After writing the first part of this post earlier this week, I definitely have self-assessments on the brain. Whether it is so easy to go through the past few days or do a thorough examination of yourself, trying to get a wide range of your thoughts and actions has helped me understand myself better. When I assess myself, I always learn more about myself than I thought. I am gaining new knowledge and new insights and it is helping me continue on my mental health journey. After writing about evaluating our vocabulary, in the second part I wanted to talk about something of equal importance – evaluating the way we deal with mental health.
Over the past eight years, I’ve learned many tips, techniques, and strategies for managing my mental health. Some of them worked miracles while others never had a chance to work. Some provided brief relief, and there are techniques that I still use today. But the path to finding mental health strategies that worked for me was not a straightforward path, and it continues to this day. This means that from time to time I need to take a look at what I am doing to manage my anxiety and depression and see if any changes need to be made.
What are your strategies for mental wellbeing?
The number of lists I’ve gone through over the years has taught me that there are many things that people do to find and maintain spiritual wellbeing. Exercise, meditation, journaling, and therapy are some of the more well-known activities for mental wellbeing, and things like stress balls, fidgeting weirdos, or finding routines are helpful techniques for dealing with anxiety. The first step in evaluating your strategies is to make sure you know what they are. This may sound obvious, but I’ve had conversations with people who don’t realize that something they have been doing for years, an activity or habit they have developed is essentially a coping strategy for maintaining mental wellbeing. Being aware of what you are doing is the first step!
Do these strategies work?
Regardless of what strategies we use, a very important part of evaluating our mental health strategies is being honest about how effective they are. Do we have strategies that actively work for us, or do we keep doing the same thing and hoping it will last? I was in therapy for several years before realizing that the CBT approach was not being effective for me. However, it was a long time before I accepted that a known shared strategy wasn’t going to work for me, and I had to move on to other things.
Both aspects of this self-assessment are necessary in order to carefully consider your mental health strategies. You need to know what you are doing and you need to be honest about whether it is actually effective. I would also like to add that when we try new things it helps, trying out strategies where some involve mental health professionals and others are on their own. For example, therapy would be a strategy with a psychologist, and journaling could be something you do yourself. It’s also important to maintain a healthy mix of these because your sanity is just that – YOURS!
I hope some of this self-assessment information will help – if not in the short term, maybe somewhere in the future. Building effective and healthy ways to manage our mental health is essential to mental wellbeing, and there is always room for growth.
Thinking about mental health strategies can be exhausting, but it can also be extremely helpful. Have you ever learned an effective strategy that surprised you? Did you find one that didn’t work as well as you thought? Let me know!