- Healthy mental health
- Simple…yet effective
- Get your shit done
- Ways to relax
- Don’t self medicate
- Mental illness myths debunked
- What to do in a crisis
- Don’t make it the end of your world
- When and where to get help
Healthy mental health
Hopefully you’re cruising along enjoying the ride in your new place. But, if something crops up, like illness or even just trouble coping with stuff in general, you might need help.
Whatever the problem, it can get better with time. Seriously.
And if you ARE up shit creek mentally, here’s the paddle, with info on when to ask for help, where to get it from, plus other useful tips and techniques to make life easier.
Believe me, you’ll manage life’s stresses much better if you try to keep your lifestyle fairly good in general (plus not enough sleep can make you put on weight – true story).
Get your shit done
Ways to relax (healthy…mkay)
- Lie down, close your eyes and start with your toes
- Tense them then relax and let them flop, move to your knees and tense then relax, ditto, all the way up to your eyes and the top of your head
- Chill out for a few minutes then gradually move things bit by bit – wiggle your toes, knees, fingers, etc. then open your eyes
- Drink a cup of something relaxing (like chamomile tea or warm milk, not rum and coke)
- Have a warm bath
- Do a bit of reading – or share a bit of rumpy-pumpy with someone close
Seriously, getting wasted will only make problems worse. Shit doesn’t get sorted by starting an addiction.
If you’ve already been using something a fair bit and aren’t sure if you have a problem or not, keep your eye out for the upcoming QUIZ: Do I have a drug or alcohol problem?– “yes” answers can mean you need help to get things under control.
You need someone you can talk to honestly (remember, what you say to your doctor is confidential unless there’s a serious risk of harm to yourself or someone else).
Once you’ve got a good doctor, they can help you work out what you need, like counselling, a support group, medication, rehabilitation or even just a friendly ear to discuss stuff – but catch a problem early and it’s usually easier to fix.
Some proven herbal remedies? St John’s wort (mild to moderate depression), valerian (sleep problems), cranberry (mild UTIs), plus lots of products that get used in pharmaceuticals.
Remember, just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s safe though – the hemlock plant is a deadly poison that grows wild, for example.
And make sure you tell your doctor if you’re taking any natural remedies, as herbals can interact with pharmaceuticals.
Mental illness myths debunked
- It’s not common: Actually it is – around 1 in 5 adults have a mental disorder (higher in young adults).
- People get violent: Not usually – people with a mental illness are no more violent than the general population (except to themselves).
- It’s all in your head: No it’s not – mental illness has physical symptoms like sleep and appetite changes, panic attacks and hallucinations.
- You need to be zonked out on pills: No you don’t – not all treatment needs medication. Things like relaxation techniques, exercise and talk therapy may be enough, and there are different medication and community support options. Discuss with your doctor.
- It’s a life sentence: No matter WHAT the mental illness, most people fully recover; others may have occasional episodes with years in between and a MINORITY of severe cases need medication and management long-term.
What to do in a crisis
Otherwise, in many places you can call your local area health service for free, 24/7 to ask for help (web-search it under mental health service in your area) – they can advise you or may organise a crisis team or other response.
Check out Useful websites: mental health, for more links to help services.
Don’t make it the end of your world
Sometimes just being an adult is overwhelming (there’s a lot of stuff to learn!) but it can get especially hard if there are added issues (like some kind of crisis, for example, or substance abuse, eating disorders or mental illness).
Don’t compare your problems to others’: we all have our own struggles.
No matter what – whether you’ve lost someone, been dumped, you’re failing uni, are addicted to something – you CAN deal with it – bit by bit, step by step. Even when it’s hard to see past what’s happening, to how to fix things, believe it or not, it will get better. Time does heal.
Don’t do something you’ll regret. Wait the trouble out.
When and where to get help
If you’re not sure whether you have a problem, watch for our upcoming post with 4 quizzes to help work it out, like the QUIZ: Am I depressed or QUIZ: Do I have an anxiety disorder? Make sure you sign up or like us on social media to get it.