Some days may feel harder than others but there are tips that will help your mental health
It’s all too easy to get stuck in the black hole of misery right now, and see only the gray sky. You’re not crazy to find ways to turn things around. In fact, you need new things to think about when you’re feeling too miserable to get up and wash your face. You’ve gained weight because you’ve given up exercising? How about not changing your clothes and worrying every second about money, relationships, people you can’t hug? If you have loved ones or family members who are struggling with substance use right now, and don’t know what they’re up to, your anxiety level is through the roof.
Mental health reminders help us reset our mindset to accept what’s happening and adapt
There’s so much going on, with the economy taking, political strife, battling viewpoints over masks. It’s all too much. And if you have had kids at home for 100 days with no relief and no income, it’s totally natural to be overwhelmed. We’re not suggesting you put a happy face on but rather use the tools of recovery to accept the now and prepare for the future. The future will be better but you can start preparing for a better life right now.
1) Trust the Experience
We don’t like this situation at all. No one is happy right now. But as they say in recovery. It is what is. This mix of miseries is happening to you. You can be creative and find new and better ways to function and treat this as an opportunity for growth. The mental health reminder here is what people have to do in war and natural disasters: become creative to be resilient.
According to Rubin Khoddam PhD, “Nobody is immune to life’s stressors, but the question is whether you see those stressors as moments of opposition or moments of opportunity.”
2) Mental health reminders for just about everything is to accept the facts without worrying
Worrying never makes things better. Struggling with denial or just a hiding under the covers will only make more problems pile up. This is also true with addiction. Accept the facts. It’s happening. Once you get your head around the fact that, say, the Corona Virus isn’t going away for a while, then you can get over your anger and adapt.
There’s no point in feeling bad about feeling bad, says Kathleen Dahlen, a psychotherapist based in San Francisco.
She says accepting negative feelings is an important habit called “emotional fluency,” which means experiencing your emotions “without judgment or attachment.”
This allows you to learn from difficult situations and emotions, use them or move on from them more easily.
3) Positive Self Talk
When the world is dark and gray you can paint a bluer sky by changing the narrative in your year. Light yourself up with some positive self talk.
According to Lisa Firestone Ph.D. in Psychology Today, “many of us are more self-denying than we realize.”
Most of us believe that doing activities that “light us up is selfish or irresponsible.”
According to Firestone, this “critical inner voice is actually triggered when we take steps forward” that reminds us to “stay in our place and not to venture out of our comfort zone.”
We need to let go of this critical inner voice and realize that we can get ourselves out of challenging situations through action.
Make a point to start working your way out of the situation now.
4) Lean on Your Support System
Many people retreat to their dark reaches of their lives when things go sideways, but studies have shown that leaning on our friends and family makes it easier to cope with life. Recovery connections are what we need to stay safe now.
According to Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. in Psychology Today, “Relationships can buffer us from the negative effects of these events by providing comfort, reassurance, or acceptance, or protecting us from some of the negative forces of the stressor.”
So rather than hide away, reach out to a friend or someone who can listen while you work through your problems.
5) Mental health reminder for right now: create your vision board
Now’s the time to plan for your next incarnation. Create a vision board of the life you want, the job you’d like, the restored relationships. Journal your wishes. It works. And don’t forget to be grateful for what you already do have.
The Harvard Health Blog says that “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.”
“Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
6) Mental health reminder about mindfulness
It is all too easy to crack open a bottle of wine and drown your sorrows until you reach the bottom, and that is the only outlet many people have.
If you can resist the urge to avoid your problems and start by acknowledging them, you can start to overcome them.
APA (American Psychological Association) defines mindfulness “as a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment”.
Studies have suggested that mindfulness may help reduce rumination, reduce stress, boost working memory, improve focus, improve emotional reactivity, improve cognitive flexibility and enhance relationship satisfaction.