Tips On How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Written by Brooklyn Masuku on 10 October, 2023
World Mental Health Day (10 Oct) is a day to talk about mental health and show everyone that mental health matters. It’s also a day to let people know that it’s okay to ask for help, no matter what you’re going through. As the theme of World Mental Health Day highlights, ‘Mental Health is a Universal Human Right’. This subject emphasises the necessity of assuring that everyone, regardless of age, socioeconomic class, or background should have access to high-quality mental health care and support.
Gagasi FM understands the significance of mental health. Through our powerful platforms, we don’t just entertain but also educate and advocate. Today, we are stepping up to celebrate World Mental Health Day in a bold way, spreading awareness about the importance of mental health and breaking the stigma associated with it.
Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.
Here are some tips to help you get started with self-care:
- Get regular exercise. Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood and improve your health. Small amounts of exercise add up, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes at one time.
- Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated. A balanced diet and plenty of water can improve your energy and focus throughout the day. Also, limit caffeinated beverages such as soft drinks or coffee.
- Make sleep a priority. Stick to a schedule, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Blue light from devices and screens can make it harder to fall asleep, so reduce blue light exposure from your phone or computer before bedtime.
- Try a relaxing activity. Explore relaxation or wellness programs or apps, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Schedule regular times for these and other healthy activities you enjoy such as journaling.
- Set goals and priorities. Decide what must get done now and what can wait. Learn to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. Try to be mindful of what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
- Practice gratitude. Remind yourself daily of things you are grateful for. Be specific. Write them down at night, or replay them in your mind.
- Focus on positivity. Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
- Stay connected. Reach out to your friends or family members who can provide emotional support and practical help.
Self-care looks different for everyone, and it is important to find what you need and enjoy. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. In addition, although self-care is not a cure for mental illnesses, understanding what causes or triggers your mild symptoms and what coping techniques work for you can help manage your mental health.
When to Seek Professional Help
Seek professional help if you are experiencing severe or distressing symptoms that have lasted 2 weeks or more, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Appetite changes that result in unwanted weight changes
- Struggling to get out of bed in the morning because of mood
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of interest in things you usually find enjoyable
- Inability to perform usual daily functions and responsibilities
Don’t wait until your symptoms are overwhelming. Talk about your concerns with your primary care provider, who can refer you to a mental health professional if needed.
Talk about Your Mental Health
1. Choose someone you trust to talk to
This might be a friend, family member or a colleague. Or you might be more comfortable talking to someone you don’t know, for example, through a support helpline. It can help to do a pros and cons list about talking to someone.
2. Think about the best place to talk
It’s important to choose a place where you feel comfortable enough to open-up. You might want to choose somewhere private where you’re less likely to be disturbed. You also might want to talk while you do an activity, like walking together.
3. Prepare yourself for their reaction
Hopefully, you will have a good experience when you open-up to someone. But there’s a chance that they may not react in the way you hope. This may be for different reasons, like they may be worried or not fully understand at first. If that’s the case, try to give them time to process what you’ve told them. It might help to give them information to read to help them understand. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself and practise self-care.
Reference: National Institution Of Health
The power of community support can’t be underestimated. Gagasi FM is leveraging its extensive reach to build a community that understands, supports, and stands together in the face of mental health challenges. Through interactive social media awareness and on-air discussions, we are encouraging listeners to share their stories and experiences, fostering a sense of belonging and understanding.