Keeping mentally healthy should be a priority for everyone. If your mind is not in a good place, it can be almost impossible to concentrate on anything else. This can affect your work, relationships and the ability to do the things you enjoy. While it might sometimes feel like a constant battle, there are things you can do that will stop spirals early and allow you to lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
As much as we don’t like to admit it, money can play a big role in our mental health, especially if we owe money or we don’t have enough to do something we really want. If you owe money, start addressing your debt and see if you can secure better repayment terms. For college students, paying for college is another big worry, however you can take out student loans from a private lender to help you with the costs. If you have credit card debt, think about ways to pay off the balance. Maybe family and friends can help in the short-term and you can pay them back when you’re back on your feet. Whatever your situation, know that money does matter and the sooner you can start to be more financially stable, the better.
Check in with yourself
This is one of the most important steps in keeping yourself mentally stable. You have to recognize when you have something going on. You can do this by writing a journal and keeping a track of how you are feeling at the end of each day. By doing this you are stopping the chance of you ignoring any potential issues that could spiral out of control.
Recognize your cycles
You might not know exactly what depression feels like, but when our mental states deteriorate, it is usually part of a cycle which begins far earlier than when we actually start feeling it. There can be small changes in behavior or lack of motivation to do something we ordinarily like doing. Perhaps you go for a walk every morning but one morning you don’t feel like it. That’s fine. If it continues, then there is likely something that is affecting you such that you are lacking in motivation. Be aware of the start of these cycles and address it as soon as possible.
Don’t ignore warning signs
As with the start of cycles, it is essential that you don’t ignore warning signs. Small warning signs can be easy to dismiss through reasons such as lack of time or you’re too tired. However, you need to ask yourself if that is truly the case. If it is, then you have at least taken the time to assess your mental state and acknowledge the possibility that all might not be well.
Seek help if you need it
It is common to feel like asking for help is difficult, but it’s also something that is necessary when you are feeling down. The simple act of talking about something provides a release for all of our thoughts and feelings. Often you will find that the person you are talking to can relate to what you are going through and this will make you feel better about yourself. You should also never be afraid to ask for professional help if you think that is what you need. They are there to help you solve your issues and will not judge you.
David Tobin did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He is interested in mental health and well-being.