Recovery is Beautiful | Tips to Staying Well for Individuals with a Mental Illness
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Tips to Staying Well for Individuals with a Mental Illness

Having a mental illness is something many people can relate to. As with any other disease, symptoms can be alleviated and weakened by making efforts to stay well. Below are some tips and ideas to help keep mental illness at bay:

Stay Physically Healthy. A great way to stay well mentally is to also be healthy physically. By being aware of one’s physical health, such as monitoring a diet or going for a daily walk, a person can ultimately stay mentally healthy too.

Have Support. Being alone while dealing with a mental illness can lead to symptoms increasing. Developing a network of support, or creating a bond with a peer, can help an individual eliminate the burden of feeling and dealing with a mental illness alone. By being around people with similar lived experience, a person can become more comfortable with their own mental illness, and can provide support to others as they may need it. Drop-in centers and consumer-operated services are great places to make new friends who are also in recovery.

Recognize Limitations and Avoid Triggering Situations. Everyone has their own limitations, and being aware of those limitations is very important! Recognizing and being honest with oneself about limitations, and being aware of feelings when those limitations are breached, is a pro-active way to stay healthy. If a situation has been triggering in the past, it is okay to avoid that situation in the future! By preventing oneself to cross those limitations and triggering situations, an individual is able to maintain a high level of health and wellness.

Occupy Yourself. Oftentimes keeping the brain busy is a good way to keep symptoms minimal. When feeling the symptoms strengthening, a person can distract themselves by doing a puzzle, sewing, or another activity that can take the mind away from thinking about symptoms, and present inside the activity. Activities in which the hands are being used are especially good in distracting and moving the brain away from occupying thoughts.

Have Fun. Everything is more enjoyable when there is fun involved! Having this mindset and bringing fun, happiness, and positivity in life can really affect the overall mental health of an individual. Do fun things, and do them often!

Be Open with Feelings. A lot of times, natural instinct tells us to hide what we are feeling inside, especially if those feelings are different and abnormal from what is usually shared. However, being open with feelings and being comfortable with sharing information about times when a person may not feel well is a great practice. The honesty can help others without mental illness understand that living with a mental illness is just like any other disease in which symptoms can ebb and flow. Being honest can also help the individual sharing their feelings by simply allowing to get the feelings they’re feeling off of their chest.

Find a Passion. Individuals in recovery from a mental illness have the opportunity to fulfill their passions just like anyone else! Living and doing something that a person feels passionate about is a great way to give back and have purpose. For example, becoming an advocate for individuals in recovery, can help oneself and others too!

Living with a mental illness has its trials and tribulations, but by staying healthy and taking care of oneself, there is no doubt that life in recovery can truly be a beautiful thing.