How to get your mind right on your next project
How do you get your mental health right?
It’s one of the most important mental health questions we have to face.
You want to do your best, but the question is: How?
And here are some ways to help you make that a reality.
Find out where you are on the mental health spectrum.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, it can be hard to know what to look for.
If your problem is depression, it may help to know that it’s more common than you think.
And it’s even more common when you are working on a project.
“I’ve worked on a lot of projects that have had multiple issues, but I’ve never had a problem that had to do with depression,” said Kristine Levene, a mental health therapist in Toronto.
“So if you’ve never dealt with a major depression, you may not know that there are more types of depression than you realize.”
Getting help is always helpful, and it may also be necessary for you to get started.
If the first person you see who can help you doesn’t know what you need, try talking to a friend or someone you trust.
They may be able to help with that or give you ideas on how to get more help.
Get some support.
It’s okay to be anxious, or depressed, or both.
“It’s really good to get help if you’re going through a really tough time,” Levenes said.
“There’s no need to go to therapy.
Just go to a support group.”
Get out there.
“Find someplace where you can be yourself,” said Levens.
“A place where you don’t have to feel like you have to conform.
You can find the time to walk around the neighbourhood and go to coffee shops, to a movie theater or even just hang out.”
Try something different.
If a lot is going on in your life, maybe you need to focus on something different, such as meditation.
“If you’re a writer, you’re probably struggling with writing,” said Laura Schreiber, a clinical psychologist in Toronto who specializes in mindfulness and other practices.
“But if you have a difficult time getting out of bed, going for a walk or doing something else that doesn’t feel overwhelming, you might be able for a while to have some quiet time.
You might just feel better.”
Take a break.
“Sometimes it can take a while for people to really catch up with their lives,” Leavene said.
And for some people, it’s a relief to take a break from work, or from school, or even from the house.
Talk to someone who knows more.
Mental health experts say it’s important to talk to a mental-health professional about any new information you may have.
Leven, who is also a clinical professor at Ryerson University, said it’s always a good idea to talk with someone who has a background in mental health, who has worked with you before, and who knows your life story.
And if you find yourself feeling a little bit lost or overwhelmed, she said to keep asking yourself: “What are my goals?
What are my needs?
And how can I make that better?”
Talk with someone.
There’s no magic pill for mental health.
It takes time and patience, and you might find yourself in a situation where your goals aren’t met.
But Leven said you should start talking with someone you know who is able to talk you through what’s happening and give you more guidance.
Read books and listen to podcasts.
“Books, podcasts and books are a really good place to start,” said Schreber.
“You might want to start with the basics and work your way through.”
And she recommended podcasts that you might like.
Read a lot.
“Read books on anything that interests you,” Levee said, including psychology books, memoirs, autobiographies, journalism, history, literature, and more.
“Also, do something interesting and unique,” she said.