Learn how to put your mental health first in life
So much has changed in this past year but I’m convinced that you can draw some positives from these strange times too. In all this slowing down, we’ve seen that taking care of ourselves and making our Mental Health a priority is one of them. With this in mind, here are my top tips on how to prioritise your mental health:
#1 Self-care is NOT selfish
It’s a sad truth that we will prioritise everyone else around us before ourselves. However, in order to function at our best, we really need to make time to rest, replenish and regain our energy. Think of it as protecting yourself from burnout! We like to think of self-care as damage prevention or self-preservation.
#2 Nourish your Mind:Body:Soul
Think of it as 3 circles overlapping each other. You can find a sense of wholeness right in the centre if you treat each with kindness, care and respect. Feeding each element will help you maintain a more balanced lifestyle, have a healthier mindset and be more resilient to deal with whatever life throws your way.
We’ve used the Mind:Body:Soul elements as the main principle in our Positive Wellness Journal. Our Orange one brings together tools and exercises for each in a holistic approach for complete body awareness.
#3 Get organised
This can take the form of simple daily rituals like list-making or maybe a planning session on a Sunday that could help you feel more in control of the week ahead. We suggest putting pen to paper and mapping things out to try and find a little calm in the chaos. Scheduling in your self-care and positive moments will help you carve out time and make them happen - key in the process of learning how to prioritise your mental health.
Our Positive Bullet Diary is fab for bringing together all your organisational needs like this, but if you’re looking for a quick exercise that will help you focus on your current feelings and worries, our Braintangle can really help.
We created this for our original Positive Planner and it’s a great way to work through your feelings, analyse what you think could help you and create an action plan to put these into place.
If you’re new to the Braintangle and would like to learn more, take a look at the IGTV I did here on how to get started.
#4 Ditch the guilt and be your own best friend
Finding a positive way to talk to yourself can really help your sense of wellbeing. All too often we can slip into that familiar negative quicksand. Your inner narrative needs to be on your team too.
Realising that you’re doing your best and that’s all you can really do is quite liberating. Try and respond to your irrational thoughts with more of a rational ‘wise’ voice, ask yourself if what you’re saying to yourself is kind. Would you say that to a friend? If the answer’s no, then maybe have a word with yourself.
This article gives some really good background to the subject of positive self-talk, the science behind it and some techniques you can use to work your way out of it.
#5 Calm your mind
Find a mindful activity to help you process the many threads of life that you have running at the same time. Something repetitive can really help your mind unwind - we especially love things such as mindful colouring, which you’ll find in all our books.
In addition to these kinds of activities, we also believe that having something to do that is off-screen can really help reduce anxiety and calm your frazzled brain. Think of it like giving your head a hug. Whatever brings you back to the most authentic version of yourself is what you should be striving to make time for.
#6 Circle of trust
We all need to have a team we can turn to and trust with our deepest thoughts. It’s important to keep talking and communicating your feelings in times of stress and anxiety.
You'll probably have found in the last months that your true friends will have become evident to you. Who were you in contact with the most? Who did you miss during lockdown?
We suggest only ever investing in friendships with people that feel as though they really have your back. We all need to be heard and having conversations rooted in trust and truth can really help you work through your problems.
#7 Get the professionals in
Sometimes you might not feel that the people in your life have the time to listen or don’t truly have the ability to understand what you need. If this is the case, my advice would be to find people that do. Whether that means finding a mindset coach to help you or maybe you need a therapist that can help you work through some of your concerns. What you need is people to effectively ‘hold space’ for you. A place to talk about the things coming up and find ways of coping with them.
You might like to take a look at our Mental Health Links here for some places that might be able to offer support to you.
#8 Move your body
Sometimes it really is the last thing you want to do, but it’s proven that getting the blood flowing really does improve your mood. It also helps increase the serotonin levels in your body, so staying physically healthy can often be the key to keeping mentally healthy too. It’s all about balance!
But it doesn’t have to be about hitting the gym or lifting weights - find something that works for you and your body. The main thing is simply to raise your heart rate and move in some way. There are a lot of online classes available right now and they are most often very inclusive. We guarantee that you’ll get that post-workout glow whatever you do!
#9 Find your joy
What brings a smile to your face? It could be nature, family or even something adrenaline-seeking. We don’t know what makes you tick, but you do! So go ahead, be a thrill seeker and find the joy in your life again.
Joy is a crucial part of looking after your wellbeing. If it’s been a while since you felt that warm fuzzy feeling then we suggest journaling about all the times you felt true joy and try to make more of those things happen again!
Finding joy in a like-minded online community is also something you could explore. Our private Positive Planner Facebook Group is all about finding joy in self-care. If you’re looking for some fun chat around self-care, journaling and some serious Hump Day squirrel feels, we’d love to have you join us!
#10 Get real
Being realistic and accepting your reality is essential if you want to prioritise your mental health. I love this quote by the late American professional tennis player Arthur Asche:
Shining a light on things that are getting you down and facing them head-on is so important. The stressors in our lives can have a huge effect on our mental health. We try and encourage people to write down their worries in a journal and this can really help unearth what is keeping you from living to your full potential. Because let’s face it, if you don’t work, not much else in your life will.
I really hope these tips help you prioritise your mental health. I’d love to know if you find them helpful.
Much love and positive vibes to you all,