I haven’t done an Investing in Yourself post in a long, long time. But with the news of Kate Spade’s death last week, apparently at her own hands, I felt compelled to leave the fun & frilly posts for another week and raise a red flag on matters of mental health. Because caring for your mental health is another major way of investing in yourself.
Now before we even get started, I am no specialist when it comes to mental health, nor am I claiming to possess a universal solution for everyone’s problems. But having suffered through bouts of depression (of my own and of dear, close people in my life), and having overcome an eating disorder in my teenage years, I can at least share my experiences and tips with you all, in the hopes that they will in any way help anyone.
Be truthful with yourself. This is the number one thing you need to do, and I recognize it is sometimes the hardest. But admitting to yourself that you do indeed have a problem is actually pretty great! Yep, you read that right- because now you can start to FIX it.
Anorexia, depression, burnout, anxiety are all real, palpable things. And accepting they are real may feel like bumping into something weird inside your house at night- strange, unfamiliar, terrifying. But it is there, and you need to uncover it and take control.
Reach out to someone. Be it your spouse, your parents, your teachers if you are still in school, your friends or a close colleague, you need to reach out and speak up. Isolating yourself and believing that you are the only person dealing with these issues, that you are a loser, not worthy of love, help or attention will only make matters worse.
And if you don’t feel like you can even reach out to someone, but they are reaching out to you, let them. Do yourself a favor and let them in, to whichever degree you feel comfortable with- the warmth and understanding of another human being can work wonders.
Seek professional help. And speaking of reaching out to someone, you may find that a mental health professional can help you immensely. With so many psychologists, life coaches and psychotherapists out there, you can find one suited to your particular needs. Not all doctors are specialized in the same afflictions, so do your research and don’t be afraid to try a couple until you find yours.
Make a list of everything good in your life. This may sound like the silliest thing ever, but it works so well! Repeatedly thinking of all the good things that you have going for you- be it your health, your family, your loving partner, a pet, or just the city you’re living in- and being grateful for them has magical powers over your mental wellbeing.
And what better way to be able to review these things than writing them down so you can see them whenever?
Create a soothing routine. Think of a few things you can incorporate in your day to day routine, that will make you feel calmer and happier. It can be a few minutes of morning meditation, a quick walk in the park after work, taking a bubble bath or listening to some music.
For me, it’s giving myself 10-15 minutes in the morning to enjoy my coffee and a magazine, or a few blog posts online after breakfast. This time I get to myself feels like a real treat, and helps me gather myself before the work day begins.
Mental health is something we should all take seriously, and issues related to it are not a shame or a stigma. I truly hope this post helped you in any way, shape or form, and I’m looking forward to hearing how you are caring for your mental balance!