Mental health disorders can affect anyone, young or old; male or female; black, brown, or white; queer or not. Many members of the LGBTQ+ community seek therapy for the same reason as cis-gendered folks. It can be due to depression, anxiety, stress, or other mental health issues. At the same time, people of color may seek counseling for these problems.
People from these communities are exposed to more stigma and discrimination. They face prejudice from everywhere. It can be at work, school, their neighborhood, and even within their own families. This hate and prejudice can leave a severe impact on their mental well-being.
Thankfully, awareness and proper education are on the rise. More people are now supporting and promoting the rights of the LGBTQ+ and people of color. While we are still far from the ideal situation, progress is still progress. It’s good to know that several more people are choosing the path to equality and inclusivity.
We’re all hoping for the day to come where the stigma will be an ancient myth; for everyone to live with neither prejudice nor discrimination. While it’s good to think of the future, it’s also equally important to think of the present. It’s essential to take care of your mental health while fighting to end the stigma. There are many activities you can do at home to help your mental health. Read on to find out more about these practices and how you can adopt them.
Develop Your Own Personalized Self-Care Plan
In general, therapy won’t do you much good if you’re not willing to put in the work. Thus, you also have to make sure that you practice self-care. The concept of self-care may carry different meanings from person to person. However, it can be summarized as taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. While self-care is a holistic practice, it is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. It is a personal journey that involves understanding your own needs.
Even with that said, self-care need not be complicated. The very basis of it is physical well-being. Taking care of your body is necessary so that it will run efficiently. Doing so includes feeding your body the right amount of nutritious food. Once in a while, it’s good to treat yourself to your comfort food, too. Treating yourself now and then will make you feel good and not deprived.
Another crucial aspect is getting enough sleep to recharge your body and mind. Being well-rested has both physical and mental benefits. Being physically active is essential, too. However, this does not necessarily mean you have to engage in a full-on workout program. Your exercise will depend on your needs and capabilities. If you’ve been sedentary for a while, it’s a good idea to introduce your body to aerobic activities first. You can try walking, jogging, and swimming.
Meanwhile, taking care of your mental and emotional health will be unique for every person. For some, they may find energy and comfort from socializing with others. Having someone to talk to helps them relieve stress. Spending time with family and friends is also a way for them to unwind. That comes as no surprise since knowing that you are not alone in this world is reassuring. But for others, doing things alone is more relaxing. For introverts, spending time with themselves is also a great way to recharge. Some activities that you can try alone are fixing yourself a bubble bath, walking in the park, and reading a book.
Whatever practices you decide to include in your self-care routine, try to find ones that you enjoy. These do not need to be grand or luxurious. You can find the most sustainable self-care methods in the comforts of your own home.
Find A Relaxing Activity Or Hobby
Another way to stimulate your mind is to find a new hobby. If you’ve been thinking of starting an activity, this is your sign. Research shows that indulging in a hobby reduces stress, anxiety, and bad moods. People who regularly engage in their hobbies are also less likely to develop depression. That’s because you feel more relaxed and happier. Having hobbies brings joy and enriches our lives.
If you’ve been feeling down mentally, engaging in a hobby can help put you in a better mood. There are many activities that you can do comfortably in your home. You can plant, knit, read, or even clean. For some people, tidying up is a relaxing activity. Whatever works for you, try your best to practice these activities regularly.
Practice Gratitude Everyday
It’s easy to forget the things we are thankful for, especially when we are feeling distressed. Facing discrimination or mental health disorders can take a massive space in our minds. So, you may find it challenging to think of anything else. However, when you succumb to the negativity in your life, it may be hard to recover.
The first step to moving forward is acknowledging these emotions. It’s okay if you don’t feel okay. But setting aside your feelings will not help. The next step is to seek positivity. When you know what your negative thoughts are, challenge them with positive sentiments. You can do this by reminding yourself of the things you are grateful for. Be specific. What exactly are you thankful for? Why are you grateful for these things? To help you re-affirm these, you can write them down in a journal. It will also be nice to look back on that journal a few years from now.
Wrapping It Up
Mental health is so much more than the absence of an illness. It involves taking care of your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. If you want to reap as much benefit from your therapy as possible, you should complement it with self-care. Luckily, you can do simple and fairly inexpensive activities at home to take care of yourself. We hope you gleaned some insights from this article and start implementing at least one of our suggestions in your self-care routine.