Between the trending news, slack notifications, and navigating the demands of one’s personal life, things can get a bit overwhelming at times. Here are three ways to address your mental health needs without creating further strain on your life.
Establishing and Maintaining Boundaries
First thing’s first – establishing boundaries. A boundary is a limit that we do not want others to cross. Think of it as setting up a guard rail or safety cones in certain areas of your life. Often times, we come across those special groups of individuals who like to test our patience by overstepping those boundaries. At which point we have to decide how to properly address these instances. This is extremely important because it’s one thing to recognize our limits and drawing the line but it’s another thing to maintain them – and this is something that a lot of people struggle with for various reasons.
So a few questions you should ask yourself are:
- What can I deal with?
- What can I NOT absolutely tolerate?
- How am I going to communicate this clearly to other people?
- How will I react when others don’t acknowledge or comply with my boundaries?
- In what ways can I still function despite my boundaries being ignored?
- What changes need to be made so that I can feel safe in this situation?
Committing to a Self-Care Routine
Self-care plays a vital role in mental and emotional wellness. Channeling your time and energy into something that is productive and rewarding really does wonders. And it can be a range of things like exercise, reading, learning a new skill, or simply sitting down in a park and enjoying the atmosphere. Whatever it is, make sure that it is both non-competitive and self-satisfying. It shouldn’t be anything that creates anxiety or stress but rather gives you time to reconnect with the self.
Engaging in Fulfilling Relationships
Next step in protecting your mental health is creating a social support system. As human beings we are NOT (I repeat) we are NOT meant to go through this thing called life alone. Support groups, group counseling, and even self-help groups are prime examples of how social support can truly make a difference throughout the therapeutic process.
Not comfortable in groups? Well that’s fine too but don’t try to count yourself out so quickly. Whether it’s a family member, friend, coworker, church leader, sponsor… WHOEVER – find at least one or two people who have proven to be responsible and trustworthy to contact periodically. Keep in mind though – it is important to find someone with well-intentions and good energy that will encourage you to engage in more positive behavior.
Surrounding yourself with those who could potentially bring you down even further is a no go. A recovering addict doesn’t hang out with the same people that they used to use with. A person who is trying to reduce their anxiety doesn’t remain in the company of those who constantly obsess and worry about what’s going on in the news. You get my drift? The keyword in social support is SUPPORT so remember that.