This post was written in honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States.
The following tips listed are merely suggestions that work for us and help us with our own mental wellbeing. We are not mental health professionals nor do we claim to be. If you are struggling with your mental health, please check out the resources at the end of this post.
Writing about your feelings is a good way to reflect upon such thoughts and actually express them. Whether you’re writing a simple journal entry about your thoughts or turning your feelings into prose, it can help you make sense of what you’re feeling. It’s one way to deal with whatever you’re going through without having to say it verbally. If you’re anything like us, talking isn’t always an easy thing to do—let alone talking about heavy thoughts—so having the option to write as a way to lighten the weight of our minds is great.
Taking a nap/Sleeping
Sometimes emotions and stress can keep you up and prevent you from being able to sleep, but other times, taking a nap and resting your eyes can provide a good break from your emotions. Sleeping allows you to give your mind and body some rest. If you need some quick relief, take a nap. If you need more time away, get a good night’s rest.
Simply taking a break
While it’s important to deal with your feelings and not bury them, sometimes, it’s necessary to distance yourself from them. Whether you’re studying for an important test or worrying about your future, you deserve time to relax. Stress is inevitable, but becoming overstressed won’t make things any better. So separate yourself from what’s bothering you, and do something else that will ease your mind.
Engaging in mindful exercise is a great way to alleviate stress and release feel-good endorphins. So long as you have a healthy attitude towards exercise and your body, going out for a run, doing some yoga, or rollerblading with friends are all great ways to get out of your own head and focus on movement that makes you feel good. There are many benefits to exercising, and it can provide a positive outlet to get out frustration or to build a social community when you are feeling down.
Reaching out to others
Keeping your emotions all bottled up inside is a bad idea. An easy way to let them out is to vent to someone. Verbally talking isn’t always easy, but nowadays there are so many alternative ways to communicate with others. You can text, tweet, Facebook message, or direct message someone on social media.
Depending on the situation, you may want to speak to a friend or family member or maybe even someone who doesn’t know you well or at all. Several 24-hour helplines are available for very serious situations, ranging from suicide prevention to domestic violence to child abuse.
Reading a book
Reading is a physically relaxing activity, as it really forces you to slow down and focus on what is right in front of you. Books can transport you into a whole different universe and provide perspective. It’s also a really simple activity that can be done almost anywhere. There is a book out there for everyone!
- American Psychological Association
- Crisis Text Line
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- To Write Love on Her Arms
- Trevor Project (LGBTQ): 1-866-488-7386