You have probably heard or used (or both) an expression like, “He is just phoning it in.”
“Phoning it in” is a way to describe someone who does not put a lot of effort into an activity. There are a couple of different theories regarding the origin of the idiom, but no matter the original source, there is no doubt that if someone tells you they think you are phoning it in, they are unimpressed with your work.
Why do we bring up this bit of metaphorical language? To say this: When it comes to taking care of their mental health, an awful lot of folks seem to be phoning it in.
In fact, you might be one of those people—even if you suspect you might be living with a mental health disorder. You might be trying to ignore it and hoping that no one notices you are struggling. Maybe you have half-heartedly searched for mental health tips and ended up with little but some shallow, ineffectual ideas. Perhaps you have been trying to convince yourself that you are just in a rut and that things will improve on their own eventually. When that “eventually” will arrive, if ever, might be something you try not to think too hard about.
It is time to stop phoning it in when it comes to your mental well-being.
First Things First: Talk with a Mental Health Care Provider
If you are struggling with the symptoms of depression, anxiety, a trauma-based disorder, or another mental health issue, it is time to talk with someone who can help.
A good starting point is your primary care physician—the doctor you see when you are having physical health problems. They will be able to talk with you about your symptoms and what they might indicate. In some cases, they may prescribe medication to help. They may also be able to point you toward doctors and therapists who specialize in mental health care.
As a general rule, most mental health disorders are best treated by a combination of medication and talk therapy, so finding doctors and therapists you connect with is important. Improving your mental health takes some dedication and work, and having a care team you mesh well with is more likely to keep you motivated and on track toward your wellness goals.
Next Up: Making Intentional Choices that Support Your Mental Health
We have mentioned that improving your mental health can—indeed, almost certainly will—take some work. And some of that effort should be expended on making positive lifestyle changes that support your mental health.
For example, physical health and mental health are connected. So getting regular exercise for your body is also good for your mind. Similarly, a healthy diet supports both physical and mental health. So does getting the appropriate amount of restful sleep. Across the board, making good choices regarding your physical well-being supports your mental well-being as well.
Finding ways to reduce stress in your life is also a good strategy for improving your mental health. Whether that means something big like reconsidering your approach to your job (or the job itself) or something smaller like clearing away some clutter, stress reduction leads to mental health gains.
Another good approach to support your mental health is to lean into healthy relationships with friends and family. Something as simple as a regular get-together for coffee with a friend has real benefits. The other relationship you will want to work to improve is your relationship with yourself. Finding ways to be kinder to yourself is important so that your inner monologue does not work against you as work toward better mental health.
We should note here that being kinder to yourself should not include self-medicating with drugs or alcohol or overindulging in other unhealthy behaviors. Those things might feel good in the moment, but their downsides for your physical and mental health far outweigh any short-term “benefits.”
Personalized Mental Health Treatment in Colorado Springs
No two individuals face exactly the same challenges when it comes to their mental health. That is why all of us at Peak View Behavioral Health are committed to listening carefully and working with you to find the best approaches for addressing your specific needs. Our work is grounded in evidence, expertise, and experience—all of which we deliver with empathy and respect.
If you suspect you are dealing with a mental health problem of one kind or another, the time to reach out for help is right now. Improving your mental health and maintaining those improvements over time can make a real difference in your quality of life. So don’t put it off. If you are struggling, reach out to us for the help you need to turn things around.