Dedicated to the light of my life, Alijah Compton
Struggling with your mental health causes a drain in everything: your energy, motivation, work ethic, friendships and relationships, physical health, and more. No matter how difficult your situations may be, it is never easy to get help. By beginning to read this article, you are already taking the first step – congratulations.
Your Mental Health Is Important
In order to successfully achieve just about anything in life, you must be in a good state of mind. Poor mental health results in negative and possibly long-term affects affects including but not limited to alcohol and drug abuse, lack of motivation in everyday activities, significant lose or increase in appetite, and even skin conditions such as Psoriasis. In order to prevent these things from impacting your life, it is vital that you begin to work on improving your mental health.
By any means, it is not meant to be implied that improving your mental health is easy at all – because it is not. However, it is not impossible to reach a point of stable mental health and to be happy and content with where you are in life. You deserve to reach that state, despite what you may think. Not only is it necessary for you to recognize the importance of your mental health, but is is very possible to get to the point of feeling joyful in your life.
Know Your Worth
No matter what you may think, who you are, or what you have done in your life, you deserve to be stable, supported, and happy. Do not let yourself think that you are undeserving of a life filled with nothing but happiness. It is important to know that you deserve to be happy, you deserve to be loved, and you deserve to be successful.
Although it is not easy to just wake up one day and begin telling yourself these things, you are capable of doing it. Each morning, before you leave for the day, look in the mirror and repeat affirmations to yourself.
Affirmations are emotional support and encouragement statements that you say out loud to yourself such as “You are going to do great today,” or “You are strong and brave.” There are countless affirmations that you can repeat to yourself to help motivate you at the start of each day. While it may seem cheesy to you, affirmations can be immensely helpful and a great start to your mental health improvement journey.
You are worthy. You are deserving. You are important. You are loved. You are an amazing person.
As I said, it is far from easy to begin the journey to improve your mental health, especially when it is in a very bad state. Just like when you begin a new workout routine, you need to start small. You can try a few of the following methods to begin improving your mental health and caring better for yourself.
- Reach out to a trusted loved one to discuss your feelings. Being able to just express how you feel to someone without them judging you can make all the difference in your life. It is not healthy to keep all of your emotions bottled up inside of you. Talking does help!
- Find hobbies that make you feel good. Whether you find peace outdoors surrounded by nature or in the comfort of your bedroom with your favorite candle lit, there is a hobby out there that can peak your interest. Getting fun activities or projects done can keep your mind in a safe, calm place and temporarily rid your anxiety or depression.
- Download apps to track your mental health and practice meditation. Making notes of your mental health each day and practicing mindfulness is something small that can make a big difference over time. Some apps that I have used in the past that are free and very helpful are Calm, Shine, MindDoc, and Dare. You can also track your emotions and healthy daily activities in a bullet journal if you prefer to use paper!
- At the start of each day, lock in a goal that you want to complete. Perhaps it could be “I am going to complete an assignment,” or “I will start reading that new book.” When each day comes to an end, write down something that you were grateful for that day, no matter how small. It could be as simple as something as “I am grateful that the weather was nice,” or “I am grateful that I had some time to relax.” This can start helping you notice the little things that are positive in your day-to-day life.
- Practice. Your. Affirmations. Tell yourself positive things every single day as many times a day as you need to. You believe the things that you tell yourself, so repeat good things to yourself every chance that you get!
- Informational websites: www.betterhelp.com and www.mentalhealth.gov
- Crisis Text Line (24/7): Text HOME to 741741
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7): 1-800-273-8255
- Talk to your doctor about therapy and possible medications if needed.
- In the case of an emergency, call 911.
It is important to remember to look after yourself, even on your worst days. There are people in your life that care about you, your happiness, and your health. You are not alone. Take care of yourself every day, no matter how small of a step it is. Your life is valuable and you are bound to do amazing things.
TW* If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to a trusted individual or professional and seek out the resources listed above. You will get through this. Reaching out for help is extremely important and very worth it, no matter how much you may want to avoid it.
You got this! I believe in you.