Updated: Jun 14, 2022
Being a Christian and managing your mental health is a particular battle. Determining the correct way to care for your mental, spiritual, and physical well-being can be absolutely infuriating. It surely doesn't help that we're living in a world where everyone is an expert nowadays. Well, that's a subject for another time. Even though I am still figuring things out for myself, here are four practical tips I have discovered that help me maintain positive mental health.
1. Talk About My Emotions & Feelings
Talking through my emotions is a sacred moment I reserve for only those I trust to hold my oil. My oil carriers are those I know can keep my secrets, accomplishments, and worst thoughts close to their hearts and away from their mouths. They are my army in this battle to maintain sanity. Who are they, you asked? Well, this team comprises God, my designated support system, friends and family, and my therapist. Taking the internal dialogue that used to keep me stuck in cycles and sharing it aloud in spaces where my vulnerability is protected and respected has improved my overall health and communication. It has taken time to process that my feelings are valid and deserve not just to be heard but explored. Healing is a process that requires patience. It can be difficult discovering how to express your emotions and feelings and even harder to learn how to trust yourself to select the right people to disclose your truth too. I can already hear your sigh of exhaustion reading this post, positive mental health sounds exhausting, but I promise you are worth the fight. Life is a battle you were not meant to fight alone. However, not everyone is meant to be a part of your army. This week take time to pick your troops. Make a list of those you know is in your corner. If this list is shorter than expected, do not be harsh. Just notate where you are starting from and reach out to build your safe space. A healthy community is necessary if mental wellness is the goal.
"Mental illness breeds isolation, which means stability succeeds in community."- Lynita Capler
2. Move My Body
Being active has changed everything about my life. It gives me a sense of control for a minimum of 30 minutes daily. I can't control wars or global political madness, but God has given me the authority to control my body, so I plan to manage her. Movement doesn't mean becoming a gym buff, working out daily, and counting your gains in your social media stories. It's as simple as taking the stairs, playing with your puppy in the backyard, taking a lap around the block, or stretching before bed. Taking care of our temples doesn't have to be complicated. It just needs to be intentional. Committing A few minutes of my day to fitness has improved my mental health, which helps me make better decisions to improve my physical health.
3. Choose Healthy Foods & Drinks
How many unnecessary times have we heard the phrase you are what you eat. They said it, so I am not going to, lol. However, I am healthier when my foods are healthier... See what I did there. Replacing my go-to drinks like sodas, canned teas, and bottled juices with homemade tea, smoothies, and water, has given me mental clarity and energy.
4. Me Time...Time with God ... and Prayer
Having my army of people is great on this mental health journey. However, they are a minor part of my positive mental health compared to my relationship with myself and God. To be content with life, I need to be satisfied with myself. The only way I sustain joy and peace during times of chaos and even the mundane, repetitive parts of life is by keeping my relationship with God my number one priority. Just like moving our bodies, it doesn't have to be difficult, just intentional. Blocking out 30 minutes of prayer and meditation right after waking up or before bed is a great way to start.
These tips are great for starting or maintaining your routine to improve your mental health. Let me know what you plan to implement or what you already apply to your life. Stay encouraged on this journey to become, and remember you are loved, heard, and seen.