Want to know the inside scoop on positively dealing with your mental health? Not sure how to get started? Here the best tips for you to try.
As you know, anxiety and poor mental health can be really hard to deal with. When you’re in the throes of panic and anxiety, it can be difficult to bring yourself back to the surface again.
That’s why I always recommend creating a positive mental health routine to minimise the impacts of anxiety, and help bring you back to feeling normal again. Although these tips aren’t a long term fix, they will surely help you in the long term.
Before we get started, I wanted to give you a free PDF for being so lovely! I’ve compiled a long list of hobbies and activities which help improve your mental health. Just pop in your details below to have them delivered to your mailbox:
1. Create a retreat you can escape to when your anxiety gets too much
When anxiety strikes, it is a very overwhelming experience. One minute you can be fine and going about your daily life, the next you’re panicking for no reason. It’s a funny one, is anxiety. It’s unpredictable and evokes strong physical and mental sensations.
Having a retreat where you can escape allows you to deal with the effects of anxiety in your own space, and without other people worrying about you. Some ideas for your retreat could include:
- Your bed/bedroom – when I’m in need of a bit of alone time, I go to the bedroom. Firstly, I love napping so being in bed works WONDERS for me haha. But, secondly, my books and tablet are there too. Sometimes you just want to watch happy heart-warming videos – why not do this in bed?
- A spot for meditation/mindfulness – modern life has created a very distracting world and it can be hard to focus when it’s noisy/busy. If you can, create a calming space for you to spend when anxiety is getting too much. Concentrate on your surroundings and fill it with your treasures. Use that space to escape to when anxiety strikes.
- A local park/park bench/lake – nature has a natural way of calming the mind. The blue and green colours of nature have a positive effect on the brain. Finding somewhere in the country to go to when things get too much could be just what you need. For me, there is a little nature reserve near my work place. I go there on my lunches and stroll around the pond. It’s the best feeling when work life is causing anxiety, and my own little 30 minute retreat.
Those are just a few! Finding a retreat to get some alone time is personal to you so don’t feel bad about going there. Anxiety makes you worry, and stops you from appreciating the moment.
A retreat helps you get back to your real self and back into the present moment.
2. Prepare the people close to you about your anxiety
You reading this means that you’re looking for tips on coping with the daily stresses that life throws at you. Some of this anxiety may come from keeping quiet about your issues and pushing other people away.
Although this pointer here might be tough for you, talking about your stress could help make you feel better. Now I know you may not want to feel like a burden, or an extra stress on those close to you, but think about yourself, too.
The more you try to ignore your stress, no matter what may be causing it, the worse it’ll get. You can’t go through life ignoring it, and preparing those around you might help you. You don’t even need to go the full hog. You can tell them as much or as little as you feel happy sharing.
I’m sure that you’ll feel better after. If this thought scares the hell out of you, why not try writing it down instead?
3. Keep up with your hobbies – and make time for them too
The freebie included with this post contains a whole bunch of hobbies and activities to help you conquer your mental health. Why did I include this? It’s because hobbies are your way of winding down. Too much work and no play makes us all an unhappy bunny.
The more you try to ignore your stress, no matter what may be causing it, the worse it’ll get.
So, rather than running yourself down into the ground, do something you enjoy. If you don’t think you have time for them, MAKE time for them. See, when we don’t enjoy life to the fullest, we become miserable. We lose the sense of achievement we get when we win at life.
It’s really important that you carry on with your hobbies, anxiety, stress or not. If you have children then I know it’s much harder to keep up with your hobbies. But use the time they nap/sleep to enjoy yourself a little. Heck, have that glass of wine in the evening if you want it.
You deserve to be happy, too.
4. Notice the warning signs early
When stress and anxiety show their ugly head, it if often for a reason. Although noticing the warning signs of anxiety is more difficult, stress is not so much.
You know when constantly exhausted? Or when you’re sleeping too much or too little compared to normal? Or when you just don’t have motivation to carry on with those hobbies of yours? Those are warning signs. PLEASE don’t ignore them.
