Mental health is a phrase that’s often thrown around in our modern society but the understanding of how to stay well is still a bit of a mystery. I think we’re all very aware of how important it is to keep your mental health in check, whether that’s by way of exercise, listening to music or some other endorphin releasing activity. Something even more commonly spoken about mental health condition of teenagers and young adults. It would be safe to say that young adults, like myself, are the most aware and some of the most at risk of mental health issues. Growing societal pressures to perform both in work, school and socially and increasing costs of living have our blood running a little bit cold. How I keep my mental health in check as a young man has evolved over the years.
Increase peace and slow the pace
So, how do we cope in a world that’s quickly outpacing us and leaving a generation of young people in the dirt? For me it was a quiet rebellion against the fast-paced world I live in. I quickly realised that I wasn’t a ‘high performer’ in the usual sense. I didn’t do well in school, never committed to a four-year degree and quickly found myself working part time for minimum wage with little other attributes that one could relate to a successful individual. So, I took a step back and looked at what was important to me. Morning runs in nature, playing music and quality time with family were really what stood out. No, this isn’t me telling you to exercise to improve mental health or spend quality time with family or any other trope you usually hear in an article like this.
What I would urge you to look at is your relationship with yourself. We live in a world where we’re inundated with the notion that other people’s opinions, both about us and whatever is popular matter. We’re led to believe that we should go out and play a perfect version of ourselves to be found attractive by the opposite, or same, sex. So, my reaction was simply to slow down. Stop and look within.
Believe me when I say that healing years of trauma and childhood sexual and physical abuse wasn’t easy. Unfortunately, that is what I had to do when I looked deeper than the skin façade I wear. Although I haven’t quite got over the hump of all that, I have found some very useful coping skills along the way.
What’s worked for me
- Go to therapy. Yeah, I know you don’t need it, you’re fine and blah, blah, blah. But you probably do need it, very badly. It’s hard to be alive and I’ll be the first to admit that. Having someone who you pay to vent about all the shit that goes on in your head helps. Enough said.
- Exercise. But, in nature. Who enjoys listening to the sound of cars and construction work? Not me. Hence, you need to escape it occasionally. Go for a walk without any distractions wherever all that horrible noise isn’t. No music, no phone and no distractions. Allow yourself to be.
- Maybe consider deleting Twitter. We’re all addicts, whether it’s Instagram or Twitter or Facebook you probably spend a good five hours per day, if not more, scrolling. When you decide to step back from social media you will notice the withdrawals. But you will also notice the freedom you find without it.
- Do hard things, but with frequent rest. For me this connects to the point on exercise. I challenge myself physically about twice a week with a hard run or cycle. But you can’t go hard every day. That’s why you’ll normally find me on my indoor bike trainer watching Netflix. The same point universally applies to life. You can do hard things, but you must allow yourself time to rest and reset.
I’m new to in the rooms and I think it’s a real helpful website and I appreciate everybody for helping out
I am grateful I came across this. I am 607 days clean today, and I have been struggling a bit more lately with some things. I recently moved to Austin, TX from Northern Michigan. And its been a cultural shock. I also moved here to be around my family. Some whom I haven’t seen since 2013, in some deep suicidal years for myself. I have my therapist still from Michigan, and I absolutely love being able to talk to her on my therapy day.