Taking Care of Your Mental Health

I am happiest when I connect to people. When I feel that connection, it feels like I've become closer to the people I talk with - even if we've been friends for 10+ years. You can get this feeling by talking to people online, but it's not the same as being with those people in person. The experience is always richer, and more memorable. Your heart soars.

However, it is hard to connect with people when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you may not even know why. You might feel exhausted, that there's no point in going out, that you would just bring everyone else's mood down. But it isn't about any of that. It is about your mental well being, and what you need to do to help pick yourself up so that you can enjoy and live your life to the fullest. It is said that life is a present, and it can most definitely be.

Positive Self Coaching

Everyone talks to themselves in one way or the other, we all have that voice in our heads that speaks a certain way. For most of us, that voice puts us down. It tells you that you're not good enough, that you suck, that you aren't worth it, the list goes on. It knows your weak spots and will exploit it. For many, this the the only voice they hear. But it is not your voice, it is not you. Change the way you speak to yourself. Be kind to yourself - like you would to your best friend. It is difficult changing that voice to one of love, when it has been so negative for so long. But it can be done. I know it sounds cheesy, but calling yourself "love" can be one way to start the change. In addition to bringing more love to yourself by calling yourself love, you remind yourself that you should practice self-love. 

Support Groups

It is important for you to know that you are not alone - you don't ever have to be alone. There are people experiencing similar things, and when these people come together and support each other, something magical happens. Along with finding a group of people that can support you, new friendships can be made, along with a sense of purpose. This group can be whoever you want it to be. For me it's my friends and family, for others it is a group going through similar difficulties such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, alcoholism, etc. The following link to support groups found in Calgary:

Gratitude Journaling

Many people say that gratefulness is the key to happiness (Huffington Post). Gratitude journaling is an amazing exercise to practice daily, and helps to gently change your attitude to one of gratitude. It allows you to see different perspective, be more empathetic, create a deeper understanding of yourself, and keeps things in perspective. Having this journal can also be useful for when your mood is lower as a way to remind you of all the things in your life that brings you happiness. 

Going Outside

There are so many beautiful things to behold outside, whether it's a tender interaction between two people, seeing someone helping another, the fluffy clouds passing by, feeling the wind caress your face, or the beautiful changing colours of the leafs. There are things you can enjoy. Do the things you've always wanted to try. There's no pressure trying to placate another person, and you can do everything at your leisure, there are not time constraints to see another place unless you want to. After a few times, this is very liberating, this kind of independence is beautiful and something to savour. 

Finding Your Purpose

This one is really important. Finding your purpose will give you energy to get out of bed on the days you really don't want to. It gives you that extra push because there is something you are trying to achieve. Generally, purpose isn't material based. It is something bigger than yourself that you can dedicate your life to. For some, it's providing for their family, for others is taking care of their beloved pet, and yet, for others it's helping or supporting someone get through something going on in their lives. Finding your purpose can be difficult, so one way to start finding your own purpose is by learning more and discovering who you are. Your purpose can be whatever you want it to be, and it makes you feel like there's a reason you are here.

Remember, it is completely normal for you not to be happy every single moment of your life. It is okay to feel "blah," it's ok for you to feel down, content, etc. These emotions are not bad, and are often needed in life. Life ebbs and flows, and your mood will change accordingly. Social media has made it easier for people to show the best parts of their lives, the parts they feel alive - but behind the scenes, their moods can quite often, be the opposite of what they are displaying. 

With lots of Love,

~Dr. Charmagne