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Mental Health Awareness
These tips were made to encourage you to discuss your, or your friends, mental health. Tips on how to identify and express your emotions, whatever they may be.
Being honest with ourselves about our feelings is one of the most loving choices we can make each day. We are the one constant thing in our lives and so we have to remember how important we are. Your feelings matter because YOU matter!
Acknowledge feelings as they arise! Giving our feelings the space to breathe brings the much needed release for healing to come full circle. Consider spending a day observing yourself and how you feel: judgement free! Then chat about it with someone you love!
Journalling is a great way to express your feelings that you aren't ready to speak yet. #GetReal and write out anything you want, no matter how "bad" it may seem to think or feel. Giving our feelings the voice they need is like medicine for our minds.
Crying is a much needed release & important part of processing your experiences. If you have to stop yourself from crying in a situation, remember to come back to it. Your body & feelings are letting you know it's time to shed some tears.
When emotions bubble up & you feel a cry coming on, consider allowing yourself the chance to feel them as you let the tears out. If you aren't able to at that moment, make a date with yourself to give yourself some time to feel & process later.
Using music to express our feelings is a great way to start to "talk" about them.Singing, dancing, or playing an instrument brings expression to your feelings!
Powerful healing happens when we give our feelings room to breathe. Name and express your feelings because they are real!
Our hurt feelings remain inside until we are able to get them out. Consider talking about your feelings with people you trust!
When a feeling pops up, don't be afraid to name it! Express yourself, even if it feels scary. You also don't have to say it to anyone else: just give your feelings a voice, even if that means voicing them to yourself.
Feeling an emotion, but not sure which one? Try using this chart. Start with the primary emotion you're experiencing (happy, surprised, bad, fearful, angry, disgusted, or sad) and work your way out to what feels most applicable to you.
We often want to help people we love identify their emotions, but it can be tricky to find the words to start a conversation. To #GetReal, try open-ended questions like "How have you been dealing with stress recently?" or "What's life been like in the past few weeks?"
Getting real about your feelings is useful because it allows you to take the necessary steps to improve your wellbeing e.g. if you're experiencing anxiety around burnout, recognizing that can be the first step to setting boundaries and better prioritizing self-care.
If you #GetReal about your emotions and it starts to feel heavy, there's always someone you can talk to: a crisis line. There will be a trained person on the other end who can support you, provide you with helpful coping tools, and even give referrals to other supports.
Check out this @TedTalks by @BreneBrown on the power of vulnerability, and why we can't selectively numb unpleasant emotions without numbing the pleasant ones.
If you find it difficult to talk about your feelings, but still want to express them to somebody else, try doing so in a text. Being able to see and organize your thoughts might allow you to better articulate what you're feeling to others!
When we do #GetReal about our emotions, it's important to do so without judgement. Every emotion you're experiencing is valid, and it'll be easier to understand why you feel what you feel if you approach self-reflection with compassion.
Sometimes changes in our mood can affect our body without us realizing it. Pulling muscles recently? More dry skin than usual? Constant headaches? It might be time to #GetReal about emotions that you haven't recognized or allowed yourself to feel yet.
A variety of day-to-day factors affect our mental health, and having a way to track some of these factors can help you #GetReal and manage it. Check out our mood. by mindyourmind app for a free mood tracker!
Recognizing your feelings requires self-reflection, and sometimes we forget to do this when the days & weeks get busy. Try scheduling periodic check-ins with yourself or a friend that leave space for you to do this, like over a cup of tea every Sunday or a Wednesday walk.
Phone & video calls can be a great way to stay in touch, but sometimes they're just not the same as in-person chats. If you want to talk about your feelings with somebody, try turning to a member of your 'bubble' or plan a socially-distanced activity with a friend!
Give yourself permission to feel whatever emotions you may be feeling. Remember it’s okay to not be okay.
Check out this TikTok we created about the R.A.I.N. technique! This self-compassion exercise can help you to recognize, allow, investigate & nurture your feelings.
Mental health crises can happen. That’s why it’s important to be as prepared for them as possible. Download the Be Safe by mindyourmind app, a free mobile app that empowers youth and young adults to be safe and reach out in a time of crisis.
When we #GetReal about our feelings, we can strengthen our relationships with those around us. By being vulnerable and sharing our story, we can connect on an even deeper level to the people in our lives.
We can’t always pick and choose what we feel, although, it would be nice! After all, having a wide range of emotions makes us human. Without the bad days, we wouldn’t fully experience or appreciate the good ones!
Life happens! You’re not going to be able to deal with your emotions 24/7, and sometimes you'll have to distract yourself instead. So if you're going to use distractions to cope, try to be intentional. Do you feel better afterwards or do you find yourself feeling worse?
In order to name it, learn to recognize your go-to numbing behaviours (e.g. video games, drugs/alcohol, always keeping busy). Knowing how you avoid facing your feelings is important, that way you can think twice before you engage in certain behaviours.
Did you know that our emotions have a physical basis? When we engage our bodies & senses, we can work through and express our emotions in a healthier way. Not sure where to start? Try going for a nature walk, holding an ice cube in your hand, or hopping in a cold or hot shower.
Grief is a powerful emotion. Read this blog to learn more about how to cope with grief through colouring.
Do you have a loved one who is quick to offer advice or solutions to how you're feeling? Let them know that instead of problem-solving, you'd rather them just sit with you and listen instead. Remember, not all of your emotions need to be fixed or solved.
Getting real about your emotions takes practice. You’re not going to be a pro at it right way, in fact, facing your emotions head-on will be a life long challenge. But the more you do it, the easier it will become. Don’t give up!
These tips were originally posted on our Twitter account under the hashtag #mymTips with a different topic each month. Follow us on Twitter to see a new tip each day, or visit the wellness section on our website next month to see the set posted in full.