Hey everyone, I’m not sure if you’re aware, but May is Mental Health Awareness Month! So, I am bringing you a guest post from counselor Cherese Allen in honor of that. And she brings you 7 tips for mental health. Enjoy!
Physical health has always been discussed as a vital tool to incorporate in one’s life, while mental health has taken a back seat. Yet, over the last few years, mental health awareness has increased in the nation, which is such a positive notion. Personally, I am an advocate for mental health, taking a priority in an individual’s life just as much as physical health. However, one question that is posed is, “What are some tools that I can use to have better mental health?” I got you COVERED (lol). Below you will find a few tips and strategies that you can incorporate into your daily routine, to have improved mental health!
- Understand yourself – One important thing is to identify your needs, fears, desires, triggers, joys, and every other intricate detail of what makes you, YOU! By knowing this information, you can create systems that help you protect your peace and mental health. For example, suppose you identify that a particular show causes you to feel a distressing emotion such as anger or anxiety. In that case, you can then implement a routine to alleviate those emotions (such as decreasing the time you watch the show or completely no longer watching the show).
- Self-care – Most have a busy schedule during the week, whether it is working, family, school, organizations, or all of the above. At times, one can become so busy pouring out into others that you forget to fill your cup back up. Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup. Look at your life as a battery; once the battery runs low, you have to hook up to the charger to fill up. Now, self-care is your charging station. Engage in activities that you enjoy (spa, walking, warm bath, exercise, listening to music, etc.) and ensure that you take care of yourself so you can relax, recharge, and gain momentum to take on future tasks.
- Change your focus – It can be so easy to focus on all the things that are going wrong in your life that you could neglect to notice all of the things that are going right. Focus on the positives daily. You can jot down at least three things in your journal/notes that went well in your day to help build gratitude and shift your focus. Another idea is creating a gratitude jar; this could also be a fun family activity. A gratitude jar is where you write something positive on a slip of paper and place it in a mason jar. You can open it up at the end of the week or the end of the year (or whenever you choose) to reflect on all of the great things that occurred.
- Strengths- Have you ever noticed times when you are being extremely self-critical? (I am definitely guilty of that) We can literally be our worst critics. Try writing down all of your strengths that you carry and ponder on those attributes when you find yourself being overly critical. Speak to yourself nicely!
- Balance- Balance looks different for everyone, but the key here is to list out your priorities from greatest to least. Once you have done that, create a pie chart and separate the priorities into their respective percentages totaling 100%. For example: Work 50%, Family 30%, Organization 15%, Exercise 5%. If your workload happens to increase, and the other percentages do not decrease, then that is where an overload and unbalance occurs (you tipped the scale over 100%). Every percentage has to shift to remain at 100%. Therefore, if work increases, then time in another area will have to decrease to maintain balance. Remember balancing may look different per day, week, month, or year. It all depends on what your load looks like, so be willing to be flexible and adjust as necessary. Most importantly, remember some days, it just won’t all get done. That is perfectly okay!
- Boundaries – Boundaries are essential for your mental health. Ensure that you create healthy boundaries with your friends and family to maintain dynamics that benefit your mental health. So that may look like saying “No”! Ouch. Yes, it may hurt, but you may not be able to go to every event, talk on the phone, or do everything for everyone else. Analyze your relationships and identify areas that may need boundaries, and try to implement them as time progresses.
- Therapist – Many people believe in the myth “You are crazy if you visit a therapist .”I want to encourage you to go against that statement and remind you that you are not crazy for seeking therapy. The stigma has been that you have to have something “majorly” wrong in order to go to a counselor. However, you can visit a therapist just to speak to an individual that has a neutral perspective regarding any situation you are facing. It is always good to have someone to talk to, and sometimes your friends and family are not fully equipped. Find a therapist in your area by searching on Google or using Psychologytoday.com to gain the insight and wisdom you may need.
These are just a few tips to aid you in your journey towards good mental health. Our inner thoughts always reflect through our actions and speech, so be sure to take care of your innermost self in order to produce healthy outcomes. Cheers to taking charge of your mental health!
Remember, we are in this journey together!
I hope these tips will help you with your mental health. I know I’m going to apply them – there is always room for improvement in our lives. Thank you so much Ms. Allen for these tips!
You can connect with Cherese Allen at:
Cherese Allen is a graduate from Houston Baptist University and holds a Master’s in Counseling. Upon graduating she completed and passed the board exam, NCE. She is now a licensed professional counselor associate in the state of Texas, supervised by LaQuondra Patterson, LPC-S. Currently, working at a private practice, she specializes in depression, anxiety, life changes, couples therapy, self-esteem and more, for teens and adults.
And if you are interested in guest writing for my blog please contact me! I would LOVE to work with you.
With Love, Heidy
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