Mental health: friends’ tips

There is so much happening, in our lives and on Facebook always. So I am happy that friends read and responded to the last post on Mental health: things that have helped. Friends I also met up recently shared some more thoughts, and so here are some very good tips shared by friends for mental health.

  1. Reduce alcohol consumption. This is difficult because alcohol is associated with good times. For some, though, alcohol use/overuse has caused a lot of agony. If you know this is the case, then taking steps towards cutting back may help.
  2. Sleep. The body needs 6-8 hours of sleep, minimum. Cutting down distractions before going to bed, and making sure you’ve eaten, had a glass of warm milk etc. helps get to sleep. During a time when I had insomnia, I used to have a shot of this concoction: 1 tbsp. juice of freshly grated onion mixed with 2 tbsp of honey. It was yucky, but it helped get to bed. Also poppy seeds in warm milk are supposed to help. Some people use weighted blankets. [Thanks Julia for the above tips.]
  3. Another friend [thanks Salma!] adds that it really helps to reach out and call the people that you love and whom you know love you unconditionally. “Have long comforting, meaningless conversations with them. So I just call my mom, my sister, my closest friend and start talking my feelings out and listening to their stories too to be reminded that the world still exists and is going its usual course beyond this anxiety.”
  4. Another comment suggested reflecting on our own cognitive errors and emotional biases. Rather than ruminating, this process involves looking at our own patterns of thinking and feeling. Have I jumped to a conclusion that isn’t necessarily valid or logical? Are my emotions from a current situation or am I triggered by something? (I am waiting for friend to share more on this point).
  5. Painting / journalling. Expressing oneself unrestricted through some form of art really helps externalising emotions, and even processing them. Friends and I too feel blocked at times while writing because of the tendency to stop and correct every error before the sentence is written. My advice is to stop the censor and just keep writing. (Something I have to try with this blog too!)
  6. Do one thing a day. One small thing a day to start your day: your cup of tea, your exercise routine, your morning walk. One small thing that makes you proud. One small thing that helps you get through the day. Whatever it is, just focus on that one thing, and then maybe the next one thing, and little by little you will get through the long day.
  7. Go to social gatherings. It helps to meet people, said another friend.
  8. “Be happy, now.” This person is a student and teacher of Buddhist philosophy, and perhaps that influences her. Don’t wait for tomorrow or day after. It is in the now that you can be happy, (and maybe with the little things if not the big ones, i would add).

Hope you have a good one. Please do share more tips. Will keep adding and sharing as they come.

About CK

i sleep, i wake, i write chitra[dot]kalyani[at]gmail[dot]com
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