About a year ago, someone explained to me that I should think of myself and my mental health as a bank account and what she said has stuck with me since.
She explained that just like a bank account, you need to make more deposits than withdrawals. You don’t continue to take money out (withdraw) from a bank account if you do not put money in (deposit) and it’s the same when it comes to your mental health. In other words, spend more time taking care of yourself than doing things which aren’t helping your own mental health. Invest time in doing things that make you feel good, and no, this doesn’t make you selfish at all.
“How do I know what will make me feel better? How do I make ‘deposits’?” you might be asking (or maybe not). Your ability to deal with life’s stresses is known as your ‘resilience’. Everyone has their own way of dealing with difficult experiences. It’s the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress (such as family, relationship problems, or financial stressors). It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences and it’s these small or big things you do which (hopefully) make you feel a bit better.
Everyone has their own resilience and it’s important for you to know what your own is so that when your mental health isn’t at it’s best, you know what to turn to. Here are just a few different things which might help you make your “deposits”:
- Retail therapy
- Healthy Eating
- Diary writing
- Spending time with animals
- Read, listen to music or watch TV/films
- Writing, whether that be poems, articles or stories
- Talk to family or friends
- Walk away, take time out for yourself
- Educate self about situation
- Throw self into new things
- Seek company – or solitude
- Use own skills positively
- Relate to past experience