The physical impacts of stress and anxiety are pretty immense when they happen. Your body is trying to tell you something and you should always take note when you’re not feeling 100%. I know that each of us are affected by stress and anxiety differently, but you will know your own body.
You deserve to be happy, too.
So the next time you’re feeling tired/stressed/anxious, think about what is causing this. Are you working too hard at your day job? Are you spending very little time looking after yourself? Do you need space and quiet time?
Notice the signs and remember them. Once you start to notice the signs earlier on, you’re in a much better position to prevent stress and anxiety getting worse.
Reclaiming Your Life: Positive Influences That Restore and Maintain Mental Health
How to Be Social Without Letting Anxiety Overtake You
Life Passing You By? Learn to Enjoy the Little Things, Anxiety or Not
5. Create a buzz word for when life gets too much
A previous boyfriend I had suffer from panic attacks (he didn’t know that’s what they were at the time, and nor did I). Sometimes they would happen around his friends, the last place you’d expect him to have one. To help with this, I asked him to create a buzz word to tell me (without making a huge scene about it) when things got too much.
Funnily enough he couldn’t think of one so I said that he should use the word ‘sausages’. Coincidently he only used it once, and it was a comical way to take note of a troubled moment.
The point of that story is to show you that having a buzz word for when things get a bit too much might work for you. I’d suggest this technique with someone who you can trust and who you feel comfortable sharing this with.
Although you might find it a bit silly to start with, it gives you that chance to escape with someone you trust.
6. Incorporate walking into your day
I can’t stress enough how much a good brisk walk does for stress and anxiety. Here in the UK the weather can be pretty miserable (rain, rain and more rain), so it can be a bit more difficult for us. But when the weather is nice and the birds are chirping, a walk around the local area is fantastic for stress.
There are numerous studies that show a positive correlation between walking and mental health. Exercise really is great for those struggling with anxiety or depression, and relieves stress at the same time. Basically, it’s your one-stop-shop for all things improving your mental health.
If you have a garden, you could do a bit of walking around your garden, or some sort of exercise. Or how about doing a few laps up and down the stairs?
I do understand, though, that those who struggle to leave the house and visit places out of their comfort zone, it might be more difficult. But you don’t even need to leave your house.
If you have a garden, you could do a bit of walking around your garden, or some sort of exercise. Or how about doing a few laps up and down the stairs? It sounds silly but I’ve done that, too! When I don’t want to leave the house, I’ll just work up a huge sweat going up and down the stairs a few times.
Stairs certainly get the blood pumping, I tell ya!
7. Remember easy breathing techniques
When anxiety becomes an issue and you can feel yourself panicking, executing some easy breathing techniques can really help to slow your breathing and thoughts.
Adrenal Fatigue Solution shows you how to do a simple belly breathing exercise as below:
- Sit down comfortably, or lay down on a yoga mat, depending on your personal preference.
- Place one of your hands on your stomach, just below your ribcage. Place the second hand over your chest.
- Breathe in deeply through your nostrils, letting your first hand be pushed out by your stomach. You should find that your chest stays stationary.
- Breathe out through your lips, pursing them as if you were about to whistle. Gently guide the hand on your stomach inwards, helping to press out the breath.
- Slowly repeat between 3 and 10 times.
Not only this, but the NHS website includes a whole section on breathing techniques for stress and anxiety. Hey, if they write about it, it must be true! Haha. Here is the NHS’s simple calming breathing technique to use, to be sitting or standing:
If you’re sitting or standing, place both feet flat on the ground. Whatever position you’re in, place your feet roughly hip-width apart.
- Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it.
- Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from one to five. You may not be able to reach five at first.
- Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from one to five again, if you find this helpful.
- Keep doing this for three to five minutes.
Personally, I’ve used both of these techniques at time of high stress and anxiety.
The majority of times I’ve used these have been when I can feel a panic attack coming on. 99% of the time these techniques have stopped the panic attack and allowed me to fall asleep.