Coping with mental health is crazy. My friend Lauren said to me “Problem is I think we all find our own ways to survive eventually, be it prescribed drugs, CBT, obsession, etc. I just find it rich how those who have never had mental health, can tell you to basically deal with it, ridiculous.” And I have to say I agree… and it made me think. What if people took advice from others who suffer? Unfortunately with mental health you can’t just follow one persons lifestyle or make their decisions as mental health, even when diagnosed, is such a personal thing. However what someone else is doing who has a similar understanding to you could help! Everything evolving mental health currently is done through trial and era treatment wise, so one thing that works for you might not work for another. But it could. Also one form of treatment might not be enough. You might have to do multiple. And I think that it’s worth a try!
- Prescription drugs : There is a massive stigma around prescribed drugs and mental health. Many claiming that “they make you worse” however I know both sides. I know people who they have worked well for and people who didn’t get on with them. It is honestly a personal thing. Do not feel ashamed to try them. Do not feel ashamed to be on them. If it works for you it works for you.
- CBT : CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle. So you talk to someone who try to help you break negative patterns and form new ones. If you have ever been referred to “Let’s Talk” that is what they are all about.
- Counselling : Talking through your thoughts and feelings with a professional. I think this can actually be effective however you have to find the right person for you, a person you feel a connection with.
- Psychotherapy : Similar to counselling but they can also offer CBT, and other therapies.
- Support Groups : Group therapy and meetings can make you feel more comfortable as there may be people who you can connect with and feel have a better understanding.
So those are the main treatments you will find are offered to you. But like I said they might not all be right for you. So here’s some tips from real people going through mental health. I have put them under sub headings of different illnesses. These are the illnesses that the people who gave the advice had. However if you have depression it doesn’t mean you can’t try a tip from someone who has personality disorder etc…
- Keeping a journal or writing down thoughts.
- Being alone with your thoughts is the worst so share them with someone you can trust.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or admit when you are struggling, surround yourself with good friends and if you are feeling a bad episode go and see a friend or keep busy.
- Try to work out what your triggers are so you can cope easier.
- Make a self-care box! I have films and slippers in mine haha.
- Make a plan for what to do on the bad days – use google to help!
- No drugs and alcohol.
- No matter how low, ashamed or scary it is that there is someone who can help you. That be a loved one or a complete stranger. Sometimes just talking helps. What helped me is actually putting my self in those scary situations which not everyone could do with more severe anxiety. The only advice I can give is all that had helped me was talking about it.
- For Panic attacks try breathing techniques such as Buteyko – it’s definitely worth a search.
- Breathing. The different forms of breathing such as anxiety, you can’t talk, just take 4 little breaths, just as far as your throat, in through the mouth out through the nose will calm you enough to speak again. To clear yourself, Take a long, long breath, through your mouth, down to the bottom of your stomach, to the count of 4, hold it to the count of 4, exhale through your nose to the count of 4. Do this for as long as you need to, for me it is 3 or 4 repetitions.
- Cut down on caffeine! It’s a proven trigger.
- Oil burners are great for helping me distress.
- Find something you enjoy/love doing. Purely for motivation just to get up and face the day.
- Mindfulness is a life saving practice. Learning to breath is key and remembering that this to will pass.
- Yoga is great for negative thoughts!
- Trying to lead a healthy lifestyle
- Take a walk and stay in the present, really look at what you are seeing, cost nothing, the best way to ground yourself is to take your shoes and socks off and walk on the grass for 10 minutes.
- Try natural tablets like all natural 5HTP
- Remember alcohol is a depressant! no shame in being sober.
- Set yourself goals/challenges – This could be as simple as getting out of bed to train for a marathon.
- Find a way to express your feelings; whether it’s through art or music etc…
- For things like compulsive buying. I keep in mind a mental checklist e.g. can I afford it, do I need it, is it worth the money, will this last me longer than a year. And then if it doesn’t tick multiple boxes then I can’t have it.
- Dont isolate yourself!
- Lack of sleep never helps.
- Try keeping to a regular schedule.
If you have any advice or tips on how to cope with Mental Health please let us know! I’d love to hear from you.