“But can’t you just turn it off”? I was feeling anxious when someone asked me this question. The truth is, no. No, I can’t. Anxiety isn’t a light switch you freely decide if you want it on or off. It’s more like an intense, constant fear that’s hard to explain. It’s overthinking every little thing. And worrying about every word you use. Anxiety presents itself with the slightest change in plans. Or something as simple as running late to an appointment.
I’ve struggled with anxiety for years. And only recently did I begin to understand the connection between my gut and my mental wellness. No one ever told me that changing my diet and lifestyle would lessen my anxiousness and anxiety attacks. I had to find that out myself.
My Top 5 Tips to Support Your Mental Health
- Add in calming techniques: meditation, yoga, and gratitude walks help alleviate stress and send signals to your second brain (your gut) that you are grounded and can take on what the day brings.
- Revamp your diet: begin by writing down what you eat and how you feel for a week. Eliminate foods that aren’t making you feel amazing and swap ‘em with better options.
- Focus on your digestion: think of rest and digest. In order for your gastric juices to absorb the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs…your gut needs time to rest.
- Grow your wellness team: struggling with your mental health can feel v. lonely at times. What’s helped me is building a wellness support team of people who are on my side. This includes therapists, close friends, holistic doctors, coaches, etc. People I can go to for various things I need help with.
- Keep at least 2 days a week blocked in your calendar: when you’re always focused on your goals and pleasing other people, you often forget to leave some time to yourself in your weekly schedule. As soon as you open your calendar, block out TWO days each week with a marker so you can’t write over it. Those are days you will use to focus on your mental health. Fill these days with re-energizing activities like nature walks, reading a good book, going to therapy, visiting a local museum, etc.
I’d love to hear what tip you’ll start with. Or maybe you’re already doing some of these. Let’s keep the convo going in the comments below!