At the beginning of 2021 I decided to make changes specifically for my mental health. I knew if I didn’t do something, I would be stuck in this kind of negative space for many more years to come, which was no longer an option for me. Over time, I had come up with some solutions that often make me feel better in the long run. If you are ever feeling like you need a change, try out these 4 major practices that I have used throughout my own journey!
I will admit, I think I do this more often than the average person. Removing negativity can mean so many different things, here is a list of how I remove mine:
Deleting negative posts/pages and people from social media
Reduce my daily social media active time
Social Media can be a dangerous space, Instagram posts that aren’t so “real”, people tend to only show the positive events in their lives, which can then get misinterpreted that everyone has fabulous lives and nobody has any issues of their own. Which for those of us, can really make you question “what’s wrong with us?”. I have also come across (and am guilty myself) of showing the unrealistic photos of women’s/men's bodies, the formed and posed look - which then others look at and wonder why they don’t look that exact way, when in reality, most of the time those photos aren’t so real.
Removing people from my life that no longer serve me
This can be one of the hardest things you ever have to do. Cutting someone out of your life is never easy, but it’s almost always worth it. Your bubble should be a group of loved ones that feel like a support system, people you can go to for anything and you feel 100% comfortable being your complete self around. If you have people in your life that make you question your worth, it’s time for them to go!
Trying to avoid negative thoughts in my own head by turning them into positives
It can be super easy to have negative thoughts throughout the day. I find myself (almost always) going to the worst possible case in any situation, without even coming up with any positives.
Here’s an example of how I’ve tried to turn my negatives into positives:
Scenario- the house is a mess
Negative thought - “this is going to take me forever to clean, I’ll have no time to myself and spend my entire day of cleaning up after everyone else
Positive thought - Who said I have to clean all of this right now? Why not do a bit here and a bit there, and once I want to relax, I’ll stop! Plus - who doesn’t get happy over a clean home?!
almost every single time, once the cleaning is done - I am beyond happy and relieved that I spent my day doing it, and with a positive outlook through it all!
Do you find time in your day for “me time“?. If you don’t, I suggest you start now! I try to take even just 20 minutes to myself each evening after work. Some of the ways I like to practice self care are:
Spending time outside
Having a bath (extra bubbles, please!)
Cuddling my Cat
and most recently, writing blogs
Your list of self care does not have to look like mine even in the slightest, whatever makes you get away and enjoy yourself - do you!
Stop Caring What Others Think
This is one that I have worked hard on and am still currently working on. I don’t think this mindset will ever fully go away, but I have made some improvements. Do you ever go out in public alone and feel like everyone is staring at you? Do you ever avoid going out in public alone because of that feeling? Well, join the club. It took me years to train my brain on not caring about what others were doing, and not just strangers, sometimes even my closest friends and family.
Even posting this blog, it is way out of my comfort zone - hence why I am doing it. Not everyone may like what I have to say, and that may scare the living heck out of me, but look - I‘m still here doing it! because in the long run - you’re not going to make everyone happy, and everyone is going to have their own opinions. Sorry not sorry, haters!
On this note, another hard but semi successful trait that I have tried teaching myself, is not to judge others. It can be such a negative environment to look at somebody else’s life and have any judgmental thoughts towards how they live. I try to remind myself that everyone has their own way of living and very rarely is anyone going to have the exact same mindset as myself. Once you stop judging and start accepting people for who they are, you will start to notice the positive thoughts you make of people.
I know that this one is kind of a given and everybody suggests it, but I really do find that even a half an hour of any type of exercise really gets my mind cleared and for that amount of time, I have stopped thinking about whatever my mind was worked up about in the first place, and if after that first half an hour I am still in a rut, I will go for another half hour... and so on. Lately, I have found myself not enjoying the types of workouts that I used to years ago. I used to do a lot of machines and weight lifting, but now a days those are the last things that motivate me. So my solution was to find more fun and silly ways to blow off some steam - if you haven't tried Just Dance I HIGHLY recommend it, not only will it loosen you up, it will also make you sweat while enjoying some dancing! From personal experience, it can even help you out with your dance moves as well ;)
So, how are you improving your mental health? I would love to hear your comments below!