- Self Care – The most important thing you can ever, ever do for yourself. You are the most important person in your own life, because without your body or mind, you are literally nothing. So make that brew, buy all the bath bombs from Lush, treat yo’self, learn to be able to soothe yourself.
- Talk To Someone – Your friend, partner, pet, anyone you trust. Let it all out, whatever it is. You’ll feel so much better for it, bottling things up does no good whatsoever – I’m saying this from a position of bottling everything I ever felt up for many years. Eventually the volcano needs to erupt, do it before it gets too much.
- Write It Down – Whatever is on your mind, get it out. I’ve been blogging on and off for the past 6 years, but talking about mental health seems to come somewhat naturally. You don’t have to make a blog though. I have around 3 private tumblr’s for some areas of my life and at least 10 notebooks in my room so I can jot things down as and when I need to. The notes section on my phone is also jammed with random thoughts and feelings. It takes the strain of the mind and transfers it into something more physical.
- Seek Medical Help – It’s friggin hard, let me tell you that, but god, does it make things easier. These people are trained in treating mental health, they know what they are talking about (most of the time anyway) and they can get you the right sort of treatment. I’m not going to comment on the healthcare system but put your trust in it, and it will ~eventually~ work.
- Consider Medication – Medication is a much discussed topic, there are many pros and cons. It’s a very personal decision, so I’m not trying to persuade you either way. But whilst therapy – or whatever treatment you decide on – is being sorted, it can be a great way to stabilise your mood in the short term. **Personally, I believe medication only masks the problem and they didn’t work for me, despite trying five different types**
- Join In Twitter Chats – God, did this help. I started participating in Hannah’s #TalkMH around September 2016 and it has honestly changed my life. People actually out there go through the stuff you do, and you’re never alone. It’s weird because mental health can be the loneliest of places but if I’m ever feeling down, I can turn to one of these friends and chat about everything going on without the fear of judgement. It even inspired me to create my own chat – #PosiMH.
- Try Exercising – It’s a massive cliche, but I’m not saying this in a ‘go for a walk and your mental illness will be cured, hallelujah’ kind of way. However, exercise does release endorphins – natural, happy hormones – and can be a reason to get out of bed/the house for a little bit. Even just walking the dog, or going to the corner shop.
- Set Challenges – Every week in the #PosiMH chat, I ask those who have joined to set goals for the coming week. These can be anything from getting out the house once a day to something massive like exposure therapy. It’s personal, but having a goal for the week that’s SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound) can really help your mental health. Using my Dear Diary planner has helped me to track these through this part of the year (I know the Happiness Planner is also very similar and they also have an app) and I would strongly recommend them to anyone!
- Live As If There’s No Tomorrow – Once I started to realise that there might in fact be no tomorrow, my perspective shifted a little bit. No one knows when or how they’ll go, so if it really is my last day, how do I want to be spending that? I know it’s easier said than done, and I’m not playing down mental illness in the slightest. However, do you really want to pass up an opportunity because of your mind?!