April 20, 2024


Health know-how

4 Tips for Embracing Mental Health as an Essential Part of Everyday Life

BIPOC Mental Health: Barriers and Ways to Support | Lyra Health

Prioritizing your mental health as an integral part of everyday life creates a more balanced, enjoyable, and fulfilling existence. Just as it’s necessary to tend to your physical health, caring for your mind is essential to living well. Fortunately, you can adopt several strategies to make prioritizing your mental well-being a natural part of your routines. Here are four tips for embracing your mental health daily. 

1. Normalize Needing Help 

Life is a challenging, emotional journey that no one should have to go through alone. Needing help with your mental health is not a sign of weakness but the exact opposite. It takes courage to ask for what you need and seek the services you deserve. For example, talking to a therapist isn’t a sign that you can’t handle your life but showcases your strength and desire to grow. Normalizing resources like therapy breaks down stigma and can encourage others to better care for themselves. 

Normalizing mental health care also means acknowledging that medication is a saving grace for millions of people. Medications like antidepressants, mood stabilizers, stimulants, and anti-anxiety meds make it easier for many to get through everyday life. Fortunately, access to these treatments has expanded thanks to online mental health medication and more affordable generic alternatives. Just as access has grown, so should conversations about these mental health treatments. For example, sharing your personal experience with these meds or listening to a friend’s success story are huge steps toward dismantling stigma. 

2. Practice Self-Compassion 

Self-compassion is one of the best skills for your mental health toolkit. This practice means showing yourself the same kindness, patience, and understanding that you would someone you love. For instance, if you struggle with negative self-talk, think about if what you’re saying to yourself is something you’d say to your best friend. If it’s too unkind to speak to your BFF, it isn’t okay to tell yourself. 

Self-compassion also acts as a shield against needing external validation to feel good about yourself. When you practice self-compassion, you’re creating an internal source of assurance that remains strong regardless of external circumstances. It also fosters resilience when you face criticism and hurtful actions from the outside world. A foundation of compassion within yourself is crucial to take with you through your day-to-day life. 

In addition, cultivating self-compassion allows you to handle challenging situations with a more balanced approach and rational mindset. For example, a stressful life event could make you want to numb out with substances or doom-scroll on social media. In these moments, self-compassion will look like choosing healthier coping strategies. You may decide to go for a walk, write down your worries in a journal, or call a friend for support. Choosing actions that promote overall well-being is one of the ultimate acts of self-compassion. 

3. Seek Meaning 

A sense of purpose in your life benefits your mental health, cognitive functioning, and overall well-being. You can find meaning in relationships, activities, and pursuits that resonate with your values and desires. For example, you could find a sense of purpose in your connections with others, whether as a friend, partner, sibling, or parent. Volunteering for a cause you care about, especially if it helps others, can also infuse your life with meaning. Your work is another effective way to bring you fulfillment, especially if a job utilizes your skills. 

In addition, spending time on your hobbies will encourage more joy, play, and meaning in your days. Don’t let the business of everyday life keep you from dedicating energy to activities that bring out your fun, creative, or adventurous side. Remember that purposes in life will look different from person to person, so it may take time to discover what brings you the most fulfillment. 

4. Cultivate Self-Awareness 

Self-awareness is an invaluable tool for maneuvering through your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Firstly, understanding your patterns allows you to take proactive steps to make changes where necessary, replacing harmful habits with healthier choices. Recognizing how you operate is also essential for setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself. Self-awareness allows you to see the difference between healthy compromises and detrimental concessions.

In addition, self-awareness cultivates emotional intelligence, which lets you understand your feelings as they arise. This awareness lets you better manage your mental health and express your emotions constructively. For instance, if you struggle with body image, you might feel triggered by a family member’s offhand comment about your appearance. Instead of lashing out, calmly communicate that you don’t appreciate judgments about your body and that you prefer the person keep future remarks to themselves. 

Self-awareness is also beneficial when creating and maintaining boundaries. You must understand your values, needs, and limits to set a boundary. Examples of boundaries include not overscheduling yourself so you can make time for self-care and not overextending your emotional bandwidth listening to a loved one’s problems. Acknowledging your triggers empowers you to communicate your boundaries clearly and assertively. 

Prioritizing Mental Health 

Prioritizing your mental health isn’t a luxury or afterthought but a crucial cornerstone to overall wellness. You can’t holistically care for yourself without also nurturing your emotional well-being. Making mental health a priority in everyday life contributes to a more resilient, compassionate, and empathetic world. Remember that embracing a commitment to your mental health is a true testament to your strength and ability to love yourself well.