17 Ways To Help Yourself Mentally

17 Ways To Help Yourself Mentally

You are the most important person to take care of.

Life has many ups and downs. There will be good days and there will be bad days. And on top of that, you have many responsibilities as a high schooler and an adult. We all have one of those days where we are just extremely drained from everything and just want to take a break from all of our responsibilities. Also, life is tough. We all have things to worry and stress about and sometimes, is hard to stay happy all the time. Mental health is very important to take care just as your physical health. Here are ways to help yourself mentally.

1. Start your day off with something you like to do

Whether it's drinking coffee or having a dance party, start the day off with something that makes you wake up and feeling energize and ready to take on the day.

2. Spend time with your friends and family

Family and friends are important, so build the relationships with them by spending more time with them. It'll help you get your mind off of things and you can have fun.

3. Write down your feelings

I love journaling because it allows you to take things out on paper and it's a stress reliever. Writing down your feelings helps you stay focus and helps you feel relaxed.

4. Smile

They say if you smile throughout the day, you'll genuinely feel happy and positive.

5. Give yourself a day off

If you need a day off, then take it. Mental health is just as important as physical health and if you're not feeling good mentally, you should take a day to rest and focus on yourself.

6. Go to therapy

Find a good therapist that you are able to talk to comfortably and get help. Therapy is a good way to help yourself mentally and helps you keep track of things.

7. Exercise and eat healthy

Give your body the right nutrients it needs and exercise. Exercising releases endorphins, which is why you feel more energized and happy after working out.

8. Meditation

Meditation can help you relax and allows you to focus on yourself more. Just 5 minutes everyday and you should feel more relaxed and focus.

9. Go out

Going out and having fun does help. It's gives you a break from all of the other things going on and you can have fun with your friends while doing whatever. It's like a stress reliever and you can take your mind off things.

10. Have a good support system

Having a good support system can really boost your mental health. Having the reassurance that you are going to do great things in life and having someone motivating you to do things really helps.

11. Listen to music

Music is such a great way to help you feel better. It kind of takes you to a different place and makes you forget about the worries that you have. Plus, you can have a dance party and who wouldn't want to do that?

12. Catch up on sleep

Sleep is important. I know that sleep is a luxurious thing now that we have more responsiblties and such, but catch up on sleep. It'll help your mental health and help you focus more.

13. Take a break from social media

Social media can be exhausting and frustrating at times. Taking a break from it can help you focus less on what other people are doing with their lives and help you focus more on your own life and can help you feel better.

14. Give kindness

Being nice to other people can really make you feel better. You probably made someone's day just by giving a nice smiling and talking to them.

15. Get toxic people out of your life

Toxic people drain you mentally and emotionally. Get them out of your life before if affects you even more.

16. Balance your time well

Have a planner and make a list of things to do, so you don't get overwhelmed with all the work. Also, balancing your time can help you have time for yourself.

17. Communicate with your loved ones

Talk to your loved ones. Talking to your loved ones can help you take you mind off things and having a good support system can help you feel like you have people to fall back on.

Life is too short, so get the help you need to live the life you want to live. Let's help ourselves be the best that we can be and start fresh.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Understanding What It's Like To Live With An Anxiety Disorder

Having no control over your own mind is scary.

Anxiety disorders are no fun for anyone. Most people don't understand what it's like to be someone who suffers from one. They come without warning and without reason. As I am writing this, I am awake at an ungodly hour due to this stupid battle my mind is having with itself.

Let me help those of you who do not understand what this illness is like.

At random moments, I will get this building worry and fear that something isn't right. Everything could be just perfectly fine, but my mind will trick itself into believing that something is wrong.

It will convince itself that my life is falling apart. I will worry about one thing one minute and talk 90 to nothing then start to worry about another thing. My mind constantly switches back and forth and will convince itself that things are worse than what they really are.

All the while, I'm trying so hard to calm myself down... but it is impossible.

It will send me into a depression. A depression that causes me to hate myself for being so crazy and irrational at times. This depression is the worst part. It causes me to want to space myself from the world and everyone around me. It causes me to feel alone with my illness, and it will cause me to be too terrified to talk those that are closest to me about what it is that I need from them.

I feel needy, and I'm repulsed. But I can't help it.

The hardest thing is for me to find peace with myself during the depression stage. Most times, it switches back to worry and will keep me up all night. Staying up all night causes me to feel irritable the next day, which in turn causes those around me to steer clear. Which in turn causes me to go right back into depression and battle myself for being mentally ill.

You see, there's something those of you who don't suffer from anxiety need to understand: WE CAN'T CONTROL IT.

