5 Methods of Managing Mental Health

5 Methods of Managing Mental Health

It was Mental Health Awareness Week.
Jessica
Jessica
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The first week of October is Mental Health Awareness Week. I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about something that is often ignored by society and a larger taboo to talk abo ut openly. Mental health is an aspect of ourselves we cannot ignore for too long, otherwise we risk hurting ourselves. So I thought I would put out there some ways to help alleviate the pressure of having a mental illness.

1. Be open with people.

Being open about what you're dealing with is truly horrendously difficult - we are always worried we will be judged. We always worry this will result in being abandoned or more trauma from revealing it. But people will always surprise you with how open they can be. No matter what, it's important to let your family and friends in on what's happening in your life. Don't lean on them too much where they might feel overwhelmed, but if they are important to you they should know for your safety.

2. Don't fall into the stigma.

Falling into the stigma and thinking or believing something is wrong with you will only make it worse. I know how hard it is to not have those thoughts and think all of those things about yourself, but it's particularly dangerous because it lead to feelings such as lack of self worth. These feelings could, in turn, prevent you from getting the help you need. People often don't go to talk therapy or counseling because they refuse to admit they have a problem. Admitting something is wrong is perhaps the first step to figuring out how to go about it, and ultimately make yourself feel better.

3. Know when you can't be a therapist anymore.

Friends often can turn to you when they need help, but you can't always be emotionally available. It can be hard to say you need to focus on yourself, but if you need to have some time to yourself it's perfectly okay and don't feel bad about it.

4. Practice self-care.

Get into the habit of going to bed at a certain time. Eating regularly. Keeping up on schoolwork if you can. Relaxing during the day or setting aside time for a hobby.

5. Journaling/meditation/yoga etc.

Practice methods of relaxation, such as yoga or journaling to organize your head at the end of the day. It can be a way to prevent further anxieties or issues.



Cover Image Credit: Psychologyhacked.com

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.
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It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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The Lazy Girl's Guide To The Gym

Also, everything else you should know if you're a slightly out-of-shape girl (like me).

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With my freshman year coming to an end, I realized a lot of things. I made new friends, I found new hobbies, and I learned a lot of lessons. One of them being that the "Freshman 15" is very real and very scary.

While my friends and family have attempted multiple times to convince me that I'm just being dramatic (I am), I still want to make a change in my lifestyle or I will, in all seriousness, be on track to the "Sophomore 20".

Here is a list of my best gym and healthy lifestyle tips that I am slowly attempting to live by this summer in order to resurrect Emily's 18-year-old body and health.

1. Increase water intake.

2. Find a gym buddy.

3. Start off with cardio.

4. Don't stop on your cardio until you're dripping in sweat.

5. Chug a LOT of water an hour before the gym.

Do not do it right before, or you will be in pain.

6. Eat light beforehand but just enough to hold you over. 

7. Plan out what your routine will be BEFORE you get there.

My routine: Elliptical for a mile, Stairmaster for 10 minutes, ab HIIT workout for 10 minutes, 5 more minutes on Stairmaster.

8. Buy healthy foods while you're feeling motivated.

9. Find a gym that isn't too far from your house. 

10. Don't get mad at yourself if you don't see results in a day.

I know this is a hard one.

11. Try fitness classes. 

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