3 C’s: Quick Mental Health Tips You Can Work on NOW
Most of us are quick to help someone who is in emotional distress. However, in terms of our own mental health, we fall short. Give yourself grace and maintain your mental health to live a full life! Here are 3 quick ways you can begin to do this now, before or to supplement, engaging in therapy:
1. Connect with others.
Developing and maintaining deep and meaningful relationships is likely a driving force behind your desire to work on improving your mental health. It certainly is with most people I see. Listen to others and be sincere. Your friends are not your therapists. Your relationships should not be based on just sharing difficulties. Share the joys- even the small ones. You’d be surprised as to how often we are convinced we are burdening someone, while they actually appreciate a quick text with some exciting news. Research shows that sharing positive tidbits makes good feelings last longer, thereby improving happiness.
2. Check your point of view.
Those who are able to engage in zooming out and seeing their problems from a bigger purview, will generally fare better in terms of changing their outlook. Learning to deal with emotions involves accepting all your feelings and thoughts, including difficult ones (read my post on the Feelings Inventory). Ask yourself: “Is the way I’m looking at this an accurate description of what is happening?” “What other narratives might explain why I’m experiencing this reaction?” “Did I overestimate the possibility of negative results or underestimate my ability to cope?
3. Channel balance.
Each of us plays many roles in life. You may be a parent, partner, employee, student, teammate, caregiver, volunteer, etc. It is easy to feel over extended between responsibilities, and inevitably sacrifice important parts of life. Being stretched too thin can make you feel dissatisfied. Doing things well + striving for balance versus doing things perfectly and living in disharmony is best.
Consider how satisfied you are in various areas of your life: relationships, work, health, financial well being, self-development, and your spiritual life. How important are each of these domains in your life, generally? Is this a season in your life in which your health is a priority? That’s ok too. Just be more planful in creating intentional space for other parts of yourself. For instance, plan a two hour chunk on a Sunday to pay your bills and deal with your financial well being, so it doesn’t distract you from an early Monday, when you’re headed to work and get an email about a delayed bill. Planfulness is key in channeling balance.