Three Tips to Prioritize Your Mental Health

Given everything that is currently going on in the world, I thought now would be a good time for a mental health check in. My mental health hasn’t been the greatest, especially given many recent world events. First, the convoy protests that took place across Canada, then additional violent deaths of Black men at the hands of police, and most recently, a war has broken out with the invasion of Russian forces in to the Ukraine. All of these external events, on top of the ongoing pandemic and already high stress levels, are feeling like a bit too much. I know I’m definitely not the only one who thinks so.

In these trying times, it is so important to continue to prioritize our mental health. It can feel very difficult to do so at times, almost like you want to bury yourself under a blanket and never get up. Every now and then, it’s okay to do so, but if it becomes frequent then it can be a sign of bigger concerns. I do think it’s normal to feel this way right now, but I definitely recommend reaching out to a mental heath professional if you are wanting to discuss your specific situation further.

With that said, I want to spend some time discussing a few mental health tips that can hopefully help one another (myself included) during these difficult times. First and foremost, taking time to rest and recover is VERY important. If you are feeling drained, make sure you are taking time for rest. In our fast-paced lives, I think we often feel guilty for taking time to rest and recharge ourselves. Don’t feel guilty!! You need it! I have definitely felt guilty for this many times in the past, including this past weekend. But ultimately, I have gotten to the point where I know that if I am feeling run down, I NEED to rest. In the long run, it’s of greater benefit to rest now rather than have a larger mental breakdown later on. Ensure that you are making time for that rest and getting adequate sleep as well.

The second important step is reflecting, journaling, and checking in with yourself. If you are feeling like something is off, lean into why. It may be a combination of everything else that is already going on, or there may be other additional factors at play. I read a great post that highlighted how each feeling we have is a messenger for us, letting us know what we need to tend to in order to achieve our best, full selves. I whole-heartedly agree and I am trying to get in to the practice more often of naming my feelings, and questioning what these feelings are trying to tell me. Journaling definitely helps with this process. I recently got a new journal that includes a morning and evening check-in, and I’ve already noticed a big difference with how in-tune I am with myself.

Once you’ve checked in with yourself, think about what it is that you truly need. Maybe your mental health task for the day is ordering take-out for dinner because you’re too exhausted to cook. Or, maybe it’s cooking a healthy meal and saving some money from ordering in. Maybe you need to spend some time on your own, or maybe you need to fill a social need right now. Maybe you’ve decided to join an intense workout class, or maybe you will do a few light stretches at home. Whichever actions, or non-actions, will bring you the most peace and fulfill your needs in this moment – do them. You are truly the only one who can decide what you need in each moment. Learning to trust yourself and listen to what your body and mind are telling you is crucial to further your wellbeing.

Finally, one last important reminder I want to leave you with when it comes to mental health, is that you are not alone and you can reach out for help. Never choose the route of suffering in silence. There is always someone here for you – whether that is a partner, friend, loved one, colleague, mental health professional, etc. – you have people to turn to who may be experiencing similar things right now. Particularly with the current situation across the world right now, many folks are struggling with their mental health and can relate to the struggles you are facing. Community is necessary to get us through these difficult times, because we don’t get through them alone. Check in on one another and know that we are stronger together.

I know it all feels so heavy right now, but I really want to re-iterate my last point: you are not alone. I hope you find ways to connect with others during these times, and I hope this blog provided a few strategies for ways to move forward. Our comments section is always open if you want to reach out, and don’t hesitate to contact a mental health professional if you feel like you need one. Sending so much love to all of you. <3

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