Ten Ways to Care for Your Mental Health
These concepts are all very simple, but most things that work well are.
- Take one thing at a time: When people are under stress, an average workload can seem overwhelming. The best way to handle this feeling is to take one task at a time. Pick one project and work on it. Once you finish it, choose the next one. The feeling of accomplishment will encourage you to keep going.
- Be flexible: Respect other people’s opinions and be prepared to compromise. If you are willing to give a little, others may meet you halfway. Not only will you reduce your stress, you may find better solutions to your problems.
- Hobbies: Take a break from stressful situations by doing something you enjoy. Whether it’s reading, gardening, or cooking, make time to relax and do something you like.
- Share your feelings: Talking to a friend or family member about problems in your life can help you organize your thoughts and get support for your feelings.
- Healthy lifestyle: Eat a well-balanced diet, and limit your use of caffeine. Make sure you are getting enough sleep to feel refreshed and energized.
- Exercise: Regular exercise is a great way to reduce stress, increase self-esteem, boost energy levels, and improve concentration.
- Plan ahead: Feeling unprepared or scrambling to do something in the last minute can be really stressful.
- Reflect: Take time out to collect your thoughts. Personal reflection in the form of meditation, prayer or writing in a journal can reduce stress.
- Drop the “superman/superwoman” mentality: Nobody is perfect so don’t expect perfection from yourself or others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
- Be realistic: If you are taking on more responsibility than you can handle, rank the activities you are involved with and drop the ones that aren’t absolutely necessary.
More Ways to Teach Resiliency to Children
The teen years are a time of a lot of changes, challenges, and changing expectations. These suggestions may help.
- Create a sense of belonging: Whether at home, at school, or in a club, children do best when they feel connected and welcome. Strong, positive relationships are important building blocks for handling life’s stresses and challenges.
- Develop competencies: Children need to know they can overcome challenges and accomplish goals. Help them build not just academic or performance competencies but friendship and social competencies as well.
- Encourage helping others: Pro-social behaviors like helping others help kids to feel like a part of their family, school, and community.
- Teach and reinforce positive behaviors: Catch kids being positive and doing the right thing. Let them know you notice and value them.
- Encourage good physical health: Healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and adequate sleep protect kids against stress and tough situations. Exercise can also help reduce anxiety, anger, and depression.
Sources and Related Links
- The Resiliency Center books, multimedia, articles
- Resiliency posters and pubs, National Education Association
- Teaching Resliency to Teens howarthechildren.com
- A Protocol for Teaching Resilience to High Performance Athletes by Robert J. Schinke, Christopher Peterson, and Roger Couture, zoneofexcellence.ca
- When it comes to well-being, you've got to be carefully taught 117th APA Convention, Toronto