Most people with mental illness will tell you that it has become a part of their life. It’s not something that you can forget about or push aside. Managing your mental illness is a full-time job, and on some days, it may feel like you are fighting a losing battle.
But it’s important to remember that you are not your mental illness. You are so much more than that. Despite your mental illness, you can still lead a full and happy life. Here are some tips and tricks to help you manage your symptoms, maximize the good days, and plan for the bad days.
Tip #1 Acceptance is key
The first step in managing any mental illness is accepting that you have one. This can be difficult, especially if you are in denial or feeling ashamed of your condition. But once you accept that you have a mental illness, it becomes easier to manage.
So, start by accepting yourself for who you are. You are not your mental illness, and you never will be. Remember that you are so much more than the illness you have and that it doesn’t have to define your whole life.
Tip #2 Get educated about your condition
The more you know about your mental illness, the better equipped you will be to manage it. Learn about the symptoms, the treatment options, and the best ways to cope with your condition. There is a lot of information, so don’t be afraid to do your research and ask your doctor questions.
Tip #3 Create a support system
It is essential to have people you can rely on when things get tough. Talk to your family and friends about your mental illness and how they can help support you. There are also many online support groups for people with mental illness, which can be a great resource.
The most important thing is that you have a strong support system to lean on during tough times. Besides, no one should have to deal with their mental illness alone; surround yourself with people who will love and support you.
Tip #4 Make self-care a priority
When dealing with mental illness, it’s easy to forget about taking care of yourself. But you must make time for yourself. This may mean taking a break from work, exercise, or socializing. It may also mean taking time for yourself each day to do something that you enjoy because it’s essential to have some “me time” when dealing with mental illness.
Tip #5 Seek professional help
If you struggle to manage your mental illness independently, it’s vital to seek professional help. A therapist can provide you with the tools and support you need to manage your condition. But admittedly, finding the right professional can be challenging.
Mental illnesses, like eating disorders and depression, can be very complex, so you need someone knowledgeable and experienced in treating them. If, for instance, you want to enter a recovery program for binge eating disorder, be sure to ask the program if they have a therapist on staff who is experienced in treating eating disorders.
Tip #6 Don’t be afraid to ask for help
When feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many people are willing and able to help you, including family, friends, professionals, and online support groups. All you have to do is ask.
Tip #7 Take care of your physical health
Your physical health can impact your mental health, so it is vital to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and getting enough sleep are critical for your physical and mental health.
It can be easy to neglect your physical health when you’re feeling down, but you shouldn’t let that happen. Take care of yourself mentally and physically; you’ll feel better overall.
Tip #8 Remember the good days
It is important to remember the good days, even when struggling with your mental illness. The good days remind you that there is hope and that things will get better. So, if you can capture those good days — whether in pictures, videos, or writing — and remember them when things are tough, it can help you get through the bad days.
Tip #9 Have a plan for the bad days
When you know that you will have a bad day, it is crucial to have a plan. This may include staying home from work or school, taking medication as prescribed, or reaching out to your support system. Although you’re making progress on your recovery, it’s still possible for you to have a bad day.
However, you shouldn’t let that discourage you. Remember that bad days are a part of the healing process, and they will eventually pass. But until the storm clouds clear, have a plan in place, so you know what to do.
Managing mental illness is not easy, but it is worth it. Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams. You can live a full and happy life despite your mental illness with hard work and perseverance. And you are not alone; many people understand what you are going through and are here to support you.