It’s becoming increasingly apparent how much we all need therapy in our lives. We don’t need to wait to experience trauma to reach out to a professional for help in processing it. Whether it’s due to relationships, work, or the general state of affairs of the world at the moment, we’re all undergoing an unprecedented amount of stress and it warrants professional intervention at the earliest.
But it’s also true that accessibility to professional therapists is a privilege even in 2022. This is because of a variety of reasons, including economical, and social taboos against mental health, and a lack of awareness of mental disorders. Most of us follow the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of thought, without realising that even the slightest metaphoric cracks in our mental health can do severe long-lasting damage.
So, on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, we decided to round up some simple mental health tricks that you can follow every single day to deal with stress and anxiety issues.
DISCLAIMER: While these tips are recommended by professionals and can help you cope on a daily basis, it’s still advisable to reach out to a licensed therapist and get a professional consult yourself.
Many experts recommend maintaining a daily mental health journal for dealing with everyday stress. Writing down your thoughts can be a great way to vent out your frustrations and put things into perspective by yourself. You don’t need to be extensive with your entries. Just take five minutes, or less, out of your day to jot down your thoughts and feelings. This is a great way to keep a track of your mood and would help if you’re going to therapy or if not, then it’s a healthy way to air out your feelings in a private and non-judgemental space.
Daily short walks
You don’t need the many studies done on the benefits of walking on mental health to tell you that stepping away from your problems for some time to take a quick walk will be helpful to you. While this could be a part of your daily workout routine (also a good way to keep your mind happy), a relaxing walk is a great way to recharge and reboot. It can help you take a breather and get you out of your own head for some time, which can soothe your mind. So pencil in a short 15 to 20-minute walk after dinner every night for a much more relaxed state of mind.
Doing something that is solely for yourself is an expert-recommended, nay mandated, tool of therapy. Different people have different ways to cope with stress. It could be binge-watching a comfort show or indulging in a lengthy skincare routine, but it has to be something that boosts your mood. Don’t feel afraid to own what makes you happy and unabashedly indulge in it when you feel down.
Go-to bedtime ritual
If you’re someone who suffers from anxiety or depression, getting quality sleep can be near impossible on most days. One of the most common, and effective, techniques recommended by experts is to set a bedtime ritual. It can be anything, from mandatory journaling, a 10-step Korean skincare routine, or listing down your tasks for the next day. This will help you get your thoughts in order and get a good night’s sleep over time.
“And then what”
We all know that continuing to fixate on anxious thoughts about the future is not going to help you at all. But it’s also impossible to stop yourself once you start. One of the tricks that therapists recommend is to ask yourself “and then what?”. This helps in channelling your thoughts into a more rational direction and helps you avoid going into a negative thought spiral.
Once again, let us reiterate that reaching out to professionals is not a sign of weakness or that something is wrong with you. It’s okay to not be okay and it’s something you need to repeat to yourself multiple times every day.