You don’t have to be depressed to take advantage of these tips.
Everyone feels low sometimes, and that’s okay. It’s part of being human to have ups and downs. But if you want to avoid spiralling into a pit of despair – or just want to lift your spirits – here are some ways to tune up your mental health. Think of these tips as a way to support yourself.
Be kind to yourself
This is step one. When you’re feeling down, it can be easy to start beating yourself up for being weak or a loser or whatever. Take a step back from that and think about how you’d treat your best friend or someone you love that’s going through a bad patch. Forgive yourself for any mistakes or let-downs, and show yourself some kindness, compassion and support.
Look after your body
Eating a balanced diet, getting in a good amount of fruit and veggies, taking in some sunshine and fresh air, and regular exercise – all these things are good for your brain as well as your body. Spend some time in parks or green spaces, especially if you tend to want to veg in front of Netflix and/or Fortnite.
Connect with other people
Everybody wants to be alone sometimes, but having a social network – in real life as well as online – is massively helpful for your mental health. Swap stories, share thoughts and feelings, enjoy positive experiences together. Some people like having lots of friends, others prefer a one-on-one situation. The important part is building deep, meaningful relationships with other humans.
Keep your perspective
This can be difficult when everything’s swirling around you and it all feels hopeless, but it’s really important to confront all your emotions – even the negative ones. Processing these emotions means accepting they’re a part of you, and looking for constructive solutions to everyday problems. Try to step outside yourself and see things from other perspective. Are you overestimating the likelihood of a negative outcome? Are you underestimating your ability to cope?
Get help when you need it
If you’re going through some serious issues, there are a range of approaches and treatments that can be helpful to you. When the above tips aren’t cutting it anymore, and you’re feeling truly bad, reach out to someone. If there are support services in your community, make use of them. Otherwise, contact Headspace or Kids Helpline to have a chat to someone.
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