Life rarely goes exactly as we expect it to. Tragedies and trying times happen to all of us, and what we’re facing can have a huge effect on our mental health.
In some cases, what’s got you down may be personal. For example, being let go from a job or dealing with the end of an important relationship may cause your mental health to suffer. In other cases, it might be the death of a family member or a global pandemic, like COVID-19, that has you feeling less like yourself.
No matter what you’re experiencing, it doesn’t have to control your life and change your mood for the worse. There are things you can do to feel better as you work your way through a difficult situation.
Do Your Best to Avoid Getting Sick
One of the best things you can do for your physical health is to avoid catching an illness, but it doesn’t just affect your physical health. It can affect your mental health too.
When you’re already dealing with a challenging situation, and you get sick on top of it, life can seem overwhelming. It becomes just another thing you have to deal with, which can contribute to depression. Not to mention, you’re likely to recover much more slowly from an illness if your mental health is poor.
Avoiding getting sick means maintaining healthy habits, like eating the right foods and getting exercise, but it also means doing things like washing your hands the right way, avoiding touching your face, and not touching items that are frequently touched by others.
Make Sure You Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep is often something people skimp on because there’s so much to do in a day. If something stressful is going on in your life, not only might you go to bed later than you should, but you may also find it hard to fall asleep. Unfortunately, not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your mental health and your mood.
It’s important to make sure you get plenty of rest at night by going to bed at a reasonable hour. It will also likely include creating a comfortable sleep atmosphere, but getting plenty of rest might also include taking a nap.
Taking regular naps comes with many benefits that include:
- Improved memory
- A lift to your spirits
- Increased alertness
- Reduced stress
- Lower blood pressure
Find Things to Be Thankful For
When things aren’t going right in our lives, it’s easy to focus on what’s wrong. As we build a mental habit of worrying about the things that are happening in our lives, we tend to blow other things out of proportion. Before you know it, something small, like overcooking the bread for dinner, can cause your mood to crash.
Instead of focusing on the bad, try focusing on the good. Find things to be thankful for and you’ll enjoy benefits like improved feelings of connection, increased happiness, and a decrease in stress and anxiety.
Spend Time With Someone You Care About
It’s important to have social support when going through a difficult time. Not only can it deter depression and boost your mood, having friends and family you can rely on can also prevent you from developing chronic medical conditions.
Having friends you can talk to about what’s going on your life can be especially helpful, but if you’re going through something you aren’t ready to talk about, spending time with people you care about can still be helpful. They can help you take your mind off of what’s going on in your life, which can be a great way to boost your mood.
Do Something New
It’s easy to get caught up in the doldrums of everyday life, especially if we’re facing a challenge. Getting up every morning can seem like an insurmountable challenge when you have to do the same things, like go to work and take care of your family, day-in, and day-out. Doing something new can bring you out of a rut.
Doing something new can be as simple as trying a new recipe or as wild as hopping on a plane and flying halfway around the world. The point is to find something that takes you outside your comfort zone and makes you forget about your worries for a while.
Take the Time to Take Care of Yourself
When things get busy, and especially if negative things are happening in your life, it’s easy to stop taking the time to take care of yourself. Bubble baths are replaced by hurried showers, that blank canvas stays blank, and there is no time at the end of the day to read that novel you’ve been looking forward to.
It’s important to continue taking care of yourself during tough times. Whether that means getting a massage, making time to create art, or painting your nails, it’s important to do things just for you.
Do Something for Someone Else
It’s important to do things just for you, but that doesn’t mean doing things for others isn’t worth your time! Volunteering is a great way to boost both your physical and mental health.
Whether you volunteer to walk dogs at the local animal shelter or you serve meals at the homeless shelter, you’ll enjoy more self-confidence, and you’ll forget about your worries for a while. Not to mention, you may make a new friend, which can help boost your mood during a trying time too!
Depending on what you do, you may even see your situation from a new perspective, which can feel like the troubles you’re facing aren’t as dire as they initially seemed.
Life can throw us many different curveballs. Whether it’s the loss of a job or the loss of a loved one, it’s easy to feel down and depressed. Don’t let your circumstances dictate your mood. Feel better about yourself and what’s happening in your life by following the mental health tips on this list. Click here to find the right online therapist.