Looking After Your Mental Health in 2020
Photo by Andrew Neel
Originally Posted On: Looking After Your Mental Health in 2020 | Caravan Sonnet
If you, like 1 in 4 people do, experience mental health difficulties, you aren’t alone. Although ill mental health can feel isolating and make daily life a trial, there are ways you can try to either circumvent a downward spiral before it happens, or look after yourself if you’re feeling low. Here, we’ve put together a list of tips for you to try next time you feel yourself starting to experience problem moods.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Although it might seem difficult, one of the best things you can do to counter a panic attack is to try and distract yourself. Acknowledge the feeling, and that you are anxious or worried about something, and then try to switch your focus. If you feel as if your worries or fears are out of proportion to the situation, then it’s possible you have an anxiety disorder. This can also be indicated if you experience panic attacks. The symptoms can occur very quickly and might include feeling dizzy or sick, and breathless or struggling to breathe. Try to focus on your breathing and engage your other senses. This might be chewing gum or eating a mint or other strongly-flavored sweet, stamping on the ground or touching something soft. You could also try holding an ice cube or pinging a rubber band round your wrist to distract you from the symptoms of the panic attack.
There are many resources which relate to finding happiness and self-care, but this can be challenging if you are experiencing a depressive episode. You might find it helps, although it may also make you feel more isolated. Practicing self-care is a good technique to ward of bouts of depression – if you feel as if you value yourself, you may be less likely to experience the feelings of low-self worth that often accompany depression. Many things included in self-care techniques are ones which you might find difficult if you are feeling depressed, for example getting a good night’s sleep and eating well. Avoiding alcohol is also a good thing. When you’re depressed, you may feel more inclined to drink, or let yourself go more. This should be avoided because ultimately, it will make you feel worse. If you are struggling with this then check out Enterhealth. Remember, there’s a reason it’s something you practice. Don’t feel as if you’ve failed, just try to look after yourself again tomorrow and encourage yourself as if you were encouraging your best friend to try again.
Often referenced incorrectly in popular culture, OCD is actually troubling thoughts, images or memories which are unwanted and can appear without warning. The compulsion part or this disorder involves activities that you perform (sometimes multiple times) to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. It might be repeatedly checking that the door is locked, or the gas off. It isn’t about being tidy or clean but in fact relates to the negative thought associated with that. Although it can be difficult to challenge the unwanted thoughts, there are ways you can combat the intrusive ideas you are experiencing.
Remember to look after yourself and that there is no stigma in seeking assistance from a mental health clinic or your physician if you are spiralling into a low mood or finding everyday life a challenge. Try our tips for warding off episodes recognize your symptoms to manage your moods.