Mental Health Tips

1. Grounding techniques

Grounding techniques are some quick tips that bring you out of your head and into your body. This can help calm overwhelming thoughts, feelings of panic and strong emotions. One example is focusing on five things you can feel, e.g., the texture of a chair, your foot on the ground, wind on your face etc. You can also continue grounding with things you can see, hear, smell and taste.

2. Breathing

As simple as it may seem, you can often forget to breathe, or breathe properly, if you’re dealing with a stressful situation or distressing thoughts. Breathing in through your nose for a few seconds and breathing out through your mouth for another few can calm and centre you. It can also help you regain a sense of control in whatever situation you may be in.

3. Creative outlet

It’s always helpful to have an outlet for your thoughts and feelings. Your outlet can be something you do only for you. Writing, drawing, and art are all examples of things you can create to channel your emotions into, or just be something to do that helps you chill out.

4. Self-care

Self-care encompasses all sorts of things that you can do to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. Exercising releases endorphins, showering can be cleansing in more ways than one and giving yourself time to decompress can be achieved by watching your favourite TV show or movie. Find something that works for you, takes care of your basic needs, and makes you feel good.

5. Take time

Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish. This includes time you spend identifying and working through negative thoughts. By giving yourself the space to work through these things, you’re actually saving future you time and turmoil. Make sure you’re in a safe space to do so and don’t tackle anything that you genuinely do not feel ready to. Talking it through with someone, like a mentor, can be helpful.

6. Step away

Hanging out with your friends and family isn’t always the right move. Situations and specific people aren’t always the best when you’re not in the right mental space for them. It is completely okay if your social battery needs to recharge, and you need to step away from socialising. Just because social or family events seem obligatory doesn’t mean you have to go. Or, if you really feel you have to, then make sure you have a toolkit you can take with you, e.g., grounding techniques or a safe person, so you can step away when you need to.

7. Staying hydrated

Hydration can help with stress, skincare, and preventing headaches. Drinking water can be easy to forget throughout the day so setting reminders on your phone could be a good way to remember. If water isn’t really your thing, then there are plenty of alternatives ranging from squash to tea. Drinking water also improves your brain health by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

8. Allow indulgences

If you restrict yourself from partaking in things that you enjoy there’s a chance that could lead to completely overdoing or underdoing it in the future. By allowing indulgences without punishing yourself you can have fun and still feel in control. It is not a bad thing to allow for the things you like, and you should make room for them.

9. Set healthy boundaries

Figuring out what you are and are not comfortable with is a great step to setting healthy boundaries. Boundaries are important for your sense of self, safety, and not compromising your morals. Knowing your needs and being secure in them can help with your mental wellbeing.

10. You don’t need to validate/explain your life

Your choices are your own and you should not have to justify them to others. For example, family gatherings or seeing old ‘friends’ are possible nightmare situations when it comes to probing, outdated questions, and ideas. If you are in a situation such as this and you’re not comfortable with it, see tip 6, step away. You do not owe anyone anything other than your authentic self.

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