Everyone needs to maintain their own mental health, just as they do their physical health. Without good mental health we become less resilient and less able to navigate life confidently. Being mentally healthy doesn’t mean being happy all the time. Life will always have seasons of ups and downs- that is normal. But we need to balance our lives in a way that helps us deal with the ups and downs in a constructive way; particularly when it comes to the downs.
One important aspect I share with clients is not to be moved with their feelings- they easily lie (not to be confused with gut instincts. Ill do another blog about that soon). Ill give you an example. Lets say I wake up one morning and am 'feeling' skinny. My day is going to be good I'm feeling on top of things I fit into my 'skinny jeans' and all is well in the world. The next morning I wake up and I'm having a fat day. My jeans just don't feel as good as yesterday. Now I'm in for a rotten day, which for most women is followed by some self sabotage of eating high fat, high sugar foods. Know what I mean? What changed? Nothing has. Its all in my emotions and my hormones and if I let them rule me then I'm in for (and those in my life) a roller coaster of emotions never sure how im going to be one minute to the next.
So besides not letting your feelings or emotions rule you here are some other key factors for maintaining good mental health, including examples of how to put them in to action. The goal is to be better equipped to deal with the lows in life:
Meet with friends for coffee or dinner, if you are low even calling a friend or family member is helpful. Social supports that make someone feel loved, respected and strongly connected to others are important for our mental health and resiliency
Be genuinely interested in the lives of others and be sure to let them know you care about them
Exercise promotes positive mental health- go for a walk, join a gym, take a dance class, park your car further from the entry at the shops, carry a basket instead of pushing a trolley for smaller shops, have a bike ride with the kids. The key is to get moving more often, wherever and whenever you can.
Eat healthy foods- when we feel low we crave high fat high sugar foods which leave us feeling worse. Eat something 'live' at every meal (raw food such as fruit and veg, fermented products such as kombucha etc)
Limit or avoid consumption of alcohol- alcohol is a depressant so I have my clients avoid it where possible. It can also be used as a 'crutch' for deeper issues and is habit forming.
Spirituality can help us find deeper meaning in our lives. Attend places of worship; find a group within your faith to connect with.
Choose to see the silver lining in life’s situations – can failures be turned in to opportunities?
Practice gratitude:-write down a list of things you’re thankful for and even what you like about yourself. Positive self regard is very important. You are special and have a great purpose.
Ultimately, promoting our mental health helps us build resilience so we can better weather the ups and downs of life. We can find more joy in life, more to be grateful for and other people will see us as positive role models.
If you currently feel that there is more to life and want to become more resilient give me a call. There are some amazing tools I can share with you to have you getting the most out of life. The best is yet to come.