When life comes at us at times, it can do damage to our mental health if we’re not careful or don’t know how to handle these unexpected and stressful situations that can play a role in our mental wellbeing. As I have mentioned many times, how we think, feel and behave is an important aspect of US, that if we don’t realize the effects of outside factors, it can really have us feeling overwhelmed and out of control in our own lives. We have a long way to go to destigmatize mental health and all its layers but when we have celebrities like Michelle Williams who recently checked herself into treatment, Demi Lovato who has been candid about her substance abuse history or actor Kofi Siriboe who has been open about his own issues with mental health and directed a great documentary called WTF is Mental Health, it allows people to feel they can be open about their mental health and they don’t have to isolate themselves or their current struggles. We are in a time where it truly is a time for healing and it starts with openness, guidance, and awareness of the resources we have around us in getting us from a place of feeling ashamed to a place of strength and courage that we can pull through anything.
Is your Mind Ok?
When I first started out as an Intern in an outpatient psychiatric facility, one of the key things I could remember when diagnosing patients was if their current state has truly affected different aspects of their life to where they couldn’t truly function anymore, among other factors.
The simplest things we can take for granted like, getting up from bed, deciding what clothes to wear, being able to meet deadlines or completing tasks at work, going to bed, etc… can be hard to do during moments where we just aren’t ourselves. Stress from work, relationship conflict, loss of someone, loneliness, all can factor into our mental state and how we choose to handle things from that point on. Having a mixture of things along with not fully dealing with issues and just pushing them down even more is a catalyst to feeling out of control in your body, mind and spirit. When we come to a point in our lives where we feel we aren’t functioning accordingly, we need to really take that time-out, and see what it is we need to do to get us back to the person we recognize.
It may not be checking into a facility, but maybe it’s going to talk to a therapist, a psychiatrist, a psychologist or just someone who you know you can go to,to help you through this time to get you back on track. There are also websites like Betterhelp (currently a therapist on) or TalkSpace, where you can conveniently connect with a therapist from the comfort of your living room.
When you Need to Get Help in Some Way
- If you’re mind isn’t working like usual, you can’t think straight, having difficulty concentrating on tasks
- You can’t seem to motivate yourself in any way
- Nothing is helping improve how you feel
- Your fatigued, unable to sleep
- Your mind is racing
- Unable to find pleasure in your normal activities, and really just are finding you’re just having a hard time overall. GET HELP. There are several other symptoms but these are just a few.
Somethings to Do in the Meantime
- Get a good sleep routine going on
- Get motivation in some way because doing something is what gets you to doing more, not waiting until you feel motivated, hope that made sense
- Find a simple routine that you know you can stick to doing, it could be anything from just sitting up in bed, picking out your clothes for the day, walking a bit throughout your bedroom, eating something, wiggling your fingers, stretching, etc.
- Write if you feel up to it, just get some things out on paper
- If you have a coping skills box, make it to that box and pull out something that can help improve how you feel in some way.
- Watch a movie that is funny or listen to music
- Try to not isolate yourself during this time, being alone with your thoughts can make things more difficult so find someone to talk to who you know won’t judge.
I know this is just the tip of the iceberg on mental health but it’s giving you something that you can be mindful of. Just like we put importance on different parts of our health, our mental health needs to be high on that list because it really does guide us in how we maneuver through our world. Be honest with yourself when you need to take some time to regroup and figure out what you need to do or what someone can help you do to bring your mental state back to being balanced.
Thanks for reading