We're all guilty of sitting in our own minds when it comes to mental health issues. As the world gets more and more progressive, people are beginning to accept themselves. No shame, no expectations, if you're experiencing a hard time, don't worry. There are many things you can do to help improve your mental health in the coming year and for the rest of your life.
I've taken a lot of strides, in consciously trying to improve my mood, and though at times, it feels like pulling teeth, I can assure, you as someone whose been there: things do get better. Here's a list of some fun, introspective and just plain zen things you can do to help yourself out in the new year.
1. Forget about pleasing others.
The new year may bring on lots of resolutions that revolve around changing yourself in order to be seen in a certain way by others. They are doomed. No matter what he reason, if you're trying to change something, it needs to be for you or else it won't stick, and you'll just end up spinning your wheels.
2. Allow yourself to spend money on things that make you happy.
I just attended a concert, and for a moment I was like "wait, I don't have money for that", but you know what? NO. I do have money for that, because when something makes you that happy,if I can impart any wisdom from this year it's that. My mood instantly changes when I'm surrounded by things that make me smile. Seriously, it sounds dumb, but just try it.
3. Listen to more music.
It's scientifically proven that music can change your brain and boost your mood. So like, turn it up. Discover some new bands, hang out and get into good spirits. Music is a huge thing for me, and I could tell you countless stories about being on the edge and music bringing me back. Hell, they're on this site! But anyway, I digress.. Music is the key!
4. Listen more, talk less.
Mental health is all about perception. If we have a bad perception of the things happening around us, then we're just going to feel bad all the time. But if we listen in, check things out and hang back a bit more without acting first? We might just gain some perspective. My M.O. in life is to jump the gun, and every day, I try to listen a little bit more than I talk, even if I think I'm right. It's a good practice.
5. Write more than you type.
Nothing compares to the physical act of writing something down. I've talked and talked about planners and journals, but unless you actually commit to it, you can't help yourself. Getting your thoughts out as a physical expression, and then seeing it on the page is unlike any other feeling. You'll thank yourself.
6. Spend more time outside.
This might seem logical, because the sun gives you Vitamin D and all that stuff, but it's a lot harder to get outside if you have a job that requires you to be indoors, or you're busy with class or whatever. But just being outside, whether you drag your laptop with you or not, is really good for you. Instant mood boost.
7. Pick a few books to read, and then read them.
Sometimes I buy books and I don't actually read them. They sit on shelves for months, collecting dust and age. The pages get yellow, and the words just fall away. If you go to a bookstore and drop your precious money, just make sure you're actually going to read them, because you could gain some much needed perspective.
8. Sit up straight and hold up your head, literally.
Walking around with a gloomy, collapsed spine isn't only bad for your physical health, it dogs on your mental health as well. If you stand up straighter, and walk a little taller, you'll end up feeling more upright, and more adjusted. Sometimes you have to trick your body into feeling better. I'm not sure, but it works for me!
Mental health is all about coming to terms with the things we don't view as ideal. For me, sitting down and doing a sort of self-examination always helps. Don't fixate for too long, just reflect and move.
10. Go easy on yourself.
Mental health is almost 100 percent about self-perception. If we can go a little bit easier on ourselves, we might be able to live happier and more fulfilling lives. I'm still working on this, but together, we can figure it out.
"If we are to save the mind we must ignore its gloomy virtues and celebrate its strength and wonder." - Albert Camus
I hope you all have a happy and healthy new year.