5 Ways To Prioritize Your Mental Health

We all struggle with our mental health in so many different ways, that sometimes, we forget to take care of ourselves. Everyone has seen the various Keep Calm signs in almost any store you have walked into, but it’s hard to take that advice when there are things happening around us that we can't seem to control. However, there are many things we can do to improve our mental health everyday, although, not without some serious commitment and prioritization. It may sound scary and intimidating at first, but ultimately, every step you take is for your own benefit. As you continue through your journey to better mental health, you'll find that you'll feel better as you go on.

  1. 1. Allow Yourself to Have A Mental Health Day

    person holding book in a bath

    We are all guilty of neglecting our mental health at some point or another because we either have a really important assignment that needs to get done, or we can't afford to take a day for ourselves. However, we need to normalize the idea of taking mental health days. Allowing yourself a break will only make you feel better because our bodies and our minds all need some time here and there to recharge. It’s important to listen to our own needs rather than our schedule and responsibilities sometimes. As a culture, we sometimes define this self-care as selfish, but for our own health, we have to change that perception before we burn out.

  2. 2. Seek Help If You Need It 

    This is difficult to do because many of us are scared to actually acknowledge that we are struggling and that we might need to get help. If you are scared at first to go and talk to a therapist, maybe consider talking to a close friend or family member that you feel safe confiding in about what you are going through. If your mental health is beginning to noticeably affect you on a day-to-day basis don’t be afraid to seek help. This is simply how you can start to take charge of your life. Using your school’s counseling center is always a great place to start because it is accessible, confidential and oftentimes a free of charge service to students. 

  3. 3. Get Rest 

    This one is extremely important. We need to get an adequate amount of sleep each and every night because our minds and bodies need it to function. Not only will you feel better when you wake up the next morning, but you will also be more focused, and oftentimes feel more motivated to get things done. We are all guilty of selling ourselves short on sleep because we just have to get that paper done, or we really need to pull an all-nighter for our test the next day. However, not getting enough sleep, will only lead to lower performance because we will be tired and unable to concentrate. Getting sleep is super important for our mental health as it gives us all some time to recharge. 

     

  4. 4. Write Down Something You Have Accomplished Each Day 

    journaling

    This may sound cheesy and a little silly, but trust me, it makes a huge difference. We often forget to acknowledge how far we have come and give ourselves some credit here and there for our accomplishments. Every night we should take a second to write down one accomplishment- whether it be that you made your bed today or that you went out and got some fresh air. Keeping a running record of accomplishments, and reflecting on them can significantly help our mental state when we are feeling down or unmotivated to do anything.

  5. 5. Meditate 

    girl meditating at sunset

    Yes, this is the one you have been waiting for. Take five minutes every day, whether it be right when you wake up or before you go to bed, to meditate. Meditation can really help  clear your mind and put it at ease. If you wake up and know you have a stressful day ahead, meditate beforehand to relax your mind and your body. Meditation is not a miracle cure for stress but it does help. Find some meditation music on Youtube and focus on breathing in and out for as long as you feel is necessary. If you are new to this, start off slowly with just two to three minutes for the first few times, and then slowly increase your time to five minutes or longer! 

Mental health is extremely important and we could all improve on how we approach it. Many of us neglect our mental health and it’s simply not fair to our minds and bodies. We are all passionate about helping others and often forget to check in on ourselves. Sometimes being a little selfish and taking a moment for ourselves,can be the best way to improve and maintain our health so we continue to help others.

 

If you are ever struggling and need to seek help immediately, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255. Please know that you matter and that there is always something better coming.