If you are on this page you or someone you know may be having challenges with mental health. I assure you that you’ve come to the right place for resources and support.
I have co-morbid disorders, which means more than one co-occurring mental health condition. I’ve experienced ADHD, PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Sleep Disorders, Bipolar, and Psychosis. All of which are temporary and can change on a daily basis, but can be traumatic in the moment. I believe that labels do not need to define who we truly are, but knowing the root of the cause can be conducive for treatment and healing.
Recovery requires a lot of self-work, maintenance, support, self-love, and consistency. I am sharing the following tools with you because many of these techniques continue to help me cope and live a happy and meaningful life. If they help me, I truly believe many of these tips and resources will help you too!
- Suicide Prevention Hotline (U.S.) CALL 988 OR 1-800-273-8255
- Suicide Prevention Hotlines (Across Canada) ←Click for numbers
- International Suicide Hotlines
- LA Warm Line 1-855-952-9276
- Teenline (U.S) 310-855-4673 TEXT TEEN to 839863
- Crisis Text Line (U.S) Text HOME to 741741
- Trevor Project LGBT Hotlines 1-866-488-7386
- Text Trevor LGBTQ+ 1-202-304-1200 (Mon to Fri, 3PM to 10PM EST)
- Trans Lifeline (U.S) 1-877-565-8860 / (Canada) 1-877-330-6366
- Find a therapist you connect with. Search for a therapist near you:
- Search by Zip Code (US) Search by Postal Code (Canada)
- Search by Postcode (UK) Psychologist Directory (EU)
- Online Therapy – TalkSpace; Better Help; Cerebral
- Search on Psychology Today (US)
- Try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – a practical approach that aims to change patterns of thinking and behavior that are underlying people’s difficulties.
- Try a DBT technique called Opposite Action. An example would be pushing yourself to go to the gym when you actually feel like staying on the couch.
COMMUNITY & SUPPORT GROUPS:
- Tell a friend or family member that you trust and can confide in. It’s important to have a support system and to spend time with people that lift your spirit.
- Find a Support Group near you:
- If you’re struggling with addiction, attend AA meetings regularly & find a sponsor.
MENTAL HEALTH APPS & PODCASTS:
- Speak to your doctor and/or get referred to a psychiatrist to be diagnosed if you think you may be suffering from a mental health condition and find out if you’d benefit from medication.
- Be patient as it can take time and medication adjustments for it to work effectively. Always take medication as prescribed and follow the advice of your doctor.
- Check out Be There – Created by Jack.org, Be There is the most engaging and comprehensive resource available to learn how to support someone struggling with their mental health. Get your Be There Certificate!
- Mental Health Is Health
- Get trained in Suicide Prevention with QPR Institute
- Get trained with Mental Health First Aid
- Well-Being Resources by Columbus Recovery Center
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Resources
Self-care is critical to our mental health and emotional well-being. When you prioritize yourself, you not only ensure you are the best “you” possible, but you also reinvigorate yourself. You have more energy and joy to give in other areas of your life. The following are some tools to guide you in the process.
EXERCISE & DIET
- Exercise! Exercising is known to help ease anxiety, depression, ADHD, insomnia, PTSD, and more. It produces endorphins, which are powerful chemicals in your brain that make you feel good.
- Do Yoga. Yoga is great for your body and mind. It’s known to improve mental health, including disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and schizophrenia.
- Do yoga at home or find a studio near you:
- Eat a healthy diet. The foods you eat have a direct effect on your mental health. Limit sugar intake and eat foods that are known to benefit your mental health, such as whole grains, nuts, beans, lentils, fatty fish, lean protein, citrus fruits, blueberries, cherry juice, avocados, leafy greens, beets, broccoli, yogurt with active cultures, extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, dark chocolate. 1 Brazil Nut a day decreases anxiety & depression
- Supplement your diet with vitamins that aid mental health and wellness:
NATURAL REMEDIES & AT HOME SELF-CARE
- Try Rescue Remedy for Panic or Anxiety. It’s all-natural and I’ve used it for years to calm my nerves. It works for me after 15-20 minutes of taking it.
- Explore Chinese Medicine
- Do Breathing Exercises. We breathe automatically, but it’s amazing what you can do to calm your body and mind with breathing techniques.
- Meditate! There are many guided meditations on YouTube & Podcasts.
- Take time away from technology. Reducing screen time helps keep you stay in the present moment, reduces stress & anxiety, and aids sleep.
