Changes I made to improve my mental health

There’s a lot of advice that people give you when you openly talk about mental health struggles. Most of it being diet, exercise, tablets, and therapy- but here are a few of the other things that have worked for me to improve my mental health:

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Sleep

I am an actual demon when I haven’t got enough hours sleep. Literally, 8 a night or I just can’t function. But I’ve found the more regular my bedtimes are, the better and more with it I feel to be able to take on things. I try to be in bed by 10.30/11 at the latest to wake up at 6.45 for work!

Telling my bosses

This past year I actually told my managers that I suffered from serious anxiety- which has been brilliant in those moments that I’ve felt like I can’t deal with something at work. I wrote a little bit about this with the trip that I was supposed to go on in January- but being honest with them, has meant that I’m able to remove myself from situations I can’t manage and get the support I needed.

Deleting Twitter, Snapchat, and Timehop

Twitter drained my time, gave me a constant flow of comparison and meant that I ended up irritated at people far too often for my liking. Snapchat was again with the comparison of knowing what everyone else was up to- and Timehop meant that everyday I usually had to flip past a photo of my ex- nah thanks.

The moment that I removed these from my life I instantly felt more free, less cooped up in screen time and genuinely I think it’s made a massive difference to my own perception of myself. Social media sucks!

Using apps

I use a couple of meditation and mindfulness apps- but I really like Calm (https://www.calm.com/) as it has a deep breathing exercise. When I get really wound up I’ll pop my headphones on, use this for a bit and it really does help.

Organization

I tend to plan everything out, to the point where I even lay my clothes out the night before, but honestly, it takes so much stress and pressure out of life if you’re just a bit more prepared.

Gratitude journals

I’ve been rubbish at keeping this- but a tip I learnt and used a while back was to write down 5 things every day that you are grateful for. Be it big things like your loved ones, or small- like a cup of tea and a biscuit! It really helps show you how brill your life can be.

Acceptance

Mental health is tough and challenging- but it’s also totally normal to struggle with it. I’ve been hard on myself in the past for feeling like I’m the only one who isn’t managing, but it’s far from the truth- since everyone has bad days and struggles at points in their life. Accepting that it’s a rollercoaster I’m going to be riding for probably most of my life, is a good step to making things better for myself.

Have you got any tips you’ve found work for you?

Rach

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1 Comment

  1. January 3, 2018 / 8:29 am

    I think it’s great how you are learning to better care for yourself and your mental health. I have lived with a mental illness for over 40 years and found it to be a constant learning process.

    One thing I have found to work well is prayer sparked by the Bible and other inspirational literature.

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