7 Good Mental Health Habits

Image by Ella Jardim on Unsplash

Last fall was a difficult time period for me. A combination of different reasons piled on each other all at the same time, because when it rains it pours. Thankfully, winter break proved to be a reprieve: mentally, I hibernated from the world except from my family and closest friends. That served as the reset I needed to come back to school January feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

In the new year, I resolved that I needed to make significant changes so I could better shield myself from bad situations that would be sure to happen in the future. Here are a few of the habits I have implemented:

  1. Write. Writing is very therapeutic for me, but I took a bit of a break because I didn’t want to deal with my feelings. I sucked it up and have been writing in my journal, writing creatively, and writing here! All of this has helped me feel productive by creating, as well as helping me process my feelings.
  2. Pick up a hands-on hobby. I can get very stuck in my head and overthink until the end of time. Recently I’ve been cooking more, and it’s been a really enjoyable experience. For an hour and a half I’m focused on the meal I’m cooking, and using my hands more instead of my brain.
  3. Prioritize… by allowing myself to slip on the less important things. People often mention prioritizing as a time management tool, which it is, but re-framing it as “it’s ok to do badly on some things because that’s a lesser issue” shifted my mindset about prioritizing. Prioritizing used to make me feel as though I still had to get everything done, just in a certain order, but reframing the concept gave me permission to not do some things.
  4. Push myself to do things. A bit on the opposite side of the coin as the previous point, but still applicable nevertheless. I’m very much a “the world is ending so I have to stop everything and curl up in a ball and die” kind of person, but sometimes (most of the time, honestly) that’s not a very helpful coping mechanism. I’ve instead found that making myself study is better, because it distracts my mind and ensures I don’t fall behind all my life responsibilities.
  5. Stay off social media. I’ve been off Instagram for almost two months now and it feels like I’ve gotten rid of bags full of mental clutter. I’ve taken Instagram breaks before, but none were this long. I’m better able to focus on my life and what I think of it, instead of other people’s lives and what they think of me.
  6. Proactively plan fun. Planning fun used to make me feel guilty, and it also led to disappointments because I would have such high expectations about the event and inevitably be let down. But what I’ve learned is that looking forward to fun events is a source of happiness in itself. So I have designated TV watching dates with my friends, which make me look forward to that day each week.
  7. Practice positive affirmations. I didn’t think I was into affirmations, but they help more than I expected. When I’m going through a tough time, I remind myself that no matter what I have to do, I’ll get through it. Another one I like is reminding myself that the universe, God, the powers that be–whoever they are, they’re on my side.

What are your good mental health habits to ensure you stay healthy? Let me know down in the comments down below; I’d love to get some new ideas!

x B

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