It’s mental health awareness month and time to check yourself: how are you? Are you taking care of yourself? Are you overwhelmed? Do you need to ask for help? Here are some tips for self-care to make sure to take care of you this month. Remember, as trite as it sounds, you can’t take care of anyone else until you take care of yourself.
Sit with yourself for a moment and ask yourself how it’s going. Check on yourself like you would check on a friend. How is your life? How do you feel about work? Relationships? Your passions? Your thoughts about yourself? If any of these strikes fear in you or worries you, don’t ignore it but instead ask “why”. Getting to the bottom of any ill feelings you have toward yourself or any area of your life, if there is a tangible reason or cause, can go a long way toward making it concrete and real, and therefore overcomeable.
Saying “Yes” Means Saying “No”
Many of us are hustlers, we go go go until we can’t go anymore. One very wise person once told me that when you say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to something else. I never thought about it this way, but when I say “yes” to an after hours project at work, I am saying “no” to family time. When I say “yes” to spending the weekend with friends I am saying “no” to spending time by myself. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this is good or bad, but it does mean that we need to be hyper-aware of what we are saying “yes” and “no” to. We have to be deliberate and purposeful with our yeses.
Whys and Intentions
Do you know your “why”? Do you live and work with intention? Or do you punch a clock, throw a meal in the microwave, and then do it all over again the next day? Now of course there is going to be some measure of repetitiveness and routine in our days, but do you know why you do what you do? Check in with this part of yourself, too. What is you big reason? What are you working toward? Who do you want to be? When we live without intention we often feel without direction and aimless, which can lead to feelings of depression, lonliness, and worthlessness. You are worth so much and made for so much. Do you know what that is?
We are all going to have moments that suck. Moments that drain the life out of us and make us want to curl up in the fetal position. It is ok to not be ok. I repeat: IT IS OK TO NOT BE OK! However, it is our responsibility, and we owe it to ourselves to be ready for those moments.
-You wanna hide under your desk for a few minutes? Cool, do it. Set a timer, and when the timer goes off, you are done.
-Do you have a friend you can reach out to who will not judge you or try to fix you, but will just listen and commiserate? Call them up!
-Do you journal? Carry that sucker with you and find some space to jot down everything you are feeling.
-Make a playlist of songs that bring you through trying times and push “play”.
-Are you into meditation? Find a quiet spot and focus on breathing in and out, letting everything else flow past your eyes and ears.
-The most important tip of all? Find a licensed therapist that vibes with you and visit regularly. If it takes a few tries to find someone that meshes, that’s ok. These people go to school for a long time to be able to listen to you, not judge you, and lead you in directions that will help you to be healthy. Do not be afraid to seek help.
Want more tips for handling anxiety, one of the most common mental issues faced in the U.S.? Check out the suggestions on this blog.
Stay healthy, and take care of yourself!