental health in just minutes a day.
1. Pause and take a break, or a mini time-out. We tend to go-go-go and unfortunately because of our busy lives, we often miss signals that our brain and body are giving us to slow down. By pausing, we can ground ourselves and learn ways to respond as opposed to react out of emotion. While you are taking this break, it is helpful to do a breathing exercise to help you focus on the present.
2. Accept that there will be things out of your control. During stressful situations, we often have those “what-if” thoughts, which is focusing on the future and what has not happened yet, or the “should have, would have, could have” thoughts, which is focusing on the past. These types of thoughts are focusing on things that are out of our control. When you find yourself in this spin, pause and know that there are also always things in our control.
Be kind to yourself and know that this is not easy, but also not impossible. It takes practice and patience.– DR RACHEL GOLDMAN PHD
3. Focus on what you can control. It’s important to remember that there are many things IN your control. We can’t always control others or what is going on in the world, but we CAN control our thoughts and our reactions. Our thoughts, emotions and behaviors are all linked. So, by changing the way we think and act, it can affect the way we feel. Take stock of your power and what you can do to help any situation.
4. Make a list. Many times, we repeat things to ourselves, so we don’t forget them, such as our to-do list. By simply writing those lists down, it decreases the stress because we can now visually see what we have do and this makes it feel less overwhelming and allows us to feel more in control. Now we can prioritize our list and start crossing things off, which always feels good and allows us to feel accomplished.
5. Practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself and know that this is not easy, but also not impossible. It takes practice and patience, but you can do it. Focus on one affirmation like “You’ve got this” and say it often.
It’s important to learn ways to destress in the moment when we are feeling overwhelmed, or when things get to be too much. Taking just a few minutes will support a better mind will create a better path to mental well-being. Practice one of the above tips each day this week and monitor how it makes you feel.