Mental Health Support Is Not Limited to Therapy & Medication
It is easy to fall into the habit of thinking of mental health care as just two things: going to therapy and taking medication. Maybe you do one of those things or maybe you do both, but either way, we tend to focus on therapy and meds as our options.
And make no mistake: there is plenty of evidence to suggest that talk therapy, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety meds—alone or in combination—can offer significant benefits for a person dealing with a mental health disorder.
But therapy and medication are not the end-all be-all of supporting mental well-being. Let’s take a look at four strategies for maintaining your mental health.
The Power of Writing or Drawing
You don’t have to think of yourself as a writer or an artist to get some real benefits from jotting down your thoughts and feelings in words or pictures as a way of processing them. There is really no wrong way to go about it. Some people like to keep a straightforward journal, jotting down their experiences and thoughts about their day. Other people focus on gratitude by writing down a few items they are thankful for each day. Still others like to draw (or doodle or paint or any of a number of related activities) simply as a way to relax and shift the focus from day-to-day worries.
Any of these activities—and others like them—are good outlets for your thoughts, feelings, and creativity. They can be pleasurable in their own right, and they can provide a space for a better understanding of how you think and feel about various people, situations, and challenges in your life. Having a healthy sense of the connections between your thoughts, feelings, and actions can be a boon to your mental health.
Declutter to Destress for Your Mental Well-Being
You might not immediately connect disorder in your home, office, or other space with stress in your life. But remembering the last time you were frantically searching for something you needed or couldn’t fully relax because you couldn’t ignore the mess around you can give you an immediate sense of the ways in which clutter and stress are, in fact, related. Cleaning up—even a little—can reduce stress and can even improve the quality of your sleep.
In addition, decluttering can be a good activity when you feel stuck or overwhelmed. Sometimes, our to-do list seems so long that we can’t figure out how to even begin. Taking just a few minutes to organize a messy pile or recycle old papers or empty the garbage can give you a quick win—a small but meaningful accomplishment—that just might get you going again.
Moderate Your Media (Including Social) Intake
Life is stressful, and these past couple of years have been more stressful than usual for many, many people. During a period of uncertainty or danger, it can be tempting to relentlessly consume news reports, opinion pieces, and the latest thoughts of folks on social media. Many people have fallen into the habit of “doomscrolling”—a name for the tendency to scour the internet and social media sites for negative news. The very name—complete with the word “doom”—probably gives you a good sense that it is not a great idea.
That is not to say that you should not stay informed or that you have to eliminate social media use from your life. But it is a good idea to moderate the amount of media you take in. You might consider setting a time to monitor your use of social media, and you could choose just one or two news sources and set a regular time for checking for the latest updates. Strategies like these can allow you to get the benefits of keeping an eye on the news and your social media feeds while minimizing the potential negative effects on your mental health.
When It Comes to Mental Health, We Can Help
If you are struggling with depression, a trauma-based disorder, anxiety, or another mental health disorder, we can help. At Peak View Behavioral Health, we will listen intently so that we can create a treatment plan that is personalized for your specific needs. We offer inpatient and outpatient treatment options as well as a family education plan that can help those closest to you learn ways to help support your mental well-being. When you are ready to take the first step toward better mental health, we will be here and ready to help.