How to prioritize your mental health

With summer in full swing, all of us are extremely busy working, seeing friends, getting back into shape, and trying to eat healthy to get that perfect bikini body. But a lot of times, our mental health can be pushed to the side. Taking time out of the daily hustle and bustle to check in with yourself is essential to living a happy life.

It’s no secret that I am a big advocate in ending the mental health stigma, and by talking about prioritizing your mental health I hope I can do my part to put that to rest. No matter where you are in your mental health journey (Whether you are struggling, or have never had mental health issues before) I encourage you all to take a few minutes out of your day to read this. Not only just read this but apply one or more (or all lol) of these tips to your daily life.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional. these tips are all from personal experience and what has worked for my body, mind, soul, and heart. I hope these tips and tricks work for you and your lifestyle.

One thing I always hear people say is “I am too busy to take care of myself and my feelings.. it’s a waste of time.” My response to that is you are never too busy for things you care about, and if you do not prioritize your own mental health things may begin to fall apart.

Sophomore year of high school I was diagnosed with several mental health disorders. Part of that diagnosis was because it was true and I wholeheartedly believe that was bound to happen to me, however, I also think it was because I had never put myself and mental health first. Now I have learned how to prioritize my mental health and it has changed me for the better. Here are some of my favorite tips:

Keep a journal specifically for gratitude.
A lot of times when going through a rough patch you feel the world around you is crumbling and you lose sight of life. Keep a journal and write in it every morning three to five things you are thankful for. By doing this it can assist in pulling you out of that dark space and is a physical reminder on how lucky you are.

Positive self talk
Noticing how you talk to yourself is very important. A lot of times we can get into our heads and work ourselves up about small issues. “I can’t do this” is a phrase I often heard in my mind when I was facing my anxiety issues. Instead of saying that, I changed it to “I can do this with the help of (fill in the blank).” Changing phrases or words can have a huge impact on you.

Saying YES
I know this tip can be a controversy and, trust me, the last thing you want to do when struggling with your mental health is saying yes to a party or get together buttttt it really does help. I find when I am anxious or sad going and see my friends makes a world of a difference, even if I wasn’t in the mood. It’s essential to realize how you are feeling, what you are dealing with and how you would like to move forward. Maybe it is saying yes to a coffee date with a friend and telling them how you have been feeling. Saying yes doesn’t have to be to a huge party, it can be just hanging out with a friend or going shopping for something to get you out of your house and out of your head.

Having an exit
When entering a new public setting, it can be overwhelming and very anxiety-filled. It’s important to recognize how you are feeling and map out an exit strategy in case you are overwhelmed. My biggest hack is in classrooms I always sit by the door and in lecture halls, And I am always in the last seat in a row in case something were to happen.

Never be afraid to talk about it
Whether you confide in a therapist, parent, friend, mentor, teacher it’s just important to start talking. Find a go-to person when you are having a rough day and let them know you appreciate their support.

Get active
Whether it’s a walk or a 10-mile run, any exercise helps. Walking my dog is something I love to do when feeling anxious and gets me out of the house. Anyone who knows me knows I love the dog park and it’s a great way to be active with your pup.

SLEEEEEP
Yes, getting enough ZZZs is so important for your body and overall mood. Personally speaking, when sleep deprived, I am cranky and way more anxious about little things. I have trouble sleeping at night; my mind tends to race with the next day ahead or all of worries/anxieties. Melatonin has helped me immensely with sleeping and I love how its all-natural. I also love my calm powder; I mix it into water and drink before bed to calm me down. My weighted blanket has been the most impactful thing for me, as it really allowed me to stay still and relax my body when going to sleep. Sleep is essential so make sure you are going to bed at a decent hour.

Prioritize your mental health and remember you only get one of you…. So take care of yourselves, friends.

Xoxo,

Hannah

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