No, it doesn't make us crazy. We don't need you to tell us that we are acting crazy. We are already well aware of this and telling us that will only make our condition worse.

It will come at the most inconvenient times. When it happens, just please be patient and understanding with us. The attack will eventually pass, and when it does, we'll be back to normal. The worst thing you could do is bring up anything we were previously worried about.

Doing so will only trigger another attack. Understand that it's you and us vs. the illness. We hate it, you hate it, we're on the same team here. The best thing you can do during an attack is to just listen, and know that there are times we need you to hold us, and times we need you to leave us alone. Know that sometimes you'll be the trigger for the attack.

Don't take it personally. And please, for the sake of humanity, don't tell us that we're overreacting, that we need to calm down, or that worrying isn't going to make anything any better. If we could stop worrying, don't you think we would have already?

Dating someone with an anxiety disorder isn't easy, at all. It requires giving that person a lot of attention that you normally wouldn't have to do. That doesn't mean the sufferer constantly needs you to be stuck up his or her butt 24/7, but it does mean that when he or she is under attack you need to be there.

If someone you love is having an anxiety attack, ask them what they need. Most of the time they know what they need from you to help make it better, but they're too scared to tell you. Let them know that you genuinely want to help in any way that you can, and be okay with it if they tell you nothing and to just listen. Get to know their illness better.

Everyone's anxiety disorder is different.

Try to understand what it's like to have absolutely no control over your mind, and be there for that person. They need you most when they feel as though they have turned on themselves.

If you or someone you know is battling an anxiety disorder, seek help.

Cover Image Credit: ankor2 / Flickr

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Taking Time For Yourself Is Nothing To Feel Guilty About, It's Healthy

Your emotional health should be your utmost priority — and you deserve to be in good emotional health.


Renowned Sōtō Zen monk Shunryu Suzuki once said that: "We do not exist for the sake of something else. We exist for the sake of ourselves." We've often been told the opposite, however. We've been told that our worth is dependent on what we can do for others and that our existence itself is meant for the advancement of society. There is no place within our culture to truly exist with ourselves. The parts of our culture that claim to value self-love and self-care tend to commodify it in the form of relaxation products and personal development products — albeit helpful at times but mostly meant to addict us without true benefit to our inner selves.

As a young student, I talked with an orthopedic surgeon — a very overworked, ambitious woman — who told me to learn how to make it in the long haul, whether in my personal, interpersonal, or career life. You had to learn to enjoy yourself and find inner peace along the way. Because there would come a time, she said, when I would become guilty to take time for myself and forget what it's like to really enjoy life. Unfortunately, I made it to that point — I worked and worked and worked until I finally burned myself out. That's when I had to make certain changes in my life to understand how I got to that point and where I needed to go from there.

In the midst of our grand ambitions, it's easy to either go all in or all out. Either to give your entire self to a certain end or give nothing at all. I've been very much guilty of ending up on both ends of the spectrum — I would either devote all my time to writing/school or hit a roadblock and give it all up for a while. It felt like the value of my life was predicated on success, whatever that meant, in terms of contributing more and more and achieving more and more. It's never, ever enough, however. No matter what you achieve, there will always be a million more things on your to-do list. Whatever you triumph over, there will always be a million more roadblocks in your path.

The answer for me was to learn how to exist with myself, how to exist with other people, how to exist amidst all the dreams I had for the future, but also in the present moment where all my past dreams had come to fruition. Sometimes I would dive too deep into myself, and lose myself in thought, as noted in Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "Sometimes people use thought to not participate in life." But I learned to participate fully, each moment to moment not necessarily enjoyable, but I find enjoyable moments each day with my friends, dog, boyfriend, and myself alone with a book or a pen.

Oftentimes as a crisis counselor, I am asked the questions: What's the point? Why am I here? What is there to look forward to? It's hard for me to precisely answer that question because, frankly, no one has anyone answer. But here's an answer that I believe in, born of taking time for ourselves: we live to feel the hope for happiness again. We live for the moments of joy, contentment, relaxation, excitement, pleasure, love, happiness, everything. We live to experience and to find each other. We live on because each new moment brings a surprise. There are many, many good moments in the future for all of us, even amongst the bad.

It's impossible to really experience life, however, if we're unable to take time to ourselves. That's one of my greatest fears, actually, that life will pass me by and I won't be able to experience each day as a full and complete miracle. There's something lost when everyone else gains from commodifying all aspects of our lives. Are you going to keep living for everyone else, or will you learn to exist for yourself? Do you owe the world your entire self, or can you take back at least some of yourself right now? Is it selfish to feel happy and not only to suffer?

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