Being able to make good choices isn’t always something we’re born with; sometimes, we have to learn the right way to look out for ourselves. Whether it’s for our physical, mental, or emotional health, there are many things to consider and many ways to succeed. The key is to learn how to listen to yourself and pay attention to your body’s needs, but in a way that will be good for you in the long run instead of what you want in the moment.
The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing. And when you start to make unhealthy choices, it’s important to learn how to be strong enough to make changes.
Here are some of the best tips on how to do just that.
Take good care of yourself
Everything you go through can be tied to your mental health, even if it’s physical. After all, when you’re sick or in pain, you can’t be at your best mentally and emotionally. It’s important to take care of yourself in every way, and that means getting daily exercise, eating right, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, eliminating stress, and learning how to cope with anxiety in a way that helps you feel in control. Practicing self-care can also mean doing something you enjoy a little bit every day, as long as it’s healthy. Reading a good book, playing a sport, making art, and gardening are all great examples of treating yourself mentally and emotionally well.
This especially applies to any bad habits you may have, such as smoking or abusing substances. While they may seem like they’re helping you relax, they often make you feel worse in the long run and can have very serious long-term effects. Reach out for help from a counselor, friend, or support group if you feel you’re ready to get healthy.
Learn to Love Yourself
All those hobbies listed above for self-care? Do them alone and learn to like being by yourself. Go to a movie you’ve really wanted to see, or make a delicious meal just for you. When we learn to appreciate being alone sometimes, we can really see how hard we are on ourselves. Learn to let go of your self-criticism and play up your strengths. Learn a new language and celebrate every time you hit a milestone. Taking the time to work on yourself–and liking the results–is important for your state of mind.
Learn to Cope
Learning how to handle stress and anxiety can be difficult, but it’s imperative for your well-being. One of the most popular ways to do this is to practice meditation/yoga and learn mindful thinking, which focuses on the present rather than the past or future. Instead of worrying about the things you can’t change, train your mind to be in the present moment. You can also learn deep breathing exercises to help you get through tough moments that feel out of your control.
It’s important for most of us to have a good support system. If you don’t have any close friends or family, consider looking online for a support group that pertains to you (i.e. single moms, widowers, individuals in recovery) and share your story. You may find a connection with someone else in the group that will help you get through even the hardest of days.
Try to keep an open mind and be patient with yourself. It can be overwhelming sometimes to try to tackle some of life’s biggest obstacles, but with a positive attitude and a little support, you’ll go far.