- Spending time in nature benefits our physical and mental health. Go for a walk or hike without your phone or music and listen to the birds.
- Self-Reflect & Journal. Do regular check-ins with yourself & write in a journal. Writing is a great way to navigate through challenges & have an internal dialogue with yourself.
- Create and practice self-affirmations and do mirror work. Louise Haye’s mirror work helped me develop more love & compassion for myself.
- Here’s a List of Self-Affirmations I put together including tips on how to make your own!
- Connect with your Inner child. Inner child work is an important part of soul work.
- Unwind. These are a few things I do to decompress:
- Take a bath with the lights dim or your favourite book. Add Epsom salts to relax your body (lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint).
- Get a massage or do a self-massage at home. I highly recommend the acuball for self-massage. It is incredible!
- Light a candle (My favorite is Stress Relief by Bath & Body Works).
- Listen to meditation music, nature sounds, chakra balancing music.
- Get in sweatpants & read an inspiring book. My top picks are:
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
- You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
- Freedom by Osho; Emotional Wellness by Osho
- Bradshaw On: The Family by John Bradshaw
- Try a sensory deprivation tank. Its benefits include relief from insomnia, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, PTSD and even addiction.
- Try Light Therapy. Blue light helps reduce depression which some experience during the Winter months (SAD). I used a blue light (Philips GoLITE BLU) at home in the morning for 30 to 45 minutes when I was going through depression and it worked well for me.
- Try Reiki. It’s known to reduce anxiety & physical pain.
- Use a weighted blanket to help anxiety and increase mood.
- Increase your happiness! The Art of Living has a fantastic Happiness Program. They incorporate breathing exercises, meditation, and philosophies to help increase overall happiness and find joy in your life. I took the program & highly recommend it. Find a local Art of Living Centre, Find a Happiness Course near you.
- Use Shawn Achor’s 6 Tips for Happiness. These really helped when I was at my lowest.
- Gratitude Exercises. Write down three things you’re grateful for that occurred over the last 24 hours. Ex. a really good cup of coffee or the warmth of a sunny day.
- The Doubler. Take one positive experience from the past 24 hours and spend two minutes writing down every detail about that experience. As you remember it, your brain labels it as meaningful and deepens the imprint.
- The Fun Fifteen. Do 15 minutes of a fun cardio activity every day. The effects of daily cardio can be as effective as taking an antidepressant.
- Every day take 2 minutes to stop whatever you’re doing and concentrate on breathing. Even a short mindful break can result in a calmer, happier you.
- Conscious act of kindness. At the start of every day, send a short email or text praising someone. Our brains become addicted to feeling good by making others feel good.
- Deepen Social Connections. Spend time with family and friends. Our connections are one of the best predictors for success and health and even life expectancy.
- Find a creative outlet. Channel your Pain Into Power by transmuting stress into something positive and meaningful to you. Writing lyrics & singing really helps me turn my pain into something artful. Find something you enjoy! (Dancing, art, cooking, music, skating, photography, etc.)
I’ve been dealing with insomnia & sleep paralysis for years. Sleep hygiene has helped me manage it.
- Sleep 7-8 hours.
- Create a bedtime routine (Eg. reading, meditating, taking a bath, etc.)
- Avoid stimulants: Caffeine, chocolate, and nicotine can keep you awake.
- Schedule your sleep. Go to bed & wake up at the same time every day to establish a regular sleep-wake cycle.
- Stop using electronics or watching TV an hour or two before bed. The blue light may interfere with your body’s production of melatonin & keep you awake.
- Natural supplements for sleep have worked well for me. Please consult your doctor before trying anything. I recommend melatonin, magnesium, valerian root.
- Make your bedroom cool and comfortable. Keep your room dark, turn down the thermostat, use soft bedsheets, only use your bedroom for sleep or sex.
- Use essential oils on your skin, pillow, or in a diffuser for relaxation before bed.
- If you wake up in the middle of the night it’s best to get out of bed and do some monotonous activity (ie. reading on the couch) in dim lighting. After 15 minutes go back to bed and try to fall asleep again.
- Go to a sleep clinic if you’re unable to resolve the issue yourself. You may need assistance from a doctor.
Read more on Sleep & Mental Health.
Please prioritize your mental health and make time for self-care & balance in your lifestyle. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. The better we feel inside, the better we are able to live fulfilling lives and have loving relationships with ourselves and others.
I am honored to be a small part of your healing journey. Feel free to reach out anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love & Light,