How to Take Care of Your Mental Health in the Midst of Adversity
Mental Health. Life is a wonderful journey that definitely has its fair share of ups and downs. When everything is great, we often don’t even stop and think how lucky we are to be in this position, but when adversity hits, we cannot step away from the sorrow and wallowing.
And in the midst of all the misfortune and chaos, our own mental health suffers by triggering anxiety and depression. So, how do you take care of YOU?
Adversity happens to all of us, no matter the scale and no matter the cost. It’s a natural part of life that we’re given to experience and it rarely happens when we actually expect it or prepare for it. And what’s worse, sometimes you might even know it’s coming and think you’ve done a good job preparing for the consequences, and then it hits you like a wall of bricks.
But adversity and difficulties in life make you stronger, they help you grow, they teach you how to love yourself, and they become the building blocks of your persona that’s so much more aware of the good things in life. Often times you only realize how good you have it once you’re at risk of losing it, and you never truly know what you’re capable of enduring until you have to.
Still, if you feel like you’re going through a rough patch in your life, it might be hard to see the end of the tunnel. You might need some guidance and help with putting you on the right path. Here are some helpful tips on how to deal with adversity and protect your mental health in the process.
Control What You Can
In difficult times, it’s often hard to acknowledge the full scope of the situation and separate what you can and cannot control. We often strive to control every aspect of every possible moment so we can get the desired outcome. Unfortunately, that’s not how life works, and sometimes there are things that are out of your control no matter what you do.
That’s why it’s so important to focus on those things that you can control, and it starts with you. Find a way to deal with your stress and anxiety and your own reactions to the situation you’re in. The more in control you are of your own feelings, the clearer your head and finding a solution to your problem.
Let Go of What You Can’t Control
On the other hand, let go of anything that’s out of your control. Trying to make a change or fight through something you simply have no influence over is only making you lose time, energy, and your own mental strength. This is definitely not going to help your mental health, so letting go of what you have no say in is essential to help you push through the hard times.
Change the Narrative
When we’re faced with adversity, we often find ourselves ruminating, or running in circles. This constant reliving of the situation will never yield anything positive, so it’s important to change the narrative and gain new insights into the challenge in question.
This strategy is even backed by studies that prove how doing so in a process called Expressive Writing, people were forced to confront their challenges and come up with ideas that make them change their perspective and see the situation from another angle.
Find Something Good in Every Single Day
Whenever we find ourselves in a difficult situation, it’s almost impossible to look on the bright side. But that’s exactly what you should be doing. Force yourself to find one single thing in your day you’re grateful for or that brings you joy. Sooner or later, you’ll start seeing two, three, or even more reasons to smile and be grateful. And after a short while, you won’t even have to force yourself to search for it.
Find a Support System
Those who don’t judge but are there for you in the hardest times will surely be there during the happiest. Surround yourself with people you can count on and who make you feel happy, loved, and secure. In the midst of adversity, it’s not uncommon to feel alone, insecure, and unsafe. That’s why having a strong support system is so important for your mental health. Reach out for support, don’t just wait for others to come to you. And accept help when it’s offered to you, but only if it’s genuine.
Remove Toxic People From Your Vicinity
On the other hand, it’s also important to stay away from people that are not good for your mental health and can only make your situation worse. When you’re faced with a difficult situation, having someone tell you “I told you so,” or undervalue your feelings is not a supportive friend to keep close. Sometimes it may be hard to identify those people, but over time, you’ll start to realize who your true friends are and who needs to be as far away from you as possible.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Even if you know someone who is going through exactly the same thing as you, it doesn’t mean they’re experiencing it the same way. They might have other issues that combined with this one make it 10 times worse or they might even have other bigger problems to worry about. And the way they are handling their situation might not work for you or might not even be applied to you in your scenario. Don’t compare yourself to others, stay in your lane, and start evaluating all factors that are involved in your story.
Do Something For Your Self-Care Everyday
No matter how hard it gets, find a moment each day to do something nice for yourself. Whether it’s exercise, making a nutritious meal, reading a book, or meditating, it doesn’t really matter as long as you do it. You know how they say “Put your mask on before assisting others?” You cannot be of any help to others or the situation you’re in if you don’t take care of you first.
Be Compassionate to Yourself
You’re going through something and you feel emotional pain, maybe even sensations of anxiety and depression – be compassionate to yourself. Meet yourself where you are and value your own feelings. In many situations, we’d offer words of comfort and support to others, but not ourselves. Stop being hard on yourself and give yourself the compassion you need in difficult times. It’s ok not to be ok, and it’s definitely ok to sit down and cry.
No matter what happens, never give up. Be proactive and push through the toughest times, as it’s the only real way to know you’ve given it your all. This might be the hardest tip of all on this list, but it’s the only one you really have to decide to do every single day of your life. You have to choose to keep fighting, even when it seems like there’s no solution to your problem. Don’t give up.
I have found my cancer journey to be a positive and profound transformational experience. I’m inspired to share my healing journey here, and trust you’ll find hope, encouragement and purpose as you discover the healing power that lies within you.