Bounce Back From The Existential Nightmare Of 2020 With These Free Self-Help Ideas
You can make your mental health a priority even if you don't have a lot of money.
Last year felt like a punch in the gut for a lot of us.
What's worse is lots of people are coping all by themselves without help or resources, white-knuckling day after day, trying just to hold it together.
It doesn't matter why, but the fact is, not everybody has a supportive family, a tight-knit group of friends, or disposable income.
For those people, free self-help may be the only option.
The good news is there are some great ways you can help yourself for free.
So, for a better frame of mind in 2021 and beyond, you might try one or more of these.
Just a quick reminder: I'm not a doctor, and I'm not recommending any of these as a substitute for treatment. This article won't cure severe problems or mental illness.
But if you're stressed and desperate and you can't afford to pay for help, these suggestions might give you some relief.
How do I know?
I've used all of them myself at one point or another and they've helped.
There's one in particular that I return to regularly in times of stress.
These techniques are also great for daily mental/emotional maintenance.
So, if you're looking for new additions to your arsenal of well-being, this list might also be of interest to you.
It's time to stop spinning and make a plan.
Time to calm down, take a beat, and carry on - and these can help.
This activity is helpful for symptom management of mild depression and as a supplement to other treatments for depression.
It's a great way to blow off steam. You can let loose and safely say anything you want to anyone.
Getting it all out onto a paper (or computer screen) is cleansing and purging.
It doesn't take much more than a pen and paper or a computer and a word document, but the results can be astonishing.
This might seem weird to some people, but it's an ancient practice enjoying a massive renaissance.
It helps with everything from stress reduction and blood pressure to depression and focus.
It is simple to do, doesn't require any special equipment, and might seem less intimidating than Meditation.
It's a practice that creates noticeable results quickly and can give anyone instant control over a stressful situation.
However, a few people aren't recommended for breathwork, so do your research before giving it a try.
If you like the idea of Meditation but can't commit, breathwork might be for you.
This is one that people either love or hate the idea of.
When we think of Meditation, we think of Yogis with long grey beards sitting still for hours, but it's a simple practice that anyone can do.
In reality, if you have five minutes to spare, you can get started on your healing journey.
This is what it seems.
It's the act of maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment through a kinder lens.
While this might seem silly to some, it is a potent practice that allows you to be objective in the face of emotion.
When you can step back in your mind and observe yourself, it takes the emotional sting out of whatever you're experiencing.
This practice opens the door to analyzing your emotions and reactions.
This creates space to start accepting and understanding yourself.
The goal with mindfulness is to tune into the present rather than the past or future.
It's a valuable technique for learning to ground yourself emotionally.
This is my personal favorite and my go-to when I need to get grounded, work through stressful events, or just stay focused on my goals.
Tapping works by doing just that — tapping.
Based on the same idea as acupuncture, you tap on the meridian points to restore emotional balance.
This technique changed my life when it was introduced to me by a hypnotherapist.
She asked if I wanted to try it and said tapping gives the same emotional release as talk therapy but with much faster results.
She was right.
During my very first session, I had a life-changing epiphany (I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true).
You don't have to train or know anything about it to get results. You just need to follow along.
It's a straightforward technique and even a total beginner can get results.
If you want to get an understanding of the basic mechanics and how the technique works. have a look at this link.
Bonus Laughter Therapy:
Sometimes a little laughter can help put things into perspective so if you're feeling really bad about things, check out the BBC series "Horrible Histories."
It's a comedic look at the terrible things we humans have gone through, and it reminds us that there's always been adversity in the world.
There's always been adversity, and we've always gotten through it.
And the best way to ensure you come out the other end of this dark period is to take care of yourself.
If your mental health has suffered as well as your finances, you might not feel like you have many options. But if you're reading this, you're connected to wifi so you can do more research on any of these techniques.
Find one that appeals to you and give it a go because self-care has never been more important, and all are of these are proven to have a positive effect on the brain.
Start with this list and see if there's something here to help you feel better.
Even if it just gets you from today to tomorrow.
If one thing doesn't work, then try another. Don't stop until you've found something that gives you some relief and peace of mind.
If you make your mental health and well-being a top priority, you're bound to hit upon something that helps.
So, let's all start healing from last year's existential arse-kicking and prepare for a better, brighter future.