During our busy schedules, it’s easy to get caught up in each task we have to do and disregard how we’re feeling. That doesn’t mean it’s right. We all need to take the time to properly care for our minds and our bodies; listen to them when they’re signalling us to take a break. But if we’re so busy, how can we take the time for mental health care? Well, let me give some advice and tips to care for yourself throughout your days.
Doing daily affirmations seems like it’s a waste of time and won’t help you stay positive. But you’d be surprised by the effects it can have on the rest of your day.
All you need to do is write a few things at the beginning and the end of your day. What you write in the morning doesn’t need to be the same as what you write at night. Take 5 minutes at the beginning of your day, before you start any of your tasks. Just write down three things you’re grateful for and three things you wish to accomplish for the day. Then at the end of your day, write down three good things that happened that day and three things you actually accomplished.
These are very simple things to mark down, but sometimes we get too caught up in the negativity. We focus on our bad coffee, the coworker who pissed us off, or the crying child on our 2-hour commute. But taking some time to reflect on the small positive things can release a bit of the tension. You can either create your own version of these daily tasks or order a 5-minute journal. Here’s an example of one you can order on Amazon.
Yes, we do have another form of writing. (I’m sorry for all of those who hate writing.) Journaling is a common technique used to release your emotions and get those negative thoughts out of your head. Although it won’t solve your problems, it’s a great way to get it out on paper and not bottle it all up. This is especially good for those who don’t like to talk about their problems with people. Journaling doesn’t have to be done every day. If you ever feel frustrated or can’t stop thinking about something going on in your life, take the time to write about it in your journal. Say whatever it is you need to say. It only takes a few minutes. And remember, it’s your journal. Your form of mental health care. You can use it for whatever you want. If you don’t want to just write about the negative things, use it to write down what’s keeping you motivated as a reminder. It’s all up to you.
Find Useful Resources
I’m sorry but I’m going to be that person who recommends self-help books. But trust me when I say, if you find the right one for you, it can be a game-changer. Some can be really cheesy and won’t work for you but you just have to find one that fits your mindset. One that you can relate to and matches your tone. Some people may say that they don’t have enough time in the day, but you just need to find the time in the day. Maybe just spend half an hour a day reading, or even just reading one chapter.
If you’re not a big reader, try watching some helpful videos or podcasts. Just like reading a book, find the kinds of videos that fit your needs and personality. Instead of starting your next series binge session, maybe 30 minutes worth of videos at the end of your day. One great Youtube channel, Psych2go, focuses on helpful tips for mental health and uses scientific proof to back up their information. Each video is about five minutes long and is very informative yet simple in its approach.
Enjoy The Little Things
Doing small things you love during your day can have a great impact on your day. Buy your favourite drink, go to your favourite shop, go for a walk, go back to doing something you love like drawing. While these may not solve your problems, they will keep you from feeling the constant pressure in your mind, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Find A Professional
Everyone needs a therapist; that’s the bottom line. Having a professional to talk to doesn’t make you crazy or in need of serious help. But having someone who’s trained to help you is something everyone needs for any type of problem. In the same way you need to go to a doctor for checkups, we should have mental health care checkups with a therapist. If you feel you need to talk to someone, find a professional in your area or someone you can have sessions with online. While it may seem like you don’t have time, you can find an hour a week to get the assistance you need. If you’re worried about the money, see if your family doctor can refer you to someone or see what’s available in your insurance.
The important thing to remember is to never neglect your mental health. We all have busy schedules, but the most important thing in life is that you’re happy and healthy. Mental health should never be a second priority. Some mental health problems can stem from overworking. If you want to see some tips about how to identify if you’re overworked and how to prevent it, see our previous blog here.