Mental wellness is an internal resource that helps us think, feel, connect, and function. It is an active process that helps us to grow, flourish, and build resilience. People often use it interchangeably with mental health, emotional wellness, and a few other phrases.
We all have a responsibility to take care of our mental wellness BUT:
Some days it’s easy to do while other days it’s hard.
Some days we know how to take care of our mental health, other days we don’t, and some days we REALLY don’t.
Some days, weeks, or months we don’t pay attention and we suddenly find ourselves feeling depressed, overwhelmed, burnt out or just worn out.
Some days we are on our own and other days we have help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are understanding and are often eager to help if they can.
Ways to help manage our mental wellness
Pay attention to how you feel and how it affects you. See if you notice any patterns.
Name your feeling(s) and manage them in an appropriate way.
Remember that whatever you feel is OKAY. It’s how you react or deal with it that can be problematic.
EXERCISE and stay active. Get those endorphins going and build up your confidence.
Laugh, go outside, have a theme song, take a break, send a friend a meme, say a few swear words (to yourself), watch funny cat videos. Do whatever helps give a moment of relief.
Get quality sleep
Reset your body, rest and recover, ward off irritability and frustration.
Strengthen your social connections.
Hang out with positive friends, connect with a friend you haven’t seen/texted/talked to in a while, go for a walk and smile at a stranger, make small talk with the regulars in your area (the cashier at the convenience store, the crossing guards at your child’s school, the barista at your regular coffee stand).
Cope with change (or loss)
A change, even a good one, takes time to adjust to. Give yourself grace and time to adjust.
Give yourself even more grace to adjust if there are several things changing in your life. (Hello, pandemic!)
Think about what you need in those tricky moments - a break, silence, water, a hug.
Give your day/week structure if that’s what you need.
Introverts often need a social rest. Stay home and do something quiet or low key after a “people heavy” day.
Have a mantra
Keep it positive.
“I am safe”. Repeat this to yourself if you are feeling anxious or overly worried. It can help send a signal to your brain that you are NOT in danger just because you are too worried about what someone might think of your new shirt, that you are starting a new job, or that you have to speak in front of others.
Focus on facts. What IS happening rather than what MIGHT/COULD happen. Most of the time, the things we are worried about never actually happen.
Remember that it’s a daily thing! We’ve got to stay on top of our mental wellness. If we don’t, it
can be really difficult to get it under control and get into a positive headspace.
Trisha Burdsall is a Still I Run ambassador, mom of 3, special ed teacher, runner, duathlete, reader, and coffee lover. She enjoys being outside, camping, and hiking.