In honor of this and since this is a topic that is important to me, let’s make a post with tips for maintaining mental health.
Keep in mind that works for one person may not work for another person. Everyone is different as is their headspace.
Things that help me:
- Meditation: this is a practice that is frustrating to learn as it’s hard to train your mind to focus in the absence of stimulus. There are a plethora of free meditation apps to help you learn (for iOS: Oak is a great one with simple user interface). Meditation also teaches you some breathing exercises that are helpful outside of just meditation.
- Identify and isolate: this is a control. Everyone has different physical or mental indicators for when things become overwhelming. I have plenty of physical indicators (i.e. I tend to chew on the post of my lip ring or bite skin off my lips. I know, gross. This is just one example) and when those indicators show up, I try to stop and re-focus or redirect. Those breathing exercises? They are helpful here!
- Coping with difficult/triggering situations: sometimes we can’t conquer certain things, I can’t tolerate public places like stores for long periods of time…so I have a crutch: music. This replaces the sounds of a store and countless people around me with something I want to hear. By essentially deafening one of my senses, I am better able to tolerate public places.
- Routine: much like children thrive in structure, so does a messy mind. Find a routine and stick to it (mostly, it’s okay to deviate sometimes).
So go ahead and share some stuff that helps you! Discuss! Be kind to one another.