One key element to recovering from mental health, or just coping with it, is to relax your mind and your body. Of course, this is the hardest thing to do when your mind is either whirring or just dull with pain. Here are a few self help tips to give you a helping hand which includes meditation, hypnosis and distraction hobbies.
Even when I’m in a good place I find meditation impossible as my mind wanders off constantly. The experts say this is ok but I find it frustrating which leaves me far from calm.
I have recently discovered guided meditation which actually works for me. I find I can quickly get into a trance-like state and when my mind wanders off, it pulls me back on track with a gentle reminder.
There are many to listen to on YouTube. Just keep searching until you find a voice that soothes you, or subscribe to my YouTube channel and view my playlists. I have lots of suggestions for relaxation techniques and exercise to relax and improve your mental health.
Here’s one that I personally like to start you off titled Guided Meditation For Anxiety & Stress . It includes a lovely visualisation journey.
Thoughts vary amongst the medical profession about whether or not depressives should be hypnotised. I was never willing to take that step but have found a series of “hypnosis” CDs by Mark Bowden that to me are an extension of guided meditation and relaxation.
There are a variety of subjects including depression, panic attacks & anxiety, self confidence and various relaxation scenarios. Each CD has an intro, a daytime and night time session. I’d recommend them if only for the fact that they give you a half hour relaxation session. If they do more, then that’s even better. They are priced at around £12 they can be purchased from his website.
Of course, there are lots of others out there but these are the ones I’ve tried. As with any voice therapy you need to find the “voice” that suits you.
Massage, Aromatherapy, Reiki, Reflexology, etc. All are great forms of relaxation and a lovely treat but can be expensive. To cut costs search out a mobile therapist or a college student who are generally much cheaper than a salon.
BATHS WITH BUBBLES OR EPSOM SALTS
I love a good soak in a hot bath and can easily stay in one for a couple of hours. However, when I was very depressed it would be the place I went to and cried without anyone knowing. This just left me feeling absolutely desolate. As my baths were normally before bedtime, I was in the worst possible mindset for sleep.
If this is your scenario, take some upbeat music in with you and set a timer for half an hour. If you’re not relaxed in that time get out. If you’re not up to making that decision for yourself make sure someone else will tell you to get out.
Add some bubbles for a bit of luxury. Epsom salts are great for soothing aching muscles and joints and helping to remove toxins from the body. Epsom salts are generally quite expensive but can often be found in pound shops now.
Try things that you’ve formally enjoyed such as listening to music or reading. If you don’t have the energy or concentration for novels, try magazines or short stories.
Give colouring a go, crosswords, word searches or number quizzes. Anything that requires a little bit of mind distraction but is still easy to achieve without having to put a lot of effort in.
Believe it or not, gardening is a great form of relaxation. You can make it as strenuous or easy-going as you like. You could try growing your own herbs, fruits and vegetables, or some lovely flowers that will attract bees and butterflies. The joy from seeing something new grow is lovely, as is creating a beautiful, peaceful place to sit or exercise. You’ll be increasing your vitamin D levels and endorphins as you move about outside.
Dog walking is another great way to get outside in the fresh air. If you don’t have your own dog, see if any neighbours would like their dog walked. As well as the exercise, it’s a good way to get socialisation. Dog walkers are a friendly bunch that could bring anything from a hello to a full conversation.
Write a letter to a friend or even yourself, or try journaling or even blogging.
Consider becoming a volunteer. Contact your local council or volunteer service to see what vacancies are in your area. It doesn’t have to be “work”, there are also lots of relaxing opportunities too.
Please let me know if these suggestions help.
Do you have any other ideas or things that relax you?
SELF HELP FOR MENTAL HEALTH TIPS
SEE PART 1 FOR LINKS TO PROFESSIONAL & CHARITABLE ORGANISATIONS