Did you know yesterday was World Mental Health Day?
It seemed like everyone in my network was super into it this year, which I think totally rocks. If there were ever a year when we need to know it's OK to talk about mental health stuff, it's probably this one.
I'm lucky that I grew up in a family / community / part of the USA where it was relatively common to talk about psychologists, psychiatrists, deep breathing, long beach walks, and all the other things that fall underneath the mental health umbrella.
But I know that's pretty rare. And I also know that it all seems easy to talk about until you think you might be the one who needs some help.
Meaning that it's important to acknowledge World Mental Health Day. I know first-hand that employment status stress can very easily spiral or trigger self-worth issues, anxiety, and depression.
Over the last few years, I've learned that you gotta be proactive about your mental health the same way that you would be about your physical health. Even if you don't think anything's "seriously" wrong.
Just like with physical health, you probably shouldn't wait until you're in the hospital to start paying attention.
For me, that comes down to being able to diffuse my own brain on the daily with some basic practices.
Today, I want to share three super-effective mental health tips with you.
If you're anything like me, you're a bit of a chronic over-thinker. I find that I can get deep inside my own head a lot and those thoughts will start affecting my mood--even though nothing's actually 'happened.'
TIP 1: YOU GOTTA BREATHE, BOO
When we start feeling stressed out, our breath gets shallower and we hold our bodies in really tense ways without realizing it.
You know what happens then? We literally don't get enough oxygen to our brains, which makes the whole situation even worse.
You can circulate lots of oxygen into your body by taking multiple deep breaths in a row. Try doing ten in a row right now. Do this everyday! Just set a timer on your phone and make it happen.
TIP 2: LOOK UP, LOOK UP, LOOK UP
If you can feel my inner monologue speeding up or starting to spiral, look up at the sky.
Seeing long horizons are proven to be soothing for us humans, and you're also stretching your neck muscles--which again, releases the tension you're holding in your shoulders without realizing, circulates more oxygen, etc.
You're physically taking your body out of the protective fetal position, and you'll feel stronger and calmer. I always do.
TIP 3: GET OUT THE DOOR
This one is the most important for me. When I'm home alone and overthinking, I can start to spiral into my own thoughts. I'll just sit in silence and look at my phone, or it will take me like, seventeen hours to put on my makeup, etc.
Being a young adult human in 2017 can be super isolating, and it's easy to kind of lean into that isolation.
Whenever I feel myself starting to do so, I set myself a mission to leave the house. You'd be shocked how much you can shake yourself out of your brain by putting on your shoes and going into public. Even just to walk around the block.
Ours is the generation of believing we can think our way out of any situation--but what I've found is that, in reality, thinking is sometimes the least helpful thing you can do.
Here's hoping one of these tips works for you!
Being alive is f*cking exhausting, and we're all doing the best we can. Rooting for you, your career, your sanity, and your future. Always.