How do you support your mental well being?
Updated: Nov 24, 2018
It is world mental health day this week.
In the last few years in the UK there has been a big push to get people leading health lives. Drinking enough water, cutting back on junk food and eating lots of vegetables, the idea is that prevention is better than cure. While embracing the philosophy of prevention being better than cure, I constantly wondered how I could use prevention to support my mental health. I shared this insight with friends and family, asking people what they did to support their mental health, but all I got was bemused looks, except from one friend Paul.
Paul told me about a really cool game which he had developed with a friend who had been struggling with anxiety and depression. The game allowed them to log points for all the activities they did which would support their mental well-being. They got points for activities like taking a shower, going out to a social occasion, and taking a walk. The element of competition and the gamification of things which were hard to do when he was feeling really low, spurred him on to do the things that would support his mental health, and connect with his friend.
But what about taking steps that you could take before you reach a low point? A meditation teacher I had years ago told me everyone knows it is pointless to study on the day of the test. So how do we study before the test in relation to our mental health? How do we embrace the philosophy of prevention being better than cure in relation to our mental well being?
Everyone knows it is pointless to study on the day of the test.
For me, working to understand how my minds works is one part, then using self-coaching tools to really download my thoughts, analysing them and deciding if they were things that were supporting my mental well being or not. The other part is keeping my day to day life true to what supports my equilibrium. This has included a proper look at those things which throw me out of balance (like too many gin and tonics), working long hours for extended periods, and not seeing enough of my family. All those things are within my control and they all add up to support my mental well being. Conversely, if I let all of those things slide, my mental well being will be hit, making me less resilient and able to deal with the challenges which will inevitably come along.
Having thought a lot about it, I have come to the conclusion that it is important to treat prevention in terms of our mental well being as seriously as we treat our physical well being.
What are you doing to support your mental well being?
So, what are you doing to support your mental well being? Take care of your most important asset, so it can take care of you x