Too Much On My Plate
With all the other things I have to do to just get by in life, why should I make my mental health a priority?
Signed: Already Too Much On My Plate
Dear Already Too Much On My Plate,
You ask a great question! It can seem almost impossible to make time to take care of our psychological well-being, when we already have too much on our plate. Just getting through each day – making sure the bills can be paid, our families are taken care of, the meals are cooked, the house is standing, and the necessities of the day are successfully navigated – can often take all of our energy and our time.
But I guarantee this – unless you prioritize your own wellness (physically, emotionally, mentally and socially/spiritually, in whatever way matters the most to you), you will quickly find yourself drowning in everything you end up doing just to get by. You won’t be able to enjoy life and everything that you are working so hard to accomplish. And you will eventually end up burning out, and making yourself exhausted, sick and broken.
Life requires balance and personal fulfillment in order to run smoothly. Without it, things become chaotic on a regular basis (this is the best measure to help us know if we are, in fact, taking proper care of our psychological well-being). And believe it or not, when we achieve this sense of healthy balance/wellness, all of those other tasks actually get easier to manage!
Let’s talk a little about what we mean by the term “mental wellness”. This refers to the state of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It encompasses our ability to cope with everyday stressors, maintain healthy relationships, and adapt to changes and challenges effectively. It is not merely the absence of mental illness but rather a proactive effort to cultivate a positive mindset and build resilience.
Mental wellness plays a pivotal role in our overall quality of life. When we prioritize our mental health, we have the tools to better manage stress, make sound decisions, and maintain healthy relationships. It enhances our ability to concentrate, boosts productivity, and fosters creativity. By investing in our mental wellness, we can experience greater happiness, fulfillment, and an improved sense of self.
Here are some practical strategies to help nurture a healthy sense of self, overall:.
- Practice Daily Self-Care: Engage in the regular foundational activities for successful functionality – like exercise, getting good quality sleep, staying hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet. Take time for hobbies, relaxation, and activities that bring joy and fulfillment to also help reduce stress and promote a positive mindset.
- Build Resilience: Developing resilience is essential to cope with life’s challenges. Cultivate a growth mindset, practice gratitude, and focus on developing problem-solving skills. Surround yourself with supportive relationships and seek/accept guidance when it is needed.
- Manage Stress: Implement stress management techniques such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, and meditation. Practice good time management, set realistic goals, and learn to say no when necessary. Balancing work and personal life is crucial for reducing stress levels.
- Seek Support: Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or professionals when facing emotional or psychological difficulties. Don’t hesitate to seek counselling if it is needed. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with others can provide valuable support and perspective. And managing these issues sooner, rather than later, is far more effective. (I always tell my clients that the BEST form of therapy is the cultivation of an emotional connection/sharing between yourself and someone else – you do not need a professional therapist for this to be a huge positive support in your life!)
- Prioritize Boundaries: Set healthy boundaries in your personal and professional life. Learn to recognize and then prioritize your needs. Establish limits on other demands that can negatively impact your mental well-being. Saying yes to everything can lead to burnout and increased stress levels.
Prioritizing mental wellness results in numerous benefits in various aspects of life. It enhances our relationships, leading to improved communication and deeper connections. A healthy mind enables us to approach challenges with a positive outlook, making us more resilient and adaptable. And mental wellness positively impacts our physical health, boosting our immune system, and reducing the risk of chronic illnesses.
In a world that often demands our constant attention and energy, taking care of our mental wellness is of utmost importance. By incorporating strategies to nurture a healthy mind, we can experience a positive transformation in our lives.
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