How To Look After Your Mental Health Without Medication

We all hear about making the most out of our physical health, but what about our mental health and wellbeing? Employers are now discovering the importance of supporting their employees in any way, preventing stress, and professional burnout. If you are working for yourself, this responsibility falls on you. Anxiety and depression is much more common than it used to be. We exercise less, are more isolated, and have a much busier lifestyle. Help and support from healthcare organizations is often limited to medication which has a lot of side effects.

Walk Instead of Driving

If there is one simple change you can make in your lifestyle, it is that you choose to take a walk whenever you can. It is not always possible to get to work without a car, but you can walk half way, or take a bus and walk from the stop. Simply noticing what is around you will help you make the most out of your time reflecting on the day ahead and behind you. Practice mindfulness when you are walking, and see things you would not notice from the car. The light exercise and the fresh air will automatically improve your mood.

Start Yoga

In case you don’t have time to go to the fitness center every day, you can take on yoga at home. There are plenty of home courses available for people like you, so you can improve your breathing, learn how to listen to your body, and connect with nature. If you are lucky enough to have a garden, you can combine topping up your Vitamin D supplies and getting some exercise and fresh air. You will love the feeling of doing your sun salutations when it is actually possible to feel the rays of the sun on your skin.

Try Reiki

To restore the energy balance of your body, you might also opt for reiki. It is a non-invasive and relaxing alternative to self medication, and it has some physical and mental health benefits, too. You can surely find a qualified Reiki practitioner locally who will arrange a meeting and help you deal with anxiety, psychosomatic health issues, and other problems. The good news is that you have nothing to lose, and it is highly unlikely that you will not suffer any side effects or negative health consequences.  

Create a Daily Schedule

It is also important that you create a daily schedule and stick to it. Make the most out of your productivity and time management. Rushing around all day and not having the time to relax and take a breath will increase your anxiety levels. If you are not familiar with time management apps such as Pomodoro, you should check them out. You will never miss a meeting or appointment again if you use calendar apps on your phone.

Have Some Me Time

It might seem like a luxury to take some time off, but it is absolutely necessary. You should look after your own mental health, and this means knowing when you are overloading your body or mind. Think about what makes you happy and start doing more of it, It can simply be booking a few hours off to meditate or go swimming, maybe just reading a book. Clear your mind, and focus on other things once in a while. Book a Spa day with your friends, or just go and see a movie in the cinema. Do whatever makes you smile, and you will be ready for anything.

Meditate

One of the ways of improving your mental health is meditation. You don’t have to become a saint or a yogi overnight. There are plenty of great online courses on how to get started with meditation and be mindful of your thoughts. If you have never tried it, you will find that it can be challenging to quieten your mind and just doing nothing. The main purpose of meditation should be to focus on the now instead of the past and worrying about the future. It doesn’t require any tools or specific knowledge, and it will still allow you to check in with yourself every now and then.

Practice Self Love

You can’t expect people to accept you as you are, if you don’t accept yourself. You will have to learn to love yourself before others can. Self love and self compassion means that you understand your limitations and celebrate your positive traits. You should learn to be realistic  about what you can and cannot achieve, so you can stop beating yourself up. You might want to grow six inches taller, but it is impossible. Stop trying to change things you cannot change, and make the most out of what you have.  If you haven’t used positive affirmations yet, it might be time to get started. There are some audio files you can download, but you can create your own affirmations you repeat every morning and whenever you need them.

Improve Your Relationships

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Once you have embarked on a journey of accepting yourself, you are likely to realize that a lot of your relationship problems are easy to solve. You will just have to look for the cause of your emotions inside. Could you react to a comment or an action in a different way? You can’t change who others are, but you can change your reaction to what they are doing. Honesty and communication will go a long way  when it comes to improving your relationships.

Healthy Eating

If you want to improve your mental health, you will need to pay attention to more than your mind. Your diet will have an immediate impact on your wellbeing and your chemical balance that is responsible for your mental health. Some health care professionals claim that anxiety and depression are caused by hormonal and chemical imbalance, and try to treat these conditions with medication. By simply changing your diet, you can improve your overall health and reduce your risk or mental illness.

Sleeping Patterns

It is crucial that you develop healthy sleeping habits. Several studies have been published about how anxiety interferes with sleep and there is clearly a direct relationship. Sleep deprivation can cause stress, and – unless you have healthy coping mechanisms in place – you will suffer. The more tired you are, the more mistakes you will make, and the more irritable you will become. You should find a way to fall asleep faster and get a full relaxation all night. Remove all the electronic devices, especially your phone and the TV from the bedroom, and ensure that you are not disturbed. Read before bed, so you can quieten your mind ready to relax.

Improve Your Environment

It is important to note that our environment has a direct impact on our mental wellness. If you are dealing with inconvenience, cannot find things, or are simply feeling claustrophobic walking into your home, you should change things around. Pay attention to your bedroom and living area, as these areas can impact your mood more than anything. If you are not happy with the neighborhood you are living in, it might be time to think about moving.

Learn to Destress

Image via Gian Cescon@giancescon

It is important that you learn how to reduce stress in your life. Some people work in a job that is full of challenges, which means that they need to spend more time unwinding. Unfortunately, many of them tend to self medicate and turn to smoking, alcohol, or other addictive substances. There is a better way that will deliver long term and continuous results. Why not go to play squash with your friends after work, or jog in the mornings, so you have the right mindset to deal with the challenges?

Deal with Issues Straight Away

Procrastination is the main source of stress and anxiety, and it can really make things worse. You should learn how to make better decisions and how to deal with urgent issues. The longer you leave it, the more the issue will play on your mind and cause you anxiety. You should tackle problems before they escalate. Just like you want to pay your bills on time, so you don’t need to pay a penalty fee, you will need to solve problems as soon as possible.

Ask for Help

Talking about mental health is still difficult for many. You need to open up, or your struggles will eat you inside or make you explode without a legitimate reason. You don’t necessarily need to talk to a health care practitioner; you can simply catch up with friends or find a qualified hypnotherapist. Just having a sounding board can help. If you don’t have anyone you feel like you can trust, you could write your thoughts down and revisit them every now and then.

Mental health issues still don’t get as much attention as physical conditions. If you are struggling with disability or other long term illness, you might also feel down more often. Pay attention to your mind and body and practice self compassion whenever you can.

 

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