Monday, November 18, 2013

How do you keep yourself mentally healthy?

I have long struggled with mild mental health issues. Of late, it has become very easy to let my self care fall by the way-side, which of course is going to result in a decline in my mental health. One thing I have certainly learned since becoming a mother is that to take of everyone else, I need to take care of myself.

This is what my personal mental health self-care regime looks like at its best:

  • I take vitamin D (2000-4000iu a day, depending on the time of year)
  • I limit caffeine to 1-2 cups of coffee, early in the day
  • I limit refined sugars
  • I get exercise daily. Even a short walk with Bird daily is so helpful. Outdoor exercise is best for me.
  • I take time each day to recognize what I have accomplished and what I feel grateful for. This is usually a list of five items under each heading. Even on days that are barely productive, recognizing small accomplishments keeps me from having negative thoughts about my worth. I write these out in my journal.
  • I often have to limit my social networking time.
  • When negative self-talk becomes overwhelming to me, I take time to write out the most common negative thoughts and then I craft rebuttals to each one. Then, when the thought pops into my head, I already have a planned way to shut it down. This is surprisingly effective. For example, if I routinely find myself thinking, "I don't understand why anyone likes me" I can rebut with "I am a kind person, a good listener, and I deserve to have the respect and love of others".
  • When negative thoughts pass into my mind, I acknowledge the thought and give myself permission to have the thought - but then tell myself that just because I am thinking a certain way does not mean that it is true or that it reflects my true self.
  • I spend time actively pursuing positivity.
  • When I feel like I am having more bad days than good, I re-examine my progress on all these points. If I am routinely doing these things and they are not helping, I know I need to seek additional support or help.
Tell me how you keep your mental health at its peak?

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