Everyone has to take care of their mind, similar to how everyone has a body they need to exercise and feed right. We all recognize the signs we need to see a doctor, such as a runny nose, aches, and excessive coughing. However, we don’t always recognize the symptoms of poor mental health. And truly, the two go hand-in-hand, because mental illnesses have physical symptoms. This means that our body has physical responses to the way our brains are functioning. In other words, anxiety can show up in your body as shakiness, stomach aches, headaches, and more. These can be often overlooked as simply physical problems, without addressing the underlying cause. And mental health is just as important as physical health!
Here is a list of signs that you need to take a break, and care for your mind:
You dread starting your day
You find yourself isolating yourself from others
You feel worried/stressed more often than not
Your worry, stress, bad habits, or sadness impedes on your ability to function in society
You feel negatively about your body or who you are as a person
You feel guilty for things, even when they’re not your fault
You struggle to maintain a job, school, or healthy relationships
You sleep too much, or not at all
You feel overwhelmed or burnt out
You don’t find joy in things you usually do, or are not interested in anything
You experience seemingly random headaches or stomach aches
All of these things can be signs of poor mental health, warning you to slow down and take care of yourself. Too often we ignore these signs and just keep going at the pace we’re running at because we feel like we have to. But this week I would like to challenge you to recognize your symptoms of stress and take a break to care for your needs - listen to what your mind and body need.
Like I said, self-care is vital to your overall wellbeing! Think about when you’re in an airplane, and they give you the safety presentation - they instruct you to put on your own oxygen mask in the event of an emergency before assisting others. The same advice applies to life, in that we need to take care of our minds and bodies before we can care for others.
Some ways you can practice self care include taking a break from technology, going for a walk, or taking a nap. Anything you can do to recharge is productive and helpful, afterall. You can read more about how to look after your mental health here.
Additionally, if you’ve decided that you’re going to seek help for your mental health, please read How to Find a Good Therapist first. There, you will find advice for how to find an effective therapist that is a good fit for you and your needs.
Thanks for reading,