I know it seems like everyone is talking about mental health these days. But, that’s because it’s pretty important. It’s so easy to push our mental health to the bottom of our to-do list and allow everything else to take precedence. But, mental health should be prioritized and effectively stewarded. If we want to live out our calling in the best way we can, we must keep our mind, our body, and our spirit healthy.
We all experience stress, anxiety, grief and sorrow sometimes. It can be challenging to navigate through these tough emotional states if we don’t have strong foundations. No worries, I’m here to help with that. Here are four simple ways to steward your mental health.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS LEVELS
According to Mayo Clinic, stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. Small amounts of stress is good but too much stress can quickly become an out of control problem.
Here are a few ways to manage your stress levels:
Know what triggers you. Remove all unhealthy stressors if you can. If you can’t remove the stressor, consider limiting your interaction with it.
Avoid too much caffeine, sugar, and alcohol.
Spend time with family and friends.
Listen to relaxing music.
Get to bed on time.
TALK TO COUNSELORS AND WISE MENTORS
Another way to steward your mental health is by talking to counselors, trusted friends, and wise mentors. You don’t have to wait until a breakdown to seek counsel. Proverbs 24:6 says this:
For you should wage war with sound guidance– victory comes with many counselors
It is so important to take counsel from trusted women and men in your life because they can bring a brand new perspective to your life than the one you have. It’s good to have fresh eyes and ears to help you when making a serious decision, facing struggles, or when you simply just need to talk.
BE HONEST WITH GOD AND YOURSELF
Next, if you want to steward your mental health, you’ll have to be honest. You can’t have victory over the things you cover up. Be honest with God and yourself about how you are feeling, what you are struggling with, and what you need. He already knows everything about you, and He loves you. He simply wants you to be honest so that He can help you through it.
Personally, I keep a prayer journal to help me record and process my thoughts and prayers. It helps me to really understand my emotions so I can effectively put them before God. I highly recommend getting a journal and writing in it a few minutes every day.
EXERCISE AND EAT WELL
Finally, a great way to steward your mental health is through exercise and eating well. Physical health is very much connected to mental health and one affects the other. Be mindful of the things you put in your body on a regular basis, be sure to stay active, and make sure to sleep well.
Research shows that exercise influences the release of endorphins in the brain. Taking a short walk or going for a quick run can increase your mental alertness, boost your energy, and uplift your mood. Your diet is also pretty important because the food you eat can impact how you feel. If you only take in food low in nutrients and vitamins, you can end up being tired, sluggish, irritable, anxious, and even depressed.
You don’t have to suddenly cut out all the foods you love or start working out every day of the week, just make sure that you’re making time to exercise and you are intentionally including healthy nutrient rich food in your diet.
The truth is, your mental health should be a priority. Proverbs says that we should guard our hearts because everything we do flows from it. If you want to be successful in your Christian walk, business, at your job, or in ministry, you need to focus on your mental health. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and if you don’t take time to refuel, you won’t have anything to give to others. I hope these tips were helpful for you and I pray that you begin putting them into practice in your everyday life.
Shanté is a New York based multi-passionate creative with an unquenchable desire to encourage women with the truth of the Gospel. She is also the writer behind Her Style of Tea, a faith-based blog that empowers women to embrace freedom, pursue wholeness, and embrace their identities as beloved daughters of God. In her free time, you might find her drinking a hot cup of tea, reading a book, or watching a good netflix show. If you are interested in connecting with Shanté further, you can do so by visiting herstyleoftea.com or through social media (@herstyleoftea).