I’ve been doing a lot of posts lately about my struggles with mental health and what I am doing and hoping to do to get to a better place. I thought I would lay out some goals I have for my overall mental health and things I am striving for. Some of these I have mentioned in regards to other goals (like getting my creativity back and yearly goals) others I have not.
-Get back into therapy
I have done therapy many times in the past, sometimes successfully, other times not so much. I think if you are willing to put in the work to not only find a good therapist but then work through the process it can be an incredibly helpful tool. My journey to find a therapist has not been going great lately, but it’s something I want to do, and feel I need to do. It also probably wouldn’t hurt to re-go through my various diagnoses from the past to make sure I wasn’t misdiagnosed or that I am currently facing the same struggles.
-Give me time and celebrate my accomplishments
I have the bad habit of expecting too much too quickly, and not giving myself credit for what I am doing and then getting discouraged and giving up. I will write well for a while, then hit a bump, get upset with myself, and then not write for weeks. I will have a bad stream and go into a pit and find excuses not to stream. I allow myself to be thrown off and get demotivated, which in the end doesn’t help in the least bit. Recognizing that things take time and as long as I am putting in the effort that it matters is something I’ve always struggled with. It’s something I need to do. I need to allow myself time, know that some days will be bad, but I need to be proud of what I do, instead of just beating myself up to the point that I just stop. It doesn’t help, it never will help.
-Get physically healthy
I’ve talked about this before. Being healthy physically I believe can help you with your mental problems as well. I am not one of those “cure depression by exercising” people, never will be. However, exercising, eating right, all of these sorts of things can help. If you feel awful physically it’s easy to feel awful mentally and emotionally. Also feeling better about the way I look will help with my confidence.
-Be honest about my depression/mental health
For many years (and even sometimes now) if I felt I was unable to do something because of my anxiety or depression, I would lie. I would make up and excuse, or just not respond to invites until it was too late, or any number of things. I have been trying recently just to be honest. It is shitty for me to lie to the people in my life, and honestly, not everyone will understand when I say “I am sorry I can’t do this because I am feeling depressed” or “this makes me way too anxious I just can’t.” However, I don’t want to lie anymore. When I cancel streams try to be honest about the reason. When I back out of plans, try to tell the truth. When I want to say no, try to give an honest explanation. My coming up with a random excuse helps no one and doesn’t make me feel good.
-Set goals and stick to it
I have talked about using my planner better before and getting myself into a routine/schedule. Every day I have set goals for things to do (and not to do), and I try to mark off as many things from my to-do list as possible. Really I just want to do more of the same. Prioritize certain things, make time for myself, but have full and productive days and reach as many goals as I can while doing this. The more goals I am accomplishing, the better I feel. It also keeps me busy, so I don’t have time to wallow in depressing thoughts.
-Reach out to people more
I am lucky that I have Ben. He is my best friend, a great support system, and we always have fun together. The problem is other than him I have been pretty isolated for… well, a long time. I’ve never been the most social creature, and my anxiety certainly doesn’t help on that end, but I would like to reach out and talk to the people in my life more and spend more time with folks.
-Make Lists/Posts about what I am Grateful for
I would like to start making more posts about what I am grateful for, or even lists for myself personally to go over. Writing things down or typing them out often helps to make them more “real” for me. I think it would be a good positivity exercise.
-Start journaling again
I am shockingly bad at using journals. I, for whatever reason, don’t care for it all that much. However, it can be a useful tool to get my true and innermost thoughts down. Doing honest journaling of your mental state can help you to track your highs and lows, what impacts them, and going back to the therapy point, could be useful when I do get back into therapy. I don’t know why, as a writer, I have such difficulty with journaling, but I do.
-Spend Less Time on Social Media
Social Media is essential for writers and streamers like myself. It is also a place to lose yourself in a lot of negativity. I want to strike a balance between being active but taking time away. Designating more time away from it, and being more willing to control what content I am absorbing. Also being more aware of what content I am putting out there.
-Consider/looking into Medication
I don’t like mental health medication for myself. It is not that I am against them for other people, everybody needs to do what is best for them, but for me specifically. I have tried various medications in the past, and one of the most significant side effects is not being able to write, and not feeling like myself. However, my anxiety has gotten really bad in recent months, and it might be time for me to consider trying some medication again, even for a short time.
I have been doing a lot of reading on meditation’s benefits, and I want to give it a serious chance. I recently bought a book that takes you through 10 days of different types of meditation, and it’s where I would like to start. Once I find the one(s) I like I want to do my research and continue from there.