Times are tough, aren't they? From the crazy politics to today's "cancelled culture," sometimes, it's all too much! Not to mention what might be happening in your own life! Is work killing you? How's your relationship? Are you able to get enough time to relax? It's so easy to get caught up in a lot of problems that, often, you just need to take a break from it all. To not let all this negativity dominate your mind and physically, mentally, and emotionally drain you. But how exactly do you fight it off? Well, here are some helpful steps to take on keeping your mental health in check while you're at home.
THE HUGE FIRST STEP: ACCEPT YOUR MENTAL CHALLENGES
First thing's first, you need to accept that you, just like many people around the world, are having a hard time dealing with whatever it is that's going on. In order to address a problem, you have to first acknowledge that it exists. And this starts with you, first and foremost. It's so easy to let yourself think that nothing's going on just to make yourself feel better and look stronger to the people around you.
You're probably not telling your wife that your boss is killing you at work, which is why you're often up at night. Or you haven't shared with your friends that you hate the way they make fun of your looks, even if it's all in jest. When you just let all of that go and take a back seat in your mind, over time, they will eat you up and lead to even worse mental conditions.
HelpGuide also noted that there are various reasons why people don't want to come to terms with their own mental challenges. They range from cultural differences to fear of public shaming. And while they may seem legitimate concerns for apprehension, at the end of the day, they don't matter. What matters is you and your mental wellbeing. The more honest you are about it, the better!
So, have you finally accepted that you’re facing some mental challenges? Good! Now's the time to address them. You can start by doing mindful meditation. And no, this isn't just sitting down with your legs crossed saying "ahmmm.." while you close your eyes. According to Medical News Today, mindful meditation requires remaining present and aware of one's surroundings even while finding peace. They noted that staying mindful of the present better helps you focus on your positive thoughts while warding off the negative ones. As well as, of course, keeping you alert at all times.
SLEEP A LOT
Well, you can thank your lucky stars for this one: sleep can actually improve your mental wellbeing. If you're a father to a newborn or a workaholic, you're probably hearing an angelic chorus singing "hallelujah" right now! But yes, having a good night's sleep is vital in helping you deal with your mental health. And the emphasis is on "good" sleep, not the sudden doze off while you're commuting to work or a quick nap when your baby's suddenly quiet. Substantial rest—around 6 - 9 hours of sleep—rejuvenates your mind and better clears it for you to better face your mental problems head-on.
Though the physical benefits of maintaining fitness are obvious and concrete, you should also take note of its mental rewards too. And this goes way beyond the confidence you'll build up once you achieve your #fitnessgoals. Physical activity actually releases endorphins that help lift your mood and give you more energy. Now, imagine how much your mood will improve when you work-out regularly! With each push-up that you do or every kilometer that you run, you're basically making yourself feel better. However, you should also note that those endorphins also release when you're doing something as simple as taking a stroll or playing with your kids.
IMPROVE YOUR DIET
And just like physical fitness, your mental wellbeing is just as dependent on your diet as it is on exercising. What you eat at home, or anywhere for that matter, makes a world of difference. In fact, the Mental Health Foundation highlighted a study that saw the people who ate a lot of fruits and vegetables reduced their depression since changing their diet. So the next time you're given a choice between a chocolate bar and a carrot, while the chocolate will give you instant satisfaction, the carrot will actually help you feel better mentally in the long run!
START A HOBBY
Is it the world today, with all its troubling news, that's keeping you up at night? Is it what you see on social media on a day-to-day basis that replays in your mind? If the answer is yes, then disconnect with a hobby. Let our creative side flourish by doing some woodwork, sculpting, or any other arts & crafts venture. Exercise your brain by playing chess with a colleague. Collect watches, or stamps, or precious stones, so that you'll have something to strive for other than work. Focusing on something other than the negativity that surrounds you will give your mind a break.
LET IT OUT
The main issue—at least, most of the time—with men's mental health is that it's often bottled up inside. It's no secret that society expects men to push through challenges unfazed, particularly with mental health problems. But the more you keep to yourself, especially when things get worse, the more likely you'll develop possibly life-altering mental health issues. Prioritize your mental wellbeing by letting it all out. Talk to your spouse/partner, friends, family, or even a professional psychiatrist about your problems. The more you let it off your chest, the calmer your mind will be.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU'RE GRATEFUL FOR
Finally, practice gratitude often. Success.com stressed that practising gratitude and focusing on the good things in your life will help you forget the negative ones. They suggest that you list down or write in a journal all the things that you're grateful for but you can also do more than that. Express your gratitude by letting the people around you know how thankful you are. Embrace your spouse/partner and let them know how special they are to you. Call your parents up every once in awhile and let them know how you're doing. Hang out with your friends and talk about how better life has been since you all first met.
Whether you're just slightly anxious or overly depressed, your mental health is something you should often look into. Men's mental health, in particular, is mostly pushed aside because of society's expectations and standards. However, if you don't highlight your own mental wellbeing, you won't be able to enjoy your own life.