Mental health isn’t something you should only pay attention to when you’re struggling. It is something you can work towards everyday.
Take time to yourself
One way to stay on top of your mental health is to make time for yourself. Life gets in the way and people often find themselves scrambling to make time for friends and family, but not themselves. Spending time alone to reflect and check-in with yourself is an important part of dealing with stress.
Taking time to yourself doesn’t have to involve some full planned trip, it can be something you find in everyday life. So you don’t have to go on a sabbatical to the mountains, although that would be nice. There are smaller ways to get away from it all, such as going to the movies or an art museum by yourself, treating yourself to fun gifts or outfits like dresses for graduation, or similar activities. Having something to do and then going to do it by yourself lets you meditate and get a much needed mental health day.
Make sure to find this time and look for opportunities in your weekly planner. When you are alone, think about how you feel about certain aspects of life, how you can improve, and how your mindset can improve. Spend the week working on those thoughts and then check in with yourself the next time you have some “you” time. This doesn’t have to be overly complicated, and anyone can do it!
Pay attention to your physical health
Keeping on top of your physical health is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. This includes eating nutritious meals, going to the doctor when necessary, exercising regularly, and staying on top of injuries.
Exercise and healthy eating can have such a positive impact on mental health. At minimum, it makes you feel like you’re being nice to yourself and you will just feel better overall. Some diets full of sugar and alcohol negatively impact your body and make you feel sluggish. Switching to a greener and more natural diet gives you noticeably more energy, which you need to feel clear and focused.
Injuries can also stack up and hang over your head, making you feel stressed. If something’s wrong, and especially if you’re dealing with multiple problems, go to the doctor to get them all knocked out at once. This will help you feel better, and you can check those things off of your to-do list.
Paying attention to your health also involves getting enough sleep and not overdoing work. When school or work are over, shut your computer and turn off your phone. Your brain and body need time to rest and not be stimulated by screens. This improves your ability to fall asleep as well.
Therapy is always an option
People often imagine therapy and think, “I don’t feel bad enough to go to that.” This isn’t how you should gauge whether therapy is right for you or not. If anything, it’s nice to have someone to talk about your feelings with and sort through thoughts with, and this is a good way to stay proactive about your mental health. Don’t let there be a stigma about going to therapy. If your mental health is suffering, serious or not, therapy is an option.
When considering therapy, there are many types you can look into. One-on-one therapy can sometimes be too much pressure for you to start out. If you’re not comfortable in that sort of environment, one option is to look at therapy groups or residential programs for teenagers. A group setting can help you ease into the difficulties of opening up, and you get to meet other people with similar thoughts.