Methods To Keep Your Mental Health Healthy

I personally think that mental health is just as important (if not more so) as physical health. Even if I don't have a personality disorder or PTSD or depression etc., I still take care of myself mentally.  

If I notice I'm down and haven't left my room, I analyze it. Why am I not moving from my bed and why have I watched every single tear-jerking Grey's Anatomy episode? Ignoring what is causing the inactivity and downward spiral is unhealthy because ignoring it could cause even bigger problems like displacing it onto a friend. 

In order to keep my mental health healthy, I have a pocketful of methods. 

1.) Journaling 

I have been journaling since I was about ten which has given me twelve years to practice. I use to just write about my day or my fifth grade crush, but now, I write about bigger things and it's therapeutic. I actually have two journals. One I carry everywhere that I can jot notes down on or anything really. My other one is more personal and contains my inner thoughts about pretty much everything. Writing lets me let everything out. It helps me not hold grudges/be petty. It also is reflective. I can go back and look at what I was going through a few days later or even years ago and see what I could do with a problem or see how far I've come. I don't write every day but when I do, I light a candle, listen to soothing music and relax. 

2.) Adventuring

Just being outside in fresh air can be therapeutic whether it be hiking, skiing, or relaxing on the beach chilling under the sun. Connecting with the world can help you realize how big it is (or how small it is) and how some of the problems in your life aren't as big and important as you have made them up to be. Even if you don't want to go out and about, just changing your scenery can help you get out of a funk. Going for a cruise and taking in the mountains around my campus with the windows down tangles my hair but untangles my thoughts. 

 

3.) Watching a feel good movie

If I really don't feel like doing anything, watching awesome movies can help motivate me to get back into the swing of things. Movies that put life into perspective are the perfect ones for moments like these. Some good ones to consider: Little Miss SunshineLife of PiSoul Surfer, Forrest GumpAmerican Beauty and Boyhood. 

4.) Therapy 

I've been through therapy three separate times and only the second time did it actually work. Maybe it was that I had found the right therapist, maybe it was that I was finally able to talk and get things out, or maybe I was ready to move on. Regardless, going to therapy is something that is for everyone. My high school psychology teacher once said  "You'd take your car to the shop if it wasn't acting right. Why wouldn't you do that for yourself?" and it stuck with me. It's true, we have to put our mental health first and, as a society, we don't. We stigmatize mental health and therapy. We say therapy is only for those who are seriously messed up, but aren't we all a little messed up? Plus, therapy is great because it's an open and accepting environment where you can talk for an hour straight. That is major venting time. And then they sit with you and help you figure out ways to better yourself and your situation.