Too often, we talk about mental illness like it’s an easy problem to fix. Many people are under the false impression that medication is enough to cure issues like depression. Some make the mistake of assuming that therapy offers quick fix. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While some people do find that short-term treatments keep their mental health in check, the majority of problems are ongoing. That means sufferers have to make a constant effort to keep themselves on top.Luckily, there are a wide variety of ways to do this. And, given that you’re reading this article, we’re going to judge that you already know about a few of them. If you’re currently experiencing mental struggles for the first time it is, of course, critical you seek professional help. But, if you’ve already received treatment, the chances are that you’ve developed a fair few coping mechanisms.
In many ways, methods like these are no different to exercising for physical health. Common options include mindfulness meditation as outlined on www.standard.co.uk, or regular yoga. For others, a simple awareness of behaviours is the best coping mechanism. Either way, we largely rely on these things to keep us afloat.
The trouble is that these coping mechanisms don’t always work. Sometimes, mental illness can flare up no matter what we do. In other cases, we fail to find time for our coping mechanisms, and our mental health suffers. To make matters worse, many of us don’t realise it’s happening until we’ve gone too far to pick ourselves up again.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, it’s always worth looking out for the warning signs that your mental health is starting to slip. But what are they?
Something as simple as a shorter temper could be the first warning sign that your mental health is on the decline. Do you snap when your children ask simple questions? Do noisy environments cause you to lash out? If yes, you could be experiencing overload. If you’re already trying to keep anxiety at bay, for example, even small requests from kids can push you over the edge.
The good news is that catching a shortened temper means noticing your declining mental health early on. It may be that learning calming breathing exercise helps you to manage. Often, even just becoming aware of your outbursts can help. And, of course, doubling efforts with meditation and yoga practices could work wonders.
Forever filling your diary
Another more subtle warning sign is that of filling your diary so that you’re busy every second of the day. When you have a family to look after, continual engagements are inevitable. But, be careful to avoid filling days for fear of being alone with your thoughts. The trouble with avoiding yourself is, of course, that there’s going to come a time when you burn out. And, that could leave your mental health in an even worse state.
To make sure it doesn’t happen, keep an eye on this. It should soon become apparent when you’re avoiding downtime or time alone. If you do notice this problem, it’s vital to stop yourself no matter how difficult that might be. Instead of filling every day, this is a sure sign that you need to schedule some me-time. Make plans for a pamper day, or arrange childcare so that you can totally chill out. It’s a simple thing, but you may well find that you no longer feel the need to be forever on the go once you’ve taken this step.
Reaching for fast fixes
Perhaps the most worrying sign of decline is that of reaching for fast fixes. Let’s face it, making time for meditation isn’t always easy when you’re working or have a family. That’s why many of us slip up in our practices or fail to keep on top with our mindfulness. And, when that happens, it isn’t uncommon to start reaching for fast fixes. Something as simple as improving your mood with sugary foods instead could be the first sign of a problem. That’s because this is a short term fix which often comes before a fall. To a more extreme extent, the same can be said for drugs and alcohol. It may be fast enough to reach for a drink, but doing so regularly is definitely something to look out for. As well as being a sign that you’re struggling, this could lead to further problems in itself.
If you notice any of these behaviours, it’s vital that you take action. Given the severity of things like alcohol and drug addiction, you should always contact rehabilitation centres like help4addiction.co.uk the moment you notice these behaviours. If your fast fixes are nothing more than sugary snacks or comfort foods, it’s still worth bringing mindfulness to these habits, and asking yourself what else you could do to make yourself feel better.
Struggling to sleep
Lastly, you may notice that you’re struggling to sleep. As can be seen from sites like https://www.netdoctor.co.uk, taking a while to get to sleep or waking up in the night is a sure sign that your mind is working overtime. And, that could be a red flag that your mental health isn’t where it should be.
In this instance, it’s vital to address the problem by doing everything you can to clear your mind at night. Get into the habit of putting your phone away an hour before bed and see if it makes a difference. You may even find that bedtime yoga sessions help to calm your thoughts for a peaceful night of sleep.
A final word
Obviously, these are all severe warning signs to look out for. While it may be possible to address particular problems as they arise, medical help might become necessary if coping mechanisms continue to let you down. These symptoms all appear at the start of a slippery slope, after all, and it’s a slope you should have no intention of sliding down.