Top 5 tips to maintain balanced mental health
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Written by: Laura Richeson
While it is considered to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year,’ the end of the year and the holiday season can also be more stressful and taxing on your mental health and overall wellness.
Dr. Scott Freeman teaches psychology at Seminole State College of Florida as well as runs his own practice where he is a licensed mental health counselor. He strives to work against the stigma that surrounds mental health that keeps many people from seeking help. “To go to counseling or therapy in any form you don’t have to have something horribly wrong with you,” said Freeman. “I always use the analogy that people go to the gym for all kinds of various reasons and some of the healthiest people go to the gym to maintain wellness.”
According to Aspire Health Partners, we feel stress and anxiety for very specific reasons. It’s our mind telling our body that something isn't right. When you're feeling anxious or uneasy during the holiday season, try to pause and check in with yourself.
Especially during the peak periods of stress, Freeman advises that you maintain structure, balance and routine in your life. Read on for important tips for balanced mental health:
As best possible, set clear hours regarding work or study when you cannot be disturbed. Be sure to take breaks from social media and read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, or journal. Journaling is a wonderful outlet to boost creativity, inspiration and enjoyment.
Be truthful with a focus on beliefs vs. reality. Manage your time with priorities and key deadlines so you avoid getting behind or overwhelmed. Use your time constructively and manage your expectations appropriately.
Be gentle and compassionate with yourself, practice empathy
Be kind and patient with yourself and others – always. Do the best you can with what you have and remember:
- Not to compare yourself to others
- Know that the situation may be bad today, but things can change for the better
- Look at challenging situations as a learning experience
- Be your own ‘best friend’
Quiet your mind to prevent overthinking/minimize rumination
Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body, and the world around you. Practice mindfulness for 10 minutes daily and think about all that is going on and what you can appreciate during this time.
Connect with other people and yourself
Build a sense of belonging and self-worth to share positive experiences with others. Offering emotional support to others tends to have a reciprocal effect. Share the kindness! Allow yourself to laugh, make time for just yourself, and a good digital detox is highly recommended every now and then.
Lastly, recognize when you’re in emotional pain and seek help when needed. Pay attention when you don’t feel well emotionally. Don’t ignore it and let it fester. Get the help and support you need and deserve!
Seminole State College's Academic Advising and Counseling Department* provides academic advising and counseling services for students that will help them succeed at the college level and beyond.
*Seminole State is an educational institution and not a mental health or substance abuse center.
Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded more than 100,000 credentials, from bachelor's degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. For more about the college, visit seminolestate.edu
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