Okay, okay. Mental health month is over but that doesn’t mean you still can’t focus on your mental health, right? I mean it’s always a good time to do take care of yourself and focus on your mental health. But before starting this process, ask yourself how your mental health is currently? What are you struggling with in regards to your mental health? This could include: lacking time for yourself, lacking a positive support system, or maybe, you’re struggling to stay present. Whether your mental health is struggling or not, there are always ways to boost your mental health. Read below and work towards practicing these 5 tips to boost your mental health this month.
1.Focus on Staying Present
Oftentimes, our mental health can be a challenge when we are focusing on things that are out of our control such as the past or the present. This month, focus on staying present by asking yourself what you can control in the moment. Moreover, what is your responsibility versus what is within someone else’s control. As difficult as it is, we can only control what is within our responsibility (i.e. our actions, words, reactions, etc). In addition to focusing on what we can control and what is within our responsibility, in order to stay present, focus on one thing at a time. Don’t overwhelm your plate by adding multiple tasks or emotions. Focus on one task at a time, focus on your emotions as they arise, and focus on your thoughts as they come. Ultimately, this will avoid you being distracted and overwhelmed which frequently leads to feeling that you aren’t present and grounded.
It’s difficult to control and boost your mental health when there is a lack of balance in your life. This month, focus on creating balance by structuring your time at work, at home, for yourself, for friends/family, and for your loved ones. As rewarding as it can be to give to others, it is also important to give to yourself. So, instead of stretching yourself thin, create balance by setting aside time for yourself, say “no” to overtime if you’ve spent too much time at the office, set your schedule to create meaningful time with your loved ones, and ask yourself what balance would look like in your life to get a good vision. Creating balance will help you feel like you have more control over your life and help boost your mental health as a result.
3.Focus On The Positive
An important piece to boosting your mental health is being able to provide yourself positive affirmations. What do you usually tell yourself when you are feeling down, make a mistake, or when something does not go as planned? Likely, at some point or another, you’ve beaten yourself up in these situations through negative self-talk. This month, focus on the positive by identifying your strengths, telling yourself encouraging statements, forgiving yourself for mistakes, and focusing on the things that are working well in your life (despite how small they may be). Focusing on the positive helps shift our focus and outlook, and ultimately, helps you feel more optimistic.
4.Practice Good Physical Health
Your physical and mental health is intertwined. You can’t focus on your mental health while neglecting your physical health and vice versa. To start practicing good physical health, take an honest reflection/assessment of your physical health. Do you sleep well? Are you eating a balanced diet? Do you exercise or get out of the house as much as you should? Start practicing good physical health to boost your mental health by ensuring that you are getting the exercise you need to, eating a balanced diet, and practicing good sleeping habits. Click HERE for other ways to improve your physical health.
5.Seek Positive Supports
How is your support system? When you are struggling, do you have someone who is reliable to turn to emotionally and physically? If the answer is “yes”, then maintain these supports by accessing them when you need. If the answer is “no”, start building your support system! To start, ask yourself what areas you need a positive support system in to gain clarity as to where this currently lacks. Next, start considering the people in your life that could provide supports. Additionally, start researching places that these supports could be accessed (i.e. through a support group, spiritual places, counseling settings, social events, etc) and initiate contact with these places. And last, start challenging yourself to access your positive supports on a regular basis. Like anything, you have to invest in yourself and the things that are important to you in order to experience the reward.
Are you ready to boost your mental health for Mental Health Awareness? Start boosting your mental health this month to build healthy habits to carry you beyond just this month. Focus on staying present, creating balance, focusing on the positive, seeking positive supports, and practicing good physical health habits. Not only will you boost your mental health in the process, but your overall health will feel more well-rounded!
About the Author
Amanda Cummins is a marriage counselor with The Marriage and Family Clinic. She focuses on working with couples in distress as well as families and children in transitions. As a Denver Native, Amanda enjoys hiking, yoga, and spending time with her family