Mental health has an odd stigma surrounding it. Some people don’t talk about it, some pretend it doesn’t even exist. Luckily in recent years, influencers and celebrities have been much more open about mental health. This has helped decrease the stigma and encourage people to take care of their own mental health.
Selena Gomez has been particularly open about her mental health and other struggles. She’s been a huge inspiration to me in my mental health journey. Many other celebrities like Lizzo, Noah Cyrus, and Emma Chamberlain are all very open about their mental health.
Taking care of your mental health is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Mental and physical health go hand in hand, working on one will help the other immensely. Working in the mental health industry has made me recognize the importance of this now more than ever. My top 5 self care methods are social interaction, getting adequate sleep, eating healthy, being outdoors, and doing activities you enjoy. The best part about all of these activities is that they’re scientifically proven to work (The Depression Cure by Stephen S. Ilardi https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/depression-cure-stephen-s-ilardi/1100364878 ).
In high school, there were a couple years where I was very depressed. I struggled getting out of bed, my room looked like I was a hoarder, and I never got ready, barely brushed my hair, etc. Safe to say it was not a good time in my life. Something that was especially hard for me was to find the energy to be social. The last thing I wanted to do was talk to someone, see my friends, or go hang out.
Despite how hard it is, you have to force yourself to have some sort of social interaction every day. Distancing yourself will only put you into a darker hole than you’re already in. You can’t wait to “feel like” going out, because you never will.
Getting Adequate Sleep
I’m guilty of staying up 4 hours later than I should watching Netflix. But getting adequate sleep is the easiest way to keep your mental health up. I aim to get around 8 hours every night, and no more than 10. Getting too little or too much sleep can affect your body and brain and cause lower function. Not fun.
It’s so easy to fall into the TikTok rabbit hole and soon you’ve been scrolling for two hours. If you can target why you aren’t getting the right amount of sleep, you can fix it. For me, I know it’s my phone. I try to stay off my phone for at least 45 minutes before I plan to go to sleep. It definitely doesn’t always end up that way, but I try.
This one is definitely the hardest for me. Having a balanced and consistent diet is definitely challenging, especially in college. I have noticed that the better I eat, the better I feel–both mentally and physically. I’m not claiming to be a nutrition guru, I definitely have a lot of work to do, but I’ve laid ground rules for myself that work specifically for me.
Everything in moderation. I never limit myself on what I can or can’t eat. It’s never “no sugar” or “no carbs.” Everything in moderation. I don’t eat excessive amounts of sugar or carbs. So even if I’m not cooking nutritious and fulfilling meals three times a day, I’m never overconsuming. One of the ways I keep my diet nutrient rich is by having Factor meals. My dad orders them for me (thanks Dad) and they’re my favorite go-to meal. They’re healthy and fulfilling. You can get them at https://www.factor75.com
When it comes down to it, just find what works for you to help your mental health. Self care looks different for everyone. I follow celebrities like Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift who are very transparent about mental health. I also like to follow influencers that share the ways they practice self care. If you need ideas, I love these from Eugene Therapy https://eugenetherapy.com/article/50-self-care-ideas-for-a-bad-day/