Today I want to talk about the 7 daily steps I take to improve my own mental health. These are things I’ve tried and tested over the past 6 months and these 7 are the ones I’ve found work best for me. Not all these things will be necessary to everyone and you may find you want to add things in and swap things out for other mental health steps but below are mine 😊
- Medication- currently this is the number one priority in my road to recovery and that is taking the medication prescribed by my doctor to help me progress in my journey. Not everyone needs medication and not everyone likes to take tablets that might change their moods and that’s absolutely fine, However in my case it was and still is a necessity. I hope to one day come off anti-anxiety medications but as it stands now I’m happy to take them 😊Be sure you speak often and thoroughly with your doctor so you can get the right medication for you and always, ALWAYS take as prescribed.
- Meditation- This has been a saving grace for me. I used to meditate on and off but often found it didn’t help me in the moment, so I gave up. I recently starting meditating again for 30 minutes every day before bed. Now, I’ve heard lots of people say they just don’t have the time to fit meditation in but there’s some great meditations you can find online that are only a minute long. Everyone can spare 1 minute out of their day to ground themselves and give a short amount of time for a break. It took me a long time to find the right types of meditation that worked for me and now that I’ve found it, I know I’ll never stop!
- CBT- Cognitive behavioural therapy. There is absolutely masses of information on CBT online if you don’t know what it means. The basic concept is to change the way our minds think and process information. Rather than thinking negatively or getting into downward spirals its about training our brain to think logically and structured in a much more positive way. Many times thoughts have popped into my head like “I’m not good enough” “I’m worthless” “I can’t do anything right” and so on and so forth. These types of thoughts are damaging and destructive. Not only are they things you would never say to a friend they’re certainly things you should never say to yourself! There’s plenty of ways you can use CBT to help you such as breathing, grounding, positive affirmations and positive writing. You just need to find the ones that work for you and in time those negative thoughts will leave and the positive ones will come.
- Exposure- One thing that massively impacts those who have anxiety is that it really prevents us from doing the things we want. It gets in the way of us truly living our lives because we end up so caught up in the fear of “what might happen” rather than what is happening. Exposure is about getting yourself to face the things that frighten you. It could be leaving the house, joining a club or anything at all! No matter how small or silly you think it might be it is something you can overcome! By taking small steps to expose yourself to things that make you anxious over time the anxiety lessens and it will be like you were never scared at all. Now although this is on my 7 daily tasks it isn’t necessarily something that is done every day. For me my goal is to leave the house every day and get some fresh air. I’m not frightened of being outside although when I was very unwell. I found it difficult to even leave my bedroom in fear of fainting. So now I make sure I get out and about every day so I never slip back into that feeling again! It’s important that any small step you take towards facing a fear is a huge victory compared to not trying at all 😊
- Relaxation- The best part of the day. The part of the day when I find myself spending some time to do things that are relaxing. For me personally that’s cross stitching, baking or writing in my bullet journal (more on that in a future blog). It’s a time of the day to reset, spend some time on yourself and reflect on what really matters to you in your life. Relaxing things are different to everyone, Some people find going to the gym relaxing or cleaning the cupboards. It really is anything YOU want to do rather than what you feel you HAVE to do. We aren’t built to be on the go all the time and this is often where mental health issues such as anxiety stem from because we are too busy working and living our lives to suit others that we forget to look after ourselves. That’s why relaxation. Daily. Is so important!
- Sunlamp- With this cold and damp weather it’s easy for us to slip into feeling miserable and wanting to spend all our time inside and cosied up. It makes tasks more difficult and mundane when the weather is not great. I was recommended a sunlamp to help with vitamin D. These are amazing for anyone who suffers from Seasonal affective disorder. You sit in front of your lamp for 30 minutes per day and it helps increase the vitamin D in your body, makes you feel more energised and less sluggish. You can use it when you’re getting ready for work. Doing your make-up, Eating your breakfast or on your lunch break at work. It really doesn’t matter when or where you use it as long as you use it! I love mine and I use it every day without fail.
- Vitamins- Our bodies just don’t store enough of the vitamins that we really need. Every day I take vitamins to help improve my strength, my mind and my body in general. I am trained in the knowledge of how important vitamins are but not everybody knows! Get yourself some vitamins. Do some research and find out the ones that will work best for you and any concerns you might have that just need a little extra help.
All these steps are things I try and do every day. They’re second nature to me now and I don’t have to think about doing then as they just subconsciously fit into my day due to habit. They make me feel good, they make me feel happy and I know they’re all good at improving my mental well being and who wouldn’t want that!
If you have any questions about anything in my blog today feel free to contact me. I hope you manage to find you daily steps to mental health whether it’s 1 thing or 10 things.
Good luck and thank you for reading!