When women battle stress, anxiety, or depression, it often takes a toll on their health, loved ones, jobs, and relationships. If you are currently dealing with anxiety or other mental health issues, chances are you’re not even getting enough sleep.
If you’re concerned about your mental health, it may be tempting to turn to medication as a one-size-fits-all solution. However, medication does not fix the underlying issues causing you to struggle in the first place. Here, we’re discussing four ways you can address your mental health problems and establish healthier habits for the future.
1. Identify the Source of Your Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Many women are so used to taking care of and focusing on everyone else that they forget to take care of themselves. As a woman, you may feel as if you do not have the time or luxury to feel sad or anxious. When these feelings arise, you may find yourself taking medication and moving on with your day.
Yet, this is where the real problem lies – whatever is causing you distress just stays underneath the surface until it blows up one day. By that time, it’s already too late, as some women end up being addicted to alcohol, drugs, or other substances. So, start by paying more attention to how you’re feeling and, more importantly, what’s causing you to feel that way.
Are you working multiple jobs and still struggling to pay the bills, causing you anxiety? Do you feel underappreciated by the people you most give your time, effort, and attention to? Do you feel like you’ve missed out on life? Do you consistently feel like you’re overwhelmed or sinking? These are some questions you’ll need to ask yourself before seeking help.
2. Walk Out of All Toxic Relationships
Studies have shown that many women who suffer from depression and anxiety are victims of domestic and emotional abuse. And while it may be difficult to walk away from the situation, you have to try for the sake of your mental health.
Here’s the reality: Every minute you spend in that situation is a minute that you’re spending in misery, anger, pain, and hopelessness. It’s either you or that situation. So, do a spot assessment of your relationship. Do you feel threatened, fearful, or emotionally crippled? Are you always worried about your safety and the safety of your kids –if you have any? If you are, then you should start exploring ways of leaving that situation.
3. Replace Bad Habits With New Ones
Bad habits are a major source of anxiety and stress. The mere thought that an alcoholic may not be able to get their fix of the day can be overwhelming. You need to identify the bad habits that are creating undue stress in your life, and replace them with good ones.
Swapping the bad habits with good ones immediately is a very vital part of the process. Nature abhors vacuums, which is why it tends to fill the voids in your life with something if you don’t do that intentionally. This is why some people pick up other bad habits in place of the old one, such as vaping in place of cigarettes.
So, the choice is yours: Either replace those bad habits intentionally, or fall back into similar – or worse – routines.
4. Find or Create Support Systems
It’s nearly impossible to live without human interaction. To some degree, we all need people to help us be better and improve ourselves. While this might be a contrary view to the mindset that most people have, the reality is that not much gets done without other people.
If you want to break free of bad lifestyle habits, you need to find support systems or communities that reinforce what you’re trying to do. For example, if you’re looking to stop drinking, seek out groups or organizations that offer emotional support for alcoholics –Alcoholics Anonymous is a good one – near you.
The same goes for abstinence, exercise, and other positive habits that you want to build. And while you’re at it, focus on one bad habit or trait at a time. When you’ve conquered one, you can then move to the other.