Often when we talk about self-care, we think about our bodies. A face mask to refresh your skin, a run to burn energy or a massage to cure our aches. We don’t always think of self-care for our mental health. Our minds are ALWAYS going and working, so we have to take a moment to keep them healthy too… especially while Mercury is in retrograde!
According to APA’s 2019 Stress in America survey:
More than three-quarters of adults report physical or emotional symptoms of stress, such as headache, feeling tired or changes in sleeping habits.
That is A LOT of adults feeling stressed y’all! But here we are still putting a stigma on mental health. We don’t want you to get so stressed that you get depressed, but we want you to feel shame if you seek out help. It’s a catch-22, and we have to break the stigma.
Here are some things you can do to help keep your mental health in check:
Talk about your feelings: We often get it in our heads that “therapists are for crazy people”, but lets face it we are all a little “crazy”. There is never any harm in talking about how you are feeling. Sometimes just saying something out loud can help you gain some prospective. I also have a fabulous support system through my family and friends that I know if I’m ever down someone will be there to listen, which is HUGE. Don’t bottle up your emotions. Vent to a friend, family member, therapist, journal; basically anyone you can!
Get a good night’s sleep: I know I am a better person when I am well rested. Sleep is one of my biggest sources of anxiety. When I’m laying in bed at night with my own thoughts, I can go down some major rabbit holes. Next thing I know the alarm is going off and I’m not rested, which leaves me emotionally drained. Sleep can be a constant struggle for me, but there are things that help. I have a weighted blanket (I swear it’s magic), I don’t have caffeine in the evenings, and I find that a consistent routine helps my brain learn that it’s time to start shutting down for the day.
Find a way to release stress: Daily stressors really start to build up, so it is important to find a healthy way to blow off some steam. My main go-to for this is exercise. I love going straight from work to a Pure Barre class or for a run. This always helps me sweat and release some negative energy. And, as Elle Woods would say “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”
I know we all don’t like to exercise so some other options could be meditating, journaling, regular girl’s nights or maybe just some good old fashion quiet time to reflect.
BREATHE: Like Anna Nalick’s 2004 hit Breathe said “And breathe, just breathe, Whoa breathe, just breathe”… I know it sounds silly, but when my anxiety really gets revved up or I get myself angry & upset I simply forget to breathe. It really helps me to stop and consciously take some slow, deep breaths. It helps me calm myself, center myself, and a lot of times I can curb a full on melt down just by focusing my breath.
Don’t be ashamed to admit if you need some help: Maybe you’ve tried all of these tips, and you’re still feeling like you need more. THERE IS NO SHAME IN SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP! Let me say it louder for the people in the back…THERE IS NO SHAME IN SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP!!! Use resources through your community, ask your family doctor for a referral or call a hotline. Just don’t think you are less of a person if you need to find some help.
Keep those minds strong ladies, and remember you are never alone in your struggles!