When times are tough, our behavioral health suffers. I think this is something we all realize, even if we don’t talk about it. Pardon me for getting so serious, but I think it’s important that we take care of all aspects of our health, including our state of mind.
As Mental Health First Aid points out, around one in five US adults experience some form of mental illness each year (https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/2019/08/how-to-support-a-loved-one-whos-going-through-a-tough-time/). When you’re facing a rough time that could or is impacting your behavioral health, here are three easy things to try to come out from that experience healthier and happier than you were before.
Write it down
Mental Health America reports that according to past research, your depression eases and your health improves when you write about a tough event (https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/2019/08/how-to-support-a-loved-one-whos-going-through-a-tough-time/). The simple action of writing it out lets you release emotions and organize your thoughts. All you need to do is write about the event and how it made you feel for around 15 minutes for a few days. The grammar or style doesn’t matter; this is for your eyes only. It may be upsetting at first, but if you stick with it, writing can help you work through your painful emotions.
Keep in mind that with some particularly disturbing events, you might want to work on this with a therapist.
Get your passions working
The next thing you can do also involves writing, but of a different sort. Make four columns on a piece of paper or document on your computer. The first one is for things you like to do, the second is for what you are good at, the third is for your values and the fourth is for your gifts. Fill in those three columns first and then search for commonalities. Once you have those common links identified, start filling in the fourth column. This will help you lay out your real passions on paper for you to see, and then you can start acting on them.
Call loved ones
Reach out to the people who have helped you greatly in life. Even if you don’t feel like it, force yourself to make those phone calls or FaceTime sessions. Connecting to people who care about you can do great things for your state of mind when things are difficult.
Above all, remember you’re not alone. All of us have experienced rough waters and know what it’s like!