7 tips to stay aware of your mental health
Mental health in the MSP space- yes, it's that kind of an article.
In this day and age of distractions and an overload of information, it is too easy for people to lose sight of themselves, especially when they start over-prioritizing work. We somehow switch to this strange autopilot mode of pushing too much and fail to take care of our mental health. But hey, the first step in solving a problem is knowing there is one. It is as true for matters of your mind as much as it is for anything else. Here are 7 tips to identify when your mental health is slipping, and build a healthy lifestyle in the long run.
Be mindful of unexplained changes in behaviour
This can be hard to recognize, even if you know yourself and your colleagues well. A good way to start is to consciously observe and check for unusual behaviour. If you find yourself feeling off hanging out with people when partying is your favourite pass time, then it's probably a good time to pause and reflect. But remember that your friends are also looking out for you, so always be open to listening to them when they notice you acting out of the ordinary. That way, you can be aware of your state of mind, even if you're not able to identify it yourself.
When you seem busy all the time, STOP!
We've all found ourselves in situations when we seem to work all the time and yet show no progress. Well, haste makes waste. Sometimes, taking a pause and looking at things from a different vantage point is all we need. When you've run into a wall, don't try to break the wall down—try to find to the door. So, every time you feel overwhelmed, take a break to clear your head and start over with clarity. Works like magic!
Don't push yourself to stay social
We've all been through rough patches where holding conversation feels like a daunting task. We've definitely felt it, and we've seen it in others too. It's evident from their lack of energy and interest that they're going through something. When you notice it, take a minute to call them up and check upon them. A quick "Hey, is everything alright? I'm always here if you need someone to talk to." might be a small gesture for you, but it can mean the world to them, especially when they need it the most. On the other hand, if you're the one feeling like you're running on fumes, know that it's completely okay to feel that way. Take some time away from your phone and spend it on things you love doing to recharge your social battery.
Cultivate better eating habits
You'd be surprised at the level of impact that your food habits have on your mood. Fast food is an easy food option when you're stressed and need a quick meal, but it can be detrimental to your mental health in the long run. Replacing junk food with healthier, organic alternatives can do wonders not just for your physical health, but also you mental well-being. If you're unsure on where to start, keep it simple: eat on time, and eat right.
Lack of sleep? Change your routine!
Throw your phone away. 9 out of 10 times, your lack of sleep is a direct function of how late you use your mobile phone. It is hard for the brain to shut off and relax when it experiences such high levels of stimulation. Disturbed sleep means you wake up tired and that can have a negative influence on the rest of your day. It's a vicious cycle. Put down your devices at least 2 hours before you get to sleep. If you're bored, listen to some mellow music or pick up your comfort book to keep your brain relaxed.
Don't let one bad moment ruin your day
You wake up at 5 in the morning, go for a run and cook breakfast for your family. Things are good and you're finally not in a rush for once in your life. Excited for a great day, you leave for work with a cup of coffee. As you walk, somebody bumps into you from nowhere and the coffee spills over your coat. Suddenly, your enthusiasm goes down the drain and you're left feeling angry, irritated, and annoyed. It's easy to carry those emotions forward and let it influence the rest of your day. In these moments, it's important to remember that a bad moment doesn't make for a bad day, and you'll find that your day can become much better by letting go of the negativity and moving on.
Practice mindfulness to stay in the moment
Life gets easier when you learn to stay in the moment. The power of "now" greatly exceeds that of "what was" and "what could be". Thoughts of the past are no more than baggage and when you don't let go it, you eventually slow down. Great presentations do not happen when all that's going on in your mind is the screw-up you made last week. Taking things personally is a sign of mental insecurity. Overcome it!
Yes, all of this is easier said than done. But hey, we have to start somewhere, don't we? We owe it to ourselves to grow and become the best version of ourselves possible and a sound mind is the perfect place to start.
(Oh wait, I almost forgot! We have some excellent tips on how you blow off some steam and relieve some stress that we think you'd like.)
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