Mental Health: It’s All About You | #FitLife

When my friend Laura offered to write a post about mental health for #FitLife, I was thrilled. I think that mental health and physical health shouldn't be viewed as such separate entities. Laura's post has some great ideas about taking care of your mental health. 

When it comes to mental health, I'm a firm believer that there's no such thing as having too many tools in a mental health toolbox. There's also no right or wrong combination of tools that you use. Everyone's brain is different and we all have different life experiences that make us unique and shape how we perceive different situations.

This can also make starting a mental health journey difficult because it's hard to know where to begin. Here are three of my favorite tools that helped me get started on my journey to creating and maintaining a balance and healthy mental headspace.

1) Get Organized 
Find an organization style that works for you. For me, it was a combination of a physical planner, different colored gel pens, whiteboard, and dry erase markers. When I was in college, I had a different colored pen assigned to each of my classes and highlighted important exams or due dates. Knowing how far out an exam or paper was helped me to create a plan which helped me reduce my anxiety.

I rewrote my notes on the whiteboard in different colors and organized my notes into different topics. Putting the information into smaller pieces made it a lot easier for me to process.

2) Me Time
I am a huge advocate of Me Time. Every weekend is dedicated to recharging my batteries and getting ready for the next week. Yes, a whole weekend just for me. That amount of time is what I have found works for me.

Some weekends, I have plans and go out and sometimes the whole weekend is spent binge-watching my favorite Netflix shows. I like to leave my weekends open for spontaneous activities. If I've had a particularly draining weekend, I like to do a 'digital detox' where I shut down my phone and put it in a drawer where I can't see it.

Your Me Time can be whatever you want it to be and it doesn't always have to be the same thing.

3) Patience is a Virtue
This is the hardest lesson that I've had to learn when I started focusing on my mental health, but it's also been the most important. Creating and developing a balanced mental headspace isn't going to happen overnight. It might not even happen in a month or a year. That's ok.

I was in a rut for years before the right combination of life experiences and people came into my life and helped me get to a mindset where I was ready to really tackle my mental health. My mantra these days is that everything happens for a reason when it's meant to happen. We can't plan or even anticipate when things are going to happen. All we can do is take one day at a time and be mindful enough to consciously change the way we look at our lives.

No matter how, where, or when you decide to start focusing on your mental fitness, it's important to remember who all of this is for: you. You can go at whatever pace you decide is best and start at any place that feels right.

For more tips and ideas to get you started, check out the post by Nicole's friend Jenna that also focuses on the importance of mental health as part of a fitness routine that focuses on self-love.
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