Mental health and wellness are often overlooked for the guise of normalcy and productivity. But what people fail to understand is how one’s mental health greatly affects their own life and the lives of people around them. Recent events have resulted in an uptick in mental health problems, so it’s important to check in on yourself once in a while.
Crisis hotlines across the nation are receiving more calls than usual. While an MIH platform can help streamline processes, there’s only so much you can do. More people need to know that exercising mental wellness is important to their well-being and who they really are. Taking extra steps to take care of your callers’ mental health may yield positive results, so we’ve made a list of possible talking points you can use during these calls.
1. Enrich your life with good connections
As humans, we are naturally social creatures who are drawn to others of our kind. Spending time by yourself to meditate is good, but isolating yourself too much for too long will lead you to a negative spiral.
We need emotional connections outside ourselves, especially in times of crisis. Make time to talk face-to-face with a person you appreciate. This could be your sister, your friend from college, or even your lover. Social media is great and all, but talking to a real person does wonders for a person’s mood.
A good way to make significant connections is meeting new friends. Have you always wanted to join a crochet club? What about those salsa lessons you’ve been eyeing on community boards? Connecting with people you share a common interest in will offer you great conversations and moral support.
There’s nothing more satisfying than acing a group activity and high-fiving each other afterward. You choose who you let into your life, so it’s important to let people who will enrich it in.
2. Exercise more often
Physical activities help promote the creation of endorphins, one of the “happy hormones” that the brain can produce. Endorphins are a mood-boosting neurochemical that makes people feel energized. Regular exercise and a healthy routine of movement greatly improve one’s body and mind. Wellness only comes when both are as healthy as possible, so it’s time to put on that workout playlist and get pumping!
Of course, when we talk about “physical activities,” we mean a regimen that doesn’t put too much pressure on you. A walk around your neighborhood at dawn or dancing alone in your room is enough to produce endorphins. No one knows your body better than you do, so you can set the pace of your workout, as well as what kind of exercise you want to try.
3. Manage your stress levels
Stress has been proven to be one of the reasons why your physical and mental condition can decline. Stress can cause major anxiety and panic attacks, and dealing with that frequently isn’t going to do you any good. Manage your stress by being gentle with yourself when things feel rough. One way to manage that is to step away from what’s stressing you out for a bit and talking to someone. A good chat can take your mind off what’s bothering you.
You can also de-stress by engaging your senses. People react differently to sensory stimuli, like comforting scents or even ASMR podcasts. Try out different methods and see which one works best for you. Having something like a go-to activity you do when you’re stressed will help your brain associate calmness to the activity you choose.
Lastly, set some time aside for your hobbies! Hobbies don’t require as much brainpower as work does, so you are free to zone out and focus on whatever you’re doing. The lack of external pressure to be “good” at it is a big weight off your shoulders. Hobbies and leisurely activities help you combat burnout, so don’t work too hard.
A final word
You can make a difference even if the calls aren’t urgent in nature. These talking points will improve lives and spread the gospel of wellness. Achieving peak mental condition doesn’t happen overnight. It has to be learned, understood, and integrated into your life. That means exercising, reconnecting with activities you used to enjoy, and talking to actual people.
Sometimes it may feel like such a chore, or it might not seem worth it in the long run, but taking care of your mind as much as you do your body will help you live longer and more at peace with yourself. If the negative feelings outweigh the positive, and it feels endless, tell your callers to see a professional. Self-diagnosis can only go so far, but the opinions of an actual practitioner will help you more. It’s always okay to ask for help.