Did you know that approximately 1 in 6 people suffer with a mental health problem.
I am 1 in 6 and those closest to me also suffer too. So I know all too well how hard it can be managing your mental health; hiding it from others to ensure that they don’t suspect a thing. As no one wants to be around ‘that negativity’ do they?
Ignorance is bliss for many. Yet what they don’t realise is, those that suffer with their mental health aren’t negative; they can be the bubbliest, funniest and seemingly happiest people you could ever meet.
They just disguise it well.
However, bottling up these emotions can take its toll, making it harder to battle through another war when that dark, grey cloud begins to loom over.
If you struggle managing your mental health and are looking for ways to distract your mind, or boost your mood, then I am sharing some ideas with you for World Mental Health Day.
How I manage my depression
1. Listen to mood boosting music
When the noise in your head becomes too loud, overcrowded and is becoming intrusive I simply switch to music. I listen to uplifting, mood boosting beats; more specifically classic Motown hits as nothing distracts my mind and mood more than when I begin to hear:
“It’s heaven in your arms,
Boy, it’s the sweetness of your charms
Makes me love you more each day
In your arms I wanna stay.”
It instantly puts me in a good mood!
Similarly to music, there’s nothing better than getting lost in a book. Surrounding yourself with someone else’s story – especially when I have those days where I’m fed up of being me! (If you know, you know!)
It gives you a new life and world to focus on, removing you mentally from your own life with all its worries and fears.
Again, it helps to distract your mind and mood, and if it’s something you take pleasure in then ultimately it’s going to make you feel a whole heap better!
Getting in the outdoors with nature for a leisurely walk is a massive distraction. Plus, by being active, getting your body moving can help to lift your mood!
Surround yourself with nature; staring out into the beautiful fields, taking in the trees and flowers around you, or even your local scenery be it rural or urban helps to shift your focus.
Get lost in nature, forgetting the things that are troubling you or as I like to say: I’m walking my worries away!
4. Journalling / blogging / writing
Write down how you feel. Literally brain dump it all on paper, or on a phone or laptop etc., to literally get your feelings and emotions out there.
By getting them out there you have acknowledged how you’re feeling, but you’re not necessarily holding onto it in your own head as you’ve written it down.
Why not give it a try?
Now I know this is a tricky one, especially for me as I struggle to share my emotions, discuss how I feel and express when I need help.
If you are the same, then why not reach out to someone and talk about a random topic. It could be: the latest celeb gossip, must-see series on Netflix, brilliant books you’d recommend, or even rumours down the road about your neighbours. (Controversial!)
It can be anything!
By talking about something random helps shift your focus, so instead of waiting for depression to rear its ugly head, you’ve jumped onto something new, ignoring its unwanted arrival.
If you can, simply talk to someone you trust and tell them how you truly feel. They’re here to help not judge.
6. Practising my breathing
You’re thinking why would I need to practice breathing?
I know, sounds silly but in reality it helps MASSIVELY!
Take a deep breath.
Then breathe out slowly, listening to each breath as you exhale.
I would recommend doing this at least 5-10 times when you’re feeling really overwhelmed, and are struggling to stay in control.
By breathing and focusing on each breath, helps to almost flip a switch in your brain to concentrate on just breathing, pushing what you were feeling previously away from the front of your mind.
Take each breath, regain control and remind yourself that your thoughts are not fact, and you’ve totally got this.
I hope my tips help you if you’re struggling, and remember:
It’s okay not to be okay, but what’s not okay is suffering in silence, burying your emotions and facing it alone.
We’re all in this together and can help one another to keep fighting the fight and ultimately being survivors.