How To

Taking Good Care Of Yourself

Working Toward Goals

These are some suggestions from people in recovery:

  • Concentrate on your strengths.
  • Concentrate on solving problems.
  • Instead of focusing on the past, think about the future.
  • Instead of focusing on your illness, focus on your life.

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As you work on your recovery, you might want to write down some of your main goals. These goals can be short-term and easily achievable, or you can start identifying bigger, more long-term goals that you want to work your way towards. It’s helpful to think of small steps to take toward them over a certain amount of time, like a week or a month. Remember to congratulate yourself for any successes. Achieving goals – even small ones – is a sign of hope and accomplishment.

Developing goals for recovery can be tricky, especially if you aren’t sure what it is that you want to accomplish. Consider your interests, things that bring you joy and things that keep you motivated. Also, think about the things you want, like where you want your life to go or what you would do more of if you could. Having a deep investment in the goals that you set will increase the chances of completing them.

Once you have set goals for yourself, you need to figure out what things are necessary to accomplish those goals. Be clear about why you set this goal and how your life will be different once this goal is achieved. You should also consider the strengths and skills that you possess that will help you achieve your goal. Try to involve necessary support systems and resources that can help you through the process if and when you need it. Finally, remember to stay focused on the goal and not on the difficulties you might be having. Keep an open mind, and know that you may hit barriers along the way. Recovery is no easy task, and focusing on the negative experiences will only make things harder.

Create a journal or scrapbook with pictures and clippings to help maintain your goals. Keeping a journal or scrapbook is a good way to track your goals and remind you of the things you’ve accomplished and the things you still plan to accomplish. Continue to add new goals as they come up. Recovery is a constant process and continuing to set goals for yourself will keep you motivated to reach and maintain wellness.

Take Care of Yourself

Your recovery journey will be successful if you take personal care of yourself. Recovering people discover that their spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being are interconnected and that each one can support the other. You will be more likely to stay healthy if you take care of all your aspects.

You can access a 3-minute screening tool to help you with your recovery. It also includes a progress monitor for depression and anxiety.

Here are some tips to help you take care of yourself.

  • Be Healthy, Eat healthy food, get enough sleep, exercise often, and stay away from drugs and alcohol. Regular medical check-ups are a good way to manage stress.
  • Good hygiene is essential. Good hygiene is essential for psychological, social, and medical reasons. It not only lowers the chance of getting sick, but also makes you more attractive to others and improves your self-image.
  • Make friends and build a sense of belonging. To make new friends, consider joining a support group.
  • Do something that you love every day. This could be dancing, reading, gardening, or painting.
  • Relax with meditation, yoga or a massage.

National Institute of Wellness created an online “wellness screener” that allows you track your recovery progress. Visit the NIW’s website at http://www.testwell.org/twfree.htm to obtain your wellness score.

You can also visit LiveYourLifeWell.info to learn more about the 10 Tools to Live Your Life Well.

Stimulate your connections

In order to develop resilience (the ability of your body to recover from illness), and stay healthy, it is important to include joy, spirit, relaxation and enjoyment in your daily life. Joy, spirit, relaxation, and connecting with others are the four C’s: Connect with yourself, with others, with your community, and create joy. These four C’s will help you push yourself to do new things and challenge your comfort level.

Get in touch with yourself

It is crucial to check in with your self regularly. You may not be able to see the changes in your life or how they are getting out of control. You can assess where you are at the moment in your recovery by checking in with yourself. It is possible that you will need to reevaluate which step of your recovery plan you are following or use different coping methods.

You know how difficult it is to overcome low points in your past. Knowing as much about your mental health conditions as possible will help you realize that it is not your fault that you are having difficult times. A list of achievements that you have made is a great resource to refer to when you feel low.

Journaling about your experiences is another tool that can help. A journal is a wonderful way to discover more about yourself. It is important to be honest in your journal. You should let your guard down and allow yourself to be vulnerable. You will be able to express your feelings and stress in a nonthreatening way.

You can also connect with yourself by becoming an advocate and sharing your story. Research has shown that storytelling can be used as therapy. It is a crucial step in your recovery to share your personal experiences by writing or speaking. You can support others by sharing your thoughts and experiences.

Get to know others

Spending time with loving, positive people you trust and care about can help you relax, improve your mood, and make you feel better overall. These people could be close friends, family, or members of a local support group. Warmlines are free hotlines that people with mental illnesses run in many communities. You can call them to get peer support and to talk to someone.

Research points out the benefits of social connections:

  • Higher happiness. One compelling study found that good relationships were the key to happiness in very happy people as well as less happy people.
  • Better health. In a recent study, loneliness was linked to higher blood pressure risk in older adults.
  • A longer life. In a nine-year study, people with strong community and social ties were twice or three times more likely to die.

