When you think about the term 'mental health' many things can come to mind, not all of them positive. We must break away from the pretense of mental health as being an issue and rather a 'health matter' that needs to be addressed, just as regular checkups, eye exams and other yearly appointments.
Mental health can be affected by a number of factors in life, including work, family and other circumstances. How you handle stress can adversely affect your mental health as well as those around you. If you are prepared and equipped to handle the regular stresses of daily life, you are not only keeping your mental health in check, but also setting a good example for your family and helping them as well.
- Try to pick your battles: Whether you are at work or home, sometimes small battles are best left alone. Do you really need to fight with your child about if they want a bath or shower tonight? Can you handle letting someone else complete that task at work rather than doing it yourself? If you prepare yourself to let the small things go, you can clear your mind and be better prepared for bigger things.
- Prepare yourself for change: As we grow older, things inevitably change. Children grow up, jobs are eliminated, budgets and needs change. If you are more prepared for different circumstances, you are less prone to stressing out on factors that may happen out of your control. Reducing stress is key for good mental health.
- Take some 'alone time' to regroup: If you find yourself overwhelmed and stressed out beyond your limits, take a breather. Taking 10 minutes to go for a walk, close your office door from distractions and just breathe or even take a long shower can help immensely when gathering your thoughts and clearing your mind.
Don't forget that you are never alone when fighting the battle with stress and achieving good mental health. If you are feeling overwhelmed be sure to talk to your doctor, family members or friends. Often a nice chat with a friend can also do wonders for your mental health. Think positive and try to get through each rough, stressful day with as minimum amount of stress as possible and start again tomorrow. Each day will become easier as you learn to engage in good mental health practices.