Mental health is more than just a state of mind. It’s not something you can just get over. It’s a part of you, it dictates the way we feel, express ourselves and how we go about our day to day activities.
Living with a chronic illness means we face challenges every day, not just physically but mentally as well which is why we can be at a higher risk of having depression than the general population. Therefore, it is so important to look after our own mental health and here are a few simple but effective ways you can use to build up your mental strength.
1. Positive affirmations: There is enough negativity in the world as it is without you putting yourself down. The way in which we perceive ourselves influences our mental health and by focusing on the negatives can shift our thinking to that way. So believe in yourself, look for positive things and empower yourself.
2. Talk to someone: Many people fear talking about their mental health due to the stigma attached with it. It’s OK to not be OK and it’s OK to talk about it. You can talk to anyone you feel comfortable with and can be a way of avoiding medication which can become addictive.
3. Get some sleep: The importance of sleep is paramount not only for our general well-being, but for mental health. Getting good quality and consistent sleep will help improve your mental health and there is evidence to suggested that the lack of sleep can increase the risk of developing new mental health issues.
4. Get moving: Exercise has been widely associated with numerous health benefits from reducing cholesterol and improving your overall health. But it can also work wonders for your mental health due to the release of endorphins or feel good hormones and taking part in team sports or events can boost self-esteem. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise and can even include taking the time out of your day to go for a walk and breathe the fresh air.
5. Press Pause: Often or not we try to do too much at once and things can get overwhelming. It is in moments like these where you need to realise that pressing pause and taking a step back for a moment or two can not only help your mental health by giving you a break but can also provide you with a fresher mind to continue what you were doing before.