Connection occurs when you receive:

  • Concrete assistance, such as having someone pick up your children from school
  • Emotional support is when someone says, “I’m sorry you’re having so much trouble”
  • Perspective is like being reminded of the fact that even the most moody teenagers can grow up.
  • Some advice, such as the suggestion to schedule a weekly date for your spouse.
  • Validation is like finding out that others love train schedules.

Are you receiving enough support? If so, ask yourself:

  • You are comfortable with them.
  • You should give them the impression that you can tell them anything.
  • Can help you solve problems;
  • Feel valued.
  • You should take your concerns seriously.

Connect to Your Community

Connecting to others is a great way to be emotionally strong and resilient during times of stress. Consider what you enjoy doing. Look into community organizations that bring people together with similar interests to expand your social circle. Many communities have walking, biking, and hiking groups. Do you have a passion for learning a language or something else? Join a group or take a class. Local support groups may be able to provide the help you need, whether it’s for parenting, health problems, or caring for someone who is ill.

Consider volunteering for a local organization that fills a specific need. These are some tips to ensure your volunteering experience is positive and not a source of stress.

  • Find the right match. Consider what type of work you are interested in, and how it can be done based on your skills, availability, and interests. This list can be made more readable by making it a list. Are you a good writer, reader, builder, or organizer? Are you a specialist in a field that struggling students could benefit from your knowledge? Do you care about pollution or homelessness? Are you a gardener or a worker in an office? Are you fluent in another language? Are you able to volunteer at home? No matter your circumstances or interests, there are likely to be a volunteer opportunity that will make a significant impact in your local community. Volunteering is a great way to build relationships with others and protect your mental health.
  • Make it count. Ask questions to ensure that volunteers are used efficiently and productively. Ask about the tasks of volunteers, their locations and times, and whether employees are available for guidance and information.
  • Make a connection. Contact your local volunteer center to find the right volunteer position for you. Look in the Yellow Pages under “Volunteer Clearinghouse” or “Volunteer Center,” or find options online at http://www.volunteermatch.org/. Volunteers may also be needed at your local Mental Health America affiliate. To request a referral to a volunteer coordinator in your local area, you can also call your county information line.

Make Joy and Satisfaction Your Goal

A mental illness can make it difficult to live with. Experts believe that positive feelings can improve your ability to cope with stress, manage problems, think clearly, and fight off disease. Living with a mental illness is not easy. It’s important to take care of your mind, body, and soul through joy and fulfillment.

Studies have shown that:

  • Laughter can decrease pain, improve heart health, reduce anxiety, and promote muscle relaxation.
  • Positive emotions can reduce stress hormones and increase emotional strength.
  • You can find distractions from your problems, a sense competence, and many other benefits in leisure activities. One study found that twins who took part in leisure activities were less likely to get Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Tips to relax and enjoy life:

  • Do what you enjoyed as a child. You can run through the sprinklers or hang from the monkey bars.
  • Do what you’ve always wanted. Make a souffle, build an arbor house or learn how to knit. You can take a class, or find a group that specializes in the activity.
  • Listen to or watch comedy. Through video, podcast, and website. You can also have a good time with the comics section.
  • Therapeutic massage. Massage can help relieve muscle tension, increase your immune system, and stimulate the body’s natural painkillers. You may feel more relaxed and less anxious.
  • Nature breaks. Blue skies, lush bushes and a picturesque lake. Being able to simply look at nature, or walking in it, can calm our nerves and reduce mental fatigue. One study found that workers who had a view of nature were more satisfied with their jobs than those with the same job but without it.

Meditate

Meditation is proven to be a calm and effective treatment for anxiety, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, and chronic pain.

All you need to get started is a few minutes per day. You may later want to increase your time to 10, 20, and 30 minutes. One of the many meditation options is available in a book, CD, online or in a class. You can also try these suggestions. Try another one if the first doesn’t work.

Types Of Meditation:

  • Deep breathing. You can sit or lie down. Place your hands on your stomach. Slowly count up to four, while you inhale through your nose. Your stomach will rise. For a second, hold your breath. Slowly count to four as you exhale. Try to do this through your lips. Slowly, your stomach will sink. Continue this process a few more times.
  • Mindfulness Meditation. Pay attention to your breath. You can observe anything that comes through your awareness, without judgement. You can return to your breath if your mind begins to focus on the to-do list.
  • Visualization. Relax, close your eyes and picture a tranquil place like a forest. All your senses are engaged: Feel the wind, hear the crunching leaves, and smell the soil.
  • Repeating the mantra. Sit down and choose any soothing phrase, word, or sound. The mantra can be repeated silently or aloud. Experts believe repetition causes a relaxation response in the body.
  • Take part in a meditative exercise form. Tai chi and qi gong are two forms of exercise that use flowing, soothing motions.

 

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