We all have mental health. Some of us struggle with mental illness more than others, but taking care of our mental health is something we should all be thinking about. Just like our physical health, we need to be intentional about it and investing in self-care and self-help is a great way to look after our mental well-being day-to-day.
Here we’ll share resources on self-help, self-care and how to know when it’s the right time to seek support from a professional.
What is self-help?
Self-help is all about taking our well-being into our own hands. It usually requires a little research and exploration as we look for the right type of help for us. The first step here is self-awareness. The more we get to know ourselves, the better able we’ll be to find the right approach for us. Try reflective activities like mood tracking, journaling and meditation to help you get to know yourself a bit better - what do you enjoy? What feels difficult?
Not sure where to start? Here are some resources to help you get started:
Journaling tools to get to know yourself
Dealing with emotional triggers
The benefits of self-help books
Bryony Gordon interview
Creativity can be a powerful tool within self-help. Sometimes it’s difficult to express how we’re feeling or what we need. Creative mediums like creating art, writing, making music, crafting and dance can all help us take time for ourselves and tap into what’s happening beneath the surface.
In need of some inspiration? Take a look at these:
How creativity can help
Writing as therapy
Creative writing for self-care
The importance of self-care
While self-help may be something we turn to when we’re struggling, self-care is something we should, where possible, work into our daily routines. By regularly carving out space to care for ourselves, we cement our sense of self-worth, reduce stress and encourage positive mental health. Here are a few resources to get you started:
Managing stress and anxiety
What self-care is really about
A practical guide to self-care
How do I know if I need professional help?
Self-help and self-care can go a long way in supporting our mental health, but they can only go so far. There may be times in your life when your usual self-help and self-care approaches just don’t cut it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, unable to cope and stuck, you could benefit from speaking to a professional. Counselling can offer a safe environment to explore what’s happening and what could help.
If you live with mental illness, regular therapy will likely form part of your self-care routine as you make space for what you need to be well (whatever ‘well’ looks like for you). Below are some resources to help you make an informed decision about seeking professional support.
How to recognise you need support
How can counselling help?
What is counselling?
Talking to a therapist vs. a friend
Find the right counsellor or therapist for you
All therapists are verified professionals.