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Simple Ways to Care for Your Mental Health Besides Therapy

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Therapy and medication are some of the best ways to keep your mental health issues in check. When you're dealing with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or some other disorder, it helps to consult a licensed mental health care provider, talk about your issues, and stay on prescriptions. But that's not all you can do.

Aside therapy and medication, you can care for your mental health by incorporating some simple habits into your lifestyle.

Let's highlight them.

1. Talk about your problems

The truth is, talking isn't only effective when you're speaking with a therapist. Talking about your problems may help you relieve pent-up pressure. It's why experts developed talk therapy.

Whether you're angry, sad, or troubled, expressing how you feel to someone can almost immediately reduce such feelings. It's how you feel less mad after discussing it. Even when you consider suicide, talking can help you change your mind.

But you want to be careful how you go about this and who you talk to, since not everyone will be a good listener. Here are tips on how to tell someone about your mental health issue.

2. Get active

Exercising is just as good for your mental health as it is for your physical wellbeing. It promotes the release of happy hormones. But it's not all about lifting weights.

Going out for a walk and catching up with friends are great ways to stay active. Whenever you feel lonely, sad, and hopeless, it would help if you break through it and make a bold move to step outside.

Studies show that exercise, no matter the intensity, can be incredibly helpful for depression, stress, and anxiety.

The brightness of the day can help brighten your mood; seeing nature can even change your outlook on life.

3. Eat a good diet

Did you know that your gut health can affect your mood? There's a relationship between your digestive tract and the brain. This pathway is known as the gut-brain axis.

When you eat certain foods that promote healthy microbiomes in your gut, they send signals to the brain to release serotonin, the calming hormone. As a result, such foods can help you deal with stress and anxiety.

Foods containing high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C are good for your mental health.

4. Ask for help

One of the foremost thoughts you'll have when battling a mental disorder is that you're alone and no one can understand you. But we were never designed to live in isolation. We will only sink deeper.

Call out for help when you feel the walls closing in on you. It could be a family member, friend, relative, or a colleague at work. Also, remember that local social services are there to help you.

5. Do something that makes you happy

Is it singing? Is it journaling? What about embroidery and painting? Embracing self-care and doing something you're good at can help you feel a sense of worth, thereby countering depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety.

Get out of your daily corporate routine and do something you enjoy, not just what you're told to do. This can help boost your self-esteem and lower stress.

6. Never forget that you're different

Accepting that you're different is a healthy way to look after your mental health. This knowledge is crucial because it prevents you from wishing you were someone else. We're all different, and even the most mentally healthy person battles his own demons daily.

Even as you know your weaknesses, be it bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, find your strengths; this can help you cope through life with your chin a little bit high.

7. Get regular quality sleep

Poor quality sleep and poor mental health go hand in hand. Some mental issues like depression and anxiety can disrupt your sleep pattern. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can wreck your mood and make you feel stressed.

So if you've not been sleeping well, time to prioritize your sleep. Here are things you can do when you can't fall asleep.

 8. Finally... Care for others

Did you know that you helping others can make you feel better? In fact, showing kindness is an easy path out of depression. No matter your mental condition, you can also be there for someone. It's a cycle. Uplifting someone else will also uplift you.

At Hope Mental Health, we care about your mental wellbeing. Remember that you're not alone, and many people just like you are battling mental health issues. But with the right care, you can improve your quality of life.

And when it feels like nothing works, come talk to us.

Author
Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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