Are you going through a mental breakdown due to troubles in job, relationships, career or your anything in your life? Irrespective of the fact that you’ve been through a mental illness or not, you would know what it is like to be in total despair and have no idea what to do next in life. You’re curled up in bed, you don’t want to move, and you desperately wish you knew how to make things better but you’re just caught up somewhere in your mind. In such life situations, simple life hacks is what you need.
Even though these mental health hacks aren’t going to fix everything but be sure of the fact that they are great to have in place and they encourage us to make good decisions for ourselves when we’re struggling. They’re simple, yes, but incredibly helpful.
- Spend time with yourself
The fact of the matter is that we all are too busy being busy. In the rush to earn a glamorous living we tend to satisfy and spend time with everyone around us except ourselves. Studies have shown that self introspection not just liberates our thoughts from all mental barriers but strengthens our mental senses to take on the challenges in life. Listening and responding to one’s body is a must for learning how to regain some control over one’s mental health and consequently some physical health.
So when you are at work, go ahead and take a tech-free break where you are all on your own. Turn your phone off and go for a walk; go outside and read a book; do something you enjoy and do solo. You may simply lay in bed with a cup of green tea and listen to your favorite songs; or take your pet with you to see the sunset. Make sure you’re all alone. It really relaxes you, and feels great afterwards.
2) Get distracted whenever you feel low
This may sound like going off the track, but works pretty much every time. It’s hugely important in getting you to move away from self-destructive habits and to start relying on self-care when you’re struggling.
Here’s the gist of it: You come up with 10 things that you can do when you’re feeling down to boost your mood. Write it down on a note card and keep it handy. Your distraction plan could include going for a walk to get a coffee or a smoothie (alone or with a friend), watching a funny show, wrapping yourself in a soft blanket and listening to a new podcast, taking a long shower or bath, playing a game or assembling a puzzle, and squeezing an ice cube while counting your breaths.
Every time you feel despondent, just force yourself to try to do at least one thing from that list. It may sound silly, but sometimes all it takes is one or two of these activities to get my mood to a more manageable place.
3) Get active and excited about life
This may sound as the last thing you feel like doing when you’re depressed – but trust us when we say the endorphins really can help. Finding a workout you actually enjoy is key to keeping you motivated on bad mental health days. Travelling is the second best way to uplift your mood any time of the day and the most soothing way to calm the distressing, intrusive thoughts of violence and self-harm that comes with your sad thoughts.
You may even play any random song and tap a foot once in awhile. That works great if you have a loved one near you. For parents the best way for getting out of negative thought cycle is to play with their kids.
Yoga also works wonders to give your mind a rest from the worries and panic.
4) Get focused
Focusing on the task in hand and not allowing your mind to deviate (to the negative thoughts) is the best way to keep your mental health in check. Whenever you feel you are losing out on work attention indulge yourself into concentration—intensive math problems or Sudoku puzzles. These help you collect your thoughts back and boost your attention levels when you feel overwhelmed by anxiety.
The point here is not to wander off before you’re done with the day’s work. You may even use a weekly planner to remind yourself to remain alert of the tasks ahead. You may even get creative start drawing to detaching yourself from gloomy thoughts and get your attention span boosted.
5) Get yourself a rescue box
One of the problems you consistently come across when it comes to self-care was following through. You’d get depressed, and instead of doing something to take care of yourself, you’d insist that it took too much energy to find something to do and hence opt to stay in bed.
As you probably can imagine, staying in bed made things worse. To simplify this situation you need to make self-care easier and more accessible. So go ahead and create a self-care rescue box.
What the heck is it? A self-care rescue box is a box that you fill with items that are part of your self-care routine. It’s like a care package, only you assemble it for yourself and open it up when you’re having a bad day.
It can include a heating pad, uplifting books, lotions and massage bars, a manicure kit, video games, a DVD collection of my favorite television series, a box of favorite tea, an emergency chocolate bar, candles, board games, and all sorts of things that make your comfortable.
On your bad days, try to grab at least one thing from the box and use it. It operates as a great distraction, and I get a little boost just having a box filled with stuff that I love.
These are some of tried and tested mental health hacks, but that doesn’t mean they’re all perfect for you or that you have to implement them all right now. Try out the ones that stand out, and come up with your own plan to be more mentally healthier and happier.