This past Tuesday was World Mental Health Day. Tuesday, October 10, 2017. A day to think and talk about mental health. We have this day to raise awareness and remove stigma attached to mental health disorders. We also have this day to discuss how we can maintain better overall mental health. Mental health disorders for different reasons affect our daily lives. Whether we ourselves or someone close to us has struggled with mental health issues, it’s so important to learn about our mental health, how we can better it and how we can support others. Our mental and physical health are intertwined and are actually very much interrelated. Having good mental health will also keep us more healthy physically. If we are physically healthy, we are also more likely to be mentally healthy too. Having mental health issues can lead to stress which can physically manifest itself in our bodies, making us feel physically sick as well. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health, if not, it is even more important. Here are something I have done to help maintain good mental health:
1. Made a Daily Vitamin/ Supplement/ Diet Routine & Adjusted it to Work for Me
Digestive Enzymes – Helps your digestive system work just a little bit better
Zinc – Helps heal your stomach lining & is great for your skin
Probiotics – General immune system boost & helps digestive function
Garlic Pills – Anti-aging & overall health (especially for women)
L-lysine – Supports a healthy gut & is great for your skin
Vitamin C – General immune system boost
Vitamin D – General immune system boost & is great for your skin
I take varying doses of all of these things every single day! I don’t have the links to back everything up, this it what has worked for me and is based on my own online research and opinions I’ve heard from doctors.
Taking vitamins & supplements that improved my skin, healed my stomach lining, made my stomach feel better, gave me more energy and overall made my body feel better of course in turn made me feel mentally better as well. If your body and mind feel good, you’ll be more able to care and support others through what they are going through too.
Of course lastly (for this point) & most obviously, whatever garbage you put into your body will make you feel like garbage in return. Just the same eating well will make you feel better. Love your body & mind by eating well, it will love you back by feeling energized and ready to seize whatever your day throws at you.
2. Discovered My Love For Cardio (Running & Cycling)
Vitamins/ supplements and having a good diet is important for your overall health but cardio is just as important. Cardio will make you feel extra great. I fell in love with cardio in first year of university when I was having some troubles adjusting to university life. Your body releases endorphins during exercise. Endorphins interacting with brain receptors reduce your perceptions of pain and stress. Endorphins interacting with brain receptors also give your brain positive and optimistic feelings. These sensations reach a high once we reach a cardio high. Whether we are cycling at high speeds for an hour and a half or going for a short 15 minute walk, getting your body moving has always undoubtedly made me feel better.
Engaging in regular cardio
- Reduces stress
- Wards off anxiety and depressive feelings
- Boosts self-esteem
- Improves sleep
Need I say more? Though when struggling with your mental health it is sometimes difficult to rationalize and be strong, it’s important to find someone who can care for you and support you who will help you to help yourself. Running on the treadmill and outdoor cycling definitely changed my life in more ways than one. It is easier said than done especially at the beginning. I wrote a blogpost that talks a little more about that. If you’re interested, you can click here to read it.
2. Talk With Someone You Can Trust/ Don’t Be Afraid to be Vulnerable
There is nothing more important than when you are struggling to not feel alone. As much as we can feel alone during times of overwhelming anxiety, panic or depression etc. it is so important to reach out. More often than you can take the time to appreciate and realize is that you have a network of people that love and care about you. There are certain people who will understand and sympathize with you when you are struggling with your mental health. There will also be people who don’t understand. Take the time to get to know and realize who will be supportive, reach out to them. They understand you. They know you. They love you. I know during worrisome times there is someone there for me. I’m blessed to come from a wonderful family. I have an amazing brother. I have great parents. I have amazing friends and such a caring boyfriend. I would be nowhere without them. Acknowledge the loving people you surround yourself with. Communicate your struggles. Though they won’t be able to help solve problems entirely, feeling their support and having good communication will only make things better.
4. Writing & Colouring
Struggling with overwhelming feelings can often times become absolutely unbearable. While exercising can be therapeutic during stressful or challenging times, creative outlets like writing and colouring can also be very therapeutic. When there is no one there to listen, writing (either on your computer or in a journal) is very helpful to help us communicate and release how we are feeling, even when no one is listening. Colouring (from my research and own experience) also has immense therapeutic benefits. Colouring does require focus, while focused (on colouring) we are able to relax, temporarily escape from anxiety and helps us to reduce stress. The focus required for colouring also gives us mindfulness and clarity in order colour properly. I don’t have a lot of scientific evidence to prove why writing and colouring are beneficial, but they certainly helped me.
I really believe that the combination of taking vitamins/ supplements that my body needed, changed my diet, developed a love for cardio, reached out for support from my friends & family and realized the benefits of the creative release of my feelings really helped me in maintaining good mental health. All four of these topics mentioned have a great impact on my day to day life. I try implementing vitamins/ supplements, good diet, good exercise and creative release to help me naturally manage and better my overall mental health. I really do believe though that these natural ways helped me and can help so many people that struggle with their mental health. Dealing with your mental health struggle is so courageous and requires you to be strong. Realize the available support through your close family to resources all over the internet that can specifically help you on your journey. (I know a lot of people have had a much more complicated and difficult time with their mental health journey. These are just a few things that I have done/ still do which help me in day to day life.)
I so strongly believe that it is so difficult to take care of and support others when you are not in a good place yourself. Taking the time to get to know what good habits will help your physical and mental health are fundamentally important. When you know your needs, you can cater to them. Once you properly take care of and love yourself, it’s then easier to build a network of love, care and support for others once your personal needs from and for yourself are met.