Life can be tricky. If you are a student, you may be feeling the intensity of a mounting workload. If you are an adult, you may feel the stress of relationships, parenting, or finances. Or maybe you have deadlines. Maybe you’re just caught in a thought spiral and you feel like your life will never get better. We have compiled a list of practical things you can do right now to help yourself.
5 THINGS TO FOCUS ON WHEN YOU ARE STRUGGLING MENTALLY OR EMOTIONALLY
1. Drink water.
Simple enough! But it is easy to forget when we are struggling. Add lemon or drink it hot with tea. Our brain depends on hydration to function properly. Dehydration zaps our brain of energy, impedes serotonin production, and increases stress hormone activity.
2. Leave the four corners of your room.
Get out of bed even just for 5 minutes in an effort to accomplish something. Wash your face. Step outside to feel the sun on your skin. Walk around the block. Ride your bike.
3. Eat something.
Like water, our body and brain need nutrients in order to function. Feelings of depression and anxiety thrive off of inadequate nutrition. Not eating can amplify symptoms of depression. Eat something small like a slice of bread or a piece of fruit.
4. Do something you enjoy for 10 whole minutes.
Read a few pages of a book. Doodle or color. Listen to music. Write or journal. Fully immerse yourself in an activity that brings you even the smallest semblance of joy and/or peace.
5. Tell someone you trust that you are having a hard time.
Many people fear being a burden to those around them but in reality our loved ones want to know when we are struggling. People cannot support us if they don’t know we are in need of support. Ask someone to check in on you from time to time. You matter and your pain matters. Talk to someone you know cares about you, or reach out to us at death2life.com or text D2L @494949 to talk to someone who cares.
(adapted from Dr. Christina Iglesia, clinical psychologist)