Photo via Pixabay by Jill111
As many of you know the Being Me series highlights many facets of mental illness and cycles of addiction and recovery. From time to time I like to highlight healthy emotional habits. I recently connected with Jennifer McGregor of PublicHealthLibrary.org. Jennifer loves providing reliable health and medical resources for PublicHealthLibrary.org users. She knows how difficult it can be to sift through the mountains of health-related information on the web. She co-created the site with a friend as a way to push reputable information on health topics to the forefront, making them easier and quicker to find. Jennifer provided the following amazing content for my blog.
Mental illness comes in many forms and can take a toll physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s difficult to find healthy ways to cope with a mental health disorder, especially when an individual feels they are working at it alone. Isolation is one of many side effects that stem from mental illness, either because friends and family members don’t understand their loved one’s behavior or because the individual pushes everyone away out of shame, guilt, or depression. These feelings combined with isolation can lead to suicidal thoughts, especially when paired with substance abuse, so it’s very important to have an emotional toolbox in the interest of finding healthy ways to cope rather than turning to drugs and alcohol.
For some, substances provide a form of stress relief. For others, they offer a physical form of relief, perhaps in the way of helping the individual get to sleep or curb their appetite. In reality, drugs and alcohol are only making the base problem worse, and they can add to the issues by affecting the body and mind in various ways. If you feel you have a problem with substances, whether you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder or believe you may have one, it’s not too late to get help. Don’t be afraid to reach out, either to a doctor, therapist, or support group, and ask for assistance in finding your way back to a healthy life. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to help yourself relieve stress and physical discomfort. Here are a few of the best.
It may be difficult to find the energy or motivation to get up and get outside, especially if you are suffering from depression, but it’s important to do just that. Going for a walk or bike ride will do wonders for your physical health as well as your mental state, and it can help boost your mood as well. Meditation-based workouts, such as yoga, are also beneficial for those suffering with a mental health disorder because they allow the individual to focus on the moment rather than worry about the past or future.
Make time for friends
Friendships and family relationships often suffer when addiction is present, so it’s important to remember to reach out and make those connections when possible. Write a letter to an old friend, or make a lunch date with a sibling. Letting them know that you are on a healthy path is often the first step towards repairing those relationships.
Find time for yourself
You may find that it’s been a while since you did something just for yourself. Take some time to do something that makes you happy, and get creative. Try something new; if you’ve always wanted to take up painting or try a new sport, go for it. Make time every day just for you and fill it with things you enjoy; having a goal will help you focus on the positive things.
Finding healthy ways to cope with mental illness and addiction is never easy, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you feel you need help.
For more information from Jennifer go to http://publichealthlibrary.org/.
All the best,