World Mental Health Day: How to Love Yourself When Life Starts to get TOO REAL

If you’ve spent any time on social media in the past two years, you’ve probably watched a few videos, read the occasional article, or even spotted the odd ad campaign that discusses mental health. As of late, there has been a visible effort in the media and online to increase awareness about mental health in society and to end the stigma attached to it.

This is a good thing. Ideally, the more we talk about these issues, to faster we can enact systemic change to help those who experience them. But here’s the thing: while raising the chatter about mental health on a national level will improve perceptions surrounding it, one video, one article or one ad might not have any relevance to your own struggle. We’re all unique; we all experience and feel and respond to things differently; so you shouldn’t feel upset if something that helps one person does nothing for you.

What we’re saying is, we’re 100% not trying to offer any sort of miracles in the words that are about to follow this intro – there are professionals, some of whom we’ve listed at the bottom of this page, better suited to that. But on World Mental Health Day – which is today FYI – we at least wanted to give you a few tips that might help you out when the day-to-day gets a bit too real…

Ditch the Phone

Or laptop, or tablet, or desktop… Constantly staying locked in to social media isn’t the greatest way to lift your mood if you’re feeling low. Think about it: when it’s not flooding you with envy-inducing shots of celebs or pics of your mate’s mate at the sickest-party-ever-that-you-didn’t-go-to-but-now-wish-you-had; it’s keeping you alarmingly aware of every breaking story, sub-tweet beef, comment drama, fake news trash, Snapchat story bla bla bla – all things that can really do a number on your positive vibes.

On top of this, staring at your phone before bed really messes with your ability to fall asleep. A recent study even found that poor-quality sleep associated with late-night phone use was linked to a decline in mental health among teenagers. So give yourself some you time off. Go for a walk, meet with friends, lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling. Nothing’s that deep that you can’t turn your phone off for an hour.

Pray

In an era of constant tweets, 10 second snaps and group chat roasts, it’s easy to forget how much value there is in salat (prayer) and duaa (supplication) which is something that can really help if you’re feeling stressed. Take a few minutes out of your day for peace and connection, before jumping back into the craziness of daily life. It just might help put things into perspective.

If you’re struggling to find the time, we reckon the Quran App or the mindfulness app Headspace can help.

Develop Healthy Habits

Banning your phone before bed and prayer are just some of the ways you can lessen the trials of daily life. Eating right, exercise and helping others will also help with feeling good. That means stock up on the vegetables, workout and get your blood pumping, and try to do right by those around you. If you’re not up for volunteering or eating broccoli, a quick jog around the park will do wonders to relieve stress.

Get Out There!

If you’re feeling low, the thought of getting out and about can seem quite daunting. But if you feel up for it, try to meet up with friends IRL. Even if you don’t talk about what’s bothering you directly, just communicating with people you trust can make you feel less vulnerable.

And yes, you can obviously arrange to meet them using your phone. It’s not like we told you to chuck it in the Thames. And yes again, we realise the irony of posting a blog on social media that suggests you avoid social media – but you get the gist.

For more information on mental health, these charities do sterling work:

Mental Health Foundation

MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Featured image credit: Jason Blackeye via Unsplash

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