Today’s guest blogger for the M.H.M. series is Rachel, from Rachel Rambling On. Please do go check out her blog and show her some love and support. <3 🙂
Mental health sufferers (myself included) often seek help through medication and talking therapies. This is wonderful. There is so much help out there for sufferers and that should be commended. However, medication may not be for everyone. There may be some people who cannot take medication for their mental illness. Obviously I am not a doctor and in my opinion whoever is suffering from a mental illness SHOULD seek professional; that being said, I would like to offer some advice on strategies that I have found help my mental illnesses alongside my medication and counselling.
1. Distractions. Are. Key. For me, whenever I feel an attack coming on, if possible I always reach for my phone and watch funny videos. It is often enough of a distraction to get me out of my ‘attack’ and focus on something else.
2. A hot drink. For me, a hot, sweet cup of tea works wonders when anxiety kicks in. Sip it slowly while thinking peaceful thoughts, preferably in a quiet place if possible. Just remember to keep your beverage caffeine free as caffeine can worsen some mental illness such as anxiety.
3. In the long term, taking up a physical activity could prove very beneficial. In my experience, when I was attending the gym and yoga classes regularly, my anxiety and depressive thoughts improved drastically. The idea of the gym or a class may be difficult for many people, but even starting with a home exercise DVD is an amazing start as it gives you something other than your thoughts to focus on.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of a long soak in the bath with a good book. Books transport me to another world. It is rare that I read a book and still worry about my life. Relax in the tub with your favourite novel and your troubles may feel 10000 miles away.
Just to reinstate what I said in the introduction, this is by no means a cure for mental illness. This is just a few things I do alongside my professional, medical help to deal with my mental illness.
The main focus of these points is the notion of self care – taking time out of your life to focus on yourself and your wellbeing. Please set aside some time for yourself each week, whether you suffer with a mental illness or not.