How To Prioritize Mental Health
We all know mental health is important. Our mental health status can seriously impact everything—our thoughts, our actions, our feelings, our interactions, our decisions, our resilience—whew, the list goes on!
Yet despite how overwhelmingly important mental health is, it doesn’t always get the attention it needs to thrive. It’s often a lower priority than physical health. This can result in stress and burnout that further prevents mental health from being prioritized.
But with such a wide-reaching effect on our lives, it’s crucial to prioritize your mental health. Guys, every part of you deserves to be cared for. And being cared for well starts with caring for yourself well!
So today, we’re dedicating this post to prioritizing mental health and what that looks like. Let’s dig in:
How To Prioritize Mental Health
See a professional.
This is a step that can seem like a mountain to climb, but let’s be honest—it’s the step that makes everything else easier. It makes a big difference when you have someone on your side who can listen without judgment, hold you accountable, and help you figure out what the f*ck is going on in this crazy world.
Mental health professionals can do that for you! Plus, there are a lot of different treatment options out there to choose from, so you can definitely find one that will work for you. If you need a little extra nudge, listen to the episode of Him & Her called Why You Should Talk To Someone, Therapy, Couples Therapy, & Removing Stigmas Around Therapy.
Exercise (or something).
We know, we know—when your mental health is in the bin, exercising is the LAST thing you want to do. Believe me, we get it, we’ve been there!
…Buuuuuuut unfortunately, the truth is that it’s good for you to move your body. At least a little! The less you move, the more you’ll feel like not moving. The more you feel like not moving, the less you’ll move. You don’t want to get caught up in that cycle, ‘cause it ends in not being ABLE to move at all.
The good news is that you don’t have to resort to cardio or lifting weights if you don’t want to. Even a scheduled, 15-minute walk can do wonders for your physical health as well as your mental! This is why everyone is doing hot girl walks right now. They’re AMAZING!
Eat for your brain.
We don’t want to tell you simply to “eat healthy,” because who knows what the f*ck hell that even means anymore. It seems like everything out there is bad for you in one way or another. That’s stressful to have to deal with even when you’re feeling great!
So, we’ll leave you with this advice: eat foods that make your brain feel good. Eat foods that make YOU feel good. If you’re feeling low, try a food that has a lot of vitamins in it, like fruits or veggies. See how it helps, then adjust accordingly.
Be protective over your sleep.
Sleep is CRUCIAL when it comes to taking care of your mental health. It’s been linked to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Most research appears to show that sleep has a bi-directional relationship with mental health. AKA the worse you sleep, the worse your mental health; the worse your mental health, the worse you sleep.
Which, YIKES. No wonder everyone and their mother tell you about the importance of sleep. Him & Her had Andrew Huberman on to talk about mastering sleep, stress, and anxiety. Give it a listen, and see if you can master your sleep!
Examine your work-life balance.
A common source of stress and anxiety is your work-life balance. It’s hard to calm your mind when your mind is always thinking about work. Your brain needs rest time in order to reduce stress and boost resilience.
See where you can prioritize your mental health and do what you can to avoid bringing work home by following our time management tips for work-life balance. It might be hard, but it’s definitely worth the reduced anxiety.
Of course, not everyone can afford the perfect work-life balance. It’s hard out there. In that case, you’ll want to learn how to improve your mental health at work, so life is a little easier for you.
Be mindful of what you consume.
The things we consume can have a HUGE impact on how we’re feeling, especially if we’re dealing with mental illness! Beware of consuming negative media or media that makes you upset. You don’t have to cut out everything, but be sure to mix in some positive media, like these positive podcasts to listen to or the best mental health podcasts.
You can listen to uplifting stories of hope when you’re in a funk, and that may help end the funk. We like Good Morning, Monster, which is about one real woman’s story of finding happiness through therapy. It’ll give you hope for your own journey!
Spend time with people who recharge you.
Social connections are crucial when it comes to a positive mental health status. We weren’t made to be lonely. Humans are social creatures. We should be in community with one another.
So schedule coffee with your bestie, or lunch with your mom. When you’re feeling low, they might be just what you need to truly find meaning, purpose, and connection.
Learn when to say “no.”
Setting boundaries can be hard, but not everything can fit in your calendar. More than that, not everything is a positive experience for your mental health. Learn when to say “no” to events and opportunities that you don’t have time or energy for.
You can begin the practice of saying no by asking for time to consider the opportunity. Then when you have the time, really consider if it will be a positive contribution to your life. This allows you to prioritize what’s really important.
Pay attention to how you speak to yourself.
Last but not least, speak highly of yourself! It’s gonna be hard AF to trust yourself when you’re talking sh*t behind your own back.
Negative self-talk is insidious (like, scary). It creeps into one or two moments and before you know it, you’re self-deprecating left and right. It might seem like you’re joking, but your brain doesn’t hear it that way.
So if you’re going to joke, joke about being overly confident. Better yet, BE overly confident! Chances are you’re still giving yourself less credit than you deserve.
How will you care for your mental health today?
There are lots of methods to choose from, so don’t feel bad if you can’t make them all work immediately. Start small, then work until you have a solid mental health practice! And, to remind yourself that you’re worth caring for, drink your morning joe out of this Daily Mental Health Reminder Mug and sport this Be Kind to Your Mind tote bag. Of course, also read the Dear Media blog for all the best life advice and pop culture talk. We are here for you, guys!