Prizm News / May 20, 2019 / By Daniel Mathuews, MSW, LSW
10 Mental Health Tips
By Daniel Mathuews, MSW, LSW
Wellness doesn’t always come naturally. But with a hefty dose of intentionality, you can overcome distracting stimuli to achieve a more healthy perspective. Daniel Mathuews, MSW, LSW, and Behavior Health Therapist at Equitas Health provides us with 10 tips to steer us toward a more balanced approach to mental health.
- Make time for what you love. This is totally individual, for example, spending time with friends that support and care for you or going places and doing activities that calm, exhilarate, and lift you up. If you don’t know what you like, try something new!
- Ask for help. We all experience low moods, worry, sadness and fear. Inner strength is often found when we talk out our issues and reflect our problems off of someone else.
- Listen to your gut! If something doesn’t feel like it would be a positive in our lives, we have the right to say no and protect ourselves. If you feel like something isn’t right, do what is best for you.
- Progress, not perfection. Not an original thought, but it applies to all of us. Each of us are living our best truth. Making small, attainable changes all add up! So be easy on yourself and don’t give up. When you feel you have failed, look at the accomplishments you have made and give yourself credit.
- Stay in the moment. Easier said than done, but if we can focus on what is happening in the moment, we have more rich experiences. It’s okay to just enjoy our families, friends, or “me time.”
- Be kind to yourself! This means when you find yourself talking poorly to yourself, change it. Tell yourself the opposite of the negative. This is called “Positive Self-Talk.” If you are doing things that harm you, seek help and try to do “Opposite Action.” These things take practice, hence: progress not perfection!
- Be honest with yourself. If we have a (or are the) partner who continues to use and abuse, we have to be honest about what we are getting from the relationship and whether our own mental health is worth the effort we put in. We have to ask ourselves if we are getting what we need from a situation. If we cannot find good reason to keep ourselves in a situation, we then have to ask ourselves if we are being true to ourselves.
- Don’t give too much of yourself. It is great to help others and take on projects, but can you say no? Over-commitment is one of the fastest ways to increase stress and induce depression. So practice saying no, and don’t explain why.
- Breathe and take one step at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Sometimes things seem overwhelming until we break them up into small bites. So make a list and schedule each step. We call this “Treatment Planning” in the behavioral health world.
- Be kind to others. This one can be a task, especially if we haven’t practiced being kind to ourselves. Sometimes being kind to others is letting them know we are here if they need us. The easiest thing we can do is smile and acknowledge each other. Sometimes it can change someone’s whole day.