Nowadays we are surrounded by stress. Each step we take leads towards more and more stress under a form or another. We live through complex times, when our brain needs to be alert at any cost, for changes, for possibilities, for not losing a job, for not losing a relationship and so forth. All these moments when our brain is focusing, is active, it uses energy. The question is, how can we balance this energy loss and the periods of activity of our brain? How can we take care of our mental health so we can function normally?
At many times, the distractions we find, that we consider give our brain some space and some time-off are in fact doing more harm than good. We try to find answers in alcohol, smoking and going out. But are these really beneficial activities that help our brain?
1. Keep your stress level in check
Here you can turn to various tricks. For instance, you can try to be more organized, you can try to take care of your schedule so that you don’t end up being overwhelmed. Of course, this is quite hard when various unexpected situations arise at any moment and the stress is there, waiting for you!
Give yourself a peaceful moment per day. It doesn’t have to be half an hour, it can be 5 minutes in which you meditate, in silence, in peace. Many times this helps a lot to put thoughts in order, to offer some clarity that otherwise doesn’t come and put matters into perspective.
2. Stay connected
And when I say this, I do not mean through social media. Take the time to meet your friends, have a chat with them. Face-to-face interaction is really relevant. Isolation never led to anything productive so go out there and invest in real relationships.
3. Stay active
Just how the saying goes, healthy mind in healthy body. And don’t roll eyes at this one. It’s not about hitting the gym every day or every second day and many of us are not into extreme physical activities. It’s not about that. It’s about engaging your body in order to cooperate with your mind. You can think of a certain exercise routine, something that keeps you active for a couple of minutes a day and you enjoy doing. It can be a walk in the park, a little jogging around the neighborhood, a ride on the bike or anything that you would like to do. You will see the positive effects that it has in your brain afterwards.
4. Take care of your body
Once again, healthy mind in healthy body. And it’s not just about being active. It’s also about paying attention to what you eat, how you eat and when, how much sleep you get and if it’s quality rest. Try giving up the negative elements such as smoking, alcohol, junk food and so on. Think of the benefits they offer and then think of how much healthier you would be without them.
5. Quality sleep
As I mentioned above, this is part of taking care of yourself. Many times we go to bed, after a really long day and we think to ourselves what a great rest we are going to have. And then we start thinking about the tasks we have to do the next day, about that family matter that we kept postponing throughout the day and sleep never comes and even if we do, eventually fall asleep, it’s not quality sleep, it’s more of a stressful rest that doesn’t really give our brain a break. How many times did it happen that you wake up in the morning just as tired as you went to bed?
6. Find purpose, a goal
Many times depression kicks in when we no longer see purpose in doing certain tasks. “Why would I wake up in the morning, nobody is waiting for me anyway” or “Why would I go out in the city, I have no real friends”. As already mentioned, try to engage, try to connect with people. If you feel like you have no real friends, at least get out at times with those acquaintances, you never know what might flourish into something more meaningful.
Find activities that make you happy. You like hiking, riding a bike, reading, writing, painting or volunteering? It might not seem to matter at first, but you give yourself a boost with each extra activity that pleases your mind. It’s like a little holiday.
All in all, what matters the most is that you do not give up on yourself. If there’s nobody around to hold your hand, no worries, hold your own hand for a while, until things settle. If nothing seems to be working, never be afraid of seeking professional assistance. Sometimes the path might be harder to find than we expect but it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
The key is to be persistent, to never stop trying to find those things that give you pleasure, that make you happy. The above ideas are just some guidelines that you can further build upon. If you have any other ideas that we might add or consider, we are eager to hear them!