We each have a responsibility to protect ourselves and to keep ourselves healthy. We cannot outsource this responsibility. It is ours. Those of us lucky enough to have others who aid us in keeping ourselves happy and healthy are blessed.
However, it follows if there aren’t people in our lives currently who can do this for us then the responsibility is ours alone, but there is help and things we can do to help us:
1. Join a group or club.
We all have things we enjoy whether it’s reading, movies, arts and crafts, writing, running or maybe something we would like to try. With the internet in full bloom you can find meet ups where people do things we enjoy. We can find new things we enjoy. Growth never stops no matter how old we are. Being stagnant and not trying new things isn’t good for us in the long run. We need to be inquisitive and find things that fill us with wonder and curiosity. Explore what’s at your fingertips or look at noticeboards in your local supermarket, park, community centres, etc. Something may appeal and lead to a new passion.
2. Join a gym or fitness studio or do volunteer work
I enjoy yoga and there are numerous places around me where I can go to classes. Joining somewhere and going regularly not only gives you routine but keeps you healthy and makes you better at whatever physical activity you use to keep your body healthy. It is no secret that physical activity is good for the mind. Also being part of a team and/or doing something for charity buoys us. Whatever you choose to do to get more active on a regular basis, remember your responsibility to look after yourself is always a priority.
3. Revisit things that brought us joy
Even if it’s a book we enjoyed it a film or a museum we went to it’s worth revisiting to remind you of things you felt enthusiastic about. Meet up with old friends, reconnect with the positive and happy experiences we had in the past rather than dwelling on when things were difficult. It is better to live in the present. The present is life, the present is where we connect our minds with our body. The past is often a source for depression, the future is often a source for anxiety. The present, without sounding too cliché, is a gift. However, I still believe places of positivity from our past bolsters positive thinking in the now.
4. Let go of things that keep us feeling sadness
Letting go of memories, habits, people, false beliefs about ourselves is crucial for a healthy mind. By incorporating negative thoughts, memories and feelings into our default daily thoughts we keep ourselves down or make ourselves insecure and unconfident. Putting in happy memories, feelings and thoughts raises our mood and levels of happiness. Being around people who constantly hurt or make us unhappy is also not healthy. Letting go, is a curious phrase, does it mean not thinking about things? Because we all know what happens when we are told not to think about zebras. Zebras are all we think about. Sometimes putting distractions aside to feel the sadness and letting the emotions come and crying is letting it all go. Those of us who have hit crisis point where our depression took us to a very dark place fear this release may take us back to the very place we are working hard to avoid, but suppression of emotions is holding on to things we need to process and release. Those times alone where we cry is letting go for some.
5. Have a safe place where we can discuss our true feelings openly
I’m lucky in this respect, I have had professionals I have spoken to for years. People who are more than happy to support. This couple with the practice of yoga and meditation keeps me functioning and motivated. Finding people whom I totally can be emotionally open with eluded me until this year, but despite this I was always open and honest with healthcare professionals, everyone needs a sounding board. Sometimes just verbalising what we feel or what thoughts plague us can be powerful enough to give us a fresh perspective. Being alone with these thoughts make them bigger: they become beliefs and the negativity they permeate sinks far and wide.