How to Make Your Mental Health a Priority in 2021
In these uncertain times, checking in on our physical health has naturally become part of our day to day life, our conversations and even our media intake. But, what about our mental health? It can often be pushed down the priority list, be taken for granted, or put into the ‘too hard’ basket.
Whilst it’s so important to remain proactive regarding our physical health, our mental health is just as much a priority in 2021. We also know that the mind and body are closely connected, so investing in your mental health will positively affect your physical health – and vice versa.
By implementing our suggestions below, you can develop a simple routine for making your mental health and wellbeing a priority in 2021.
#1. Know what it’s like when you are feeling well
Make a note on what you are like when you are feeling well – this could include how you generally feel, what your thoughts are like, what your daily routine is like, what you enjoy doing, how much time you’re spending with others, or what comes easily to you when you’re feeling good about yourself, and so on. Knowing what you’re like when you are feeling well provides you with a baseline to use the tips outlined next.
You can also use our free and anonymous online tool to check your levels of stress and wellbeing by clicking here.
#2. Learn to identify early warning signs
Early warning signs are subtle shifts in your thoughts, feelings, body and/or behaviours that indicate that your wellbeing is slowly declining. Don’t wait until you feel completely overwhelmed to do something about it. The earlier you address what’s going on – for example, by actively coping with any stressors you are experiencing or by allocating some time and resources to looking after yourself – the easier it can be to pull yourself back up or prevent further decline.
#3. Know your triggers and be proactive
If you know that certain experiences or events negatively affect your mental health – e.g., increased workload, watching the news, deadlines, relationship difficulties, exams, health difficulties, etc. – try to have a “cope ahead” plan for how you will increase your self-care during these stressful times, tackle any challenges proactively, and get support when needed. Sometimes there may not be a clear trigger, and it might be more about noticing that you’re just not quite feeling like your usual self.
#4. Learn more about what mental health and wellbeing is
Some helpful signs of feeling mentally well include feeling like we have enough physical and emotional energy, resilient enough to tackle the day to day stress and challenges that come up, can manage our thoughts and emotions, be able to switch off and relax when we want and do the things that are important to us. These are just a few. Have a think about other signs that indicate that you’re feeling well within yourself.
#5. Know when and where to get extra help
If you notice that the way you are feeling day-to-day continues to worsen, it is important to seek help. This could include:
- getting some help with the stressful situation you are facing,
- reaching out to trusted family or friends, who might be able to support you in different ways,
- equipping yourself with some self-help tools to get back on track, or
- reaching out to a professional, like your GP, for recommendations.
We know that admitting to yourself that it’s time to get some help and advice can be challenging, but the sooner you do it, the quicker and easier it will be to come back to your usual self!
At This Way Up, we have an extensive range of tools and courses available to you to monitor and improve your mental health.
Interested in learning more?
Free Online Tools for Coping with COVID-19
Access a suite of practical workbooks, an audioguide, and other useful materials to help you manage coronavirus stress and anxiety.