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Refresh Mental Health: How-to Guide

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You don’t have to wait until you’ve reached a crisis point before you take action to improve your mental health. For many challenges, a brief mental health refresh can make a world of difference.

What Does it Mean to Refresh Your Mental Health?

People often think of mental health in binary, extreme terms: Either your mental health is good (in which case you don’t need to do anything) or it’s bad (and you need to get treatment).

The truth is a bit more complex. 

As is also the case with physical health, your mental health can fluctuate depending on a variety of internal and external factors. Some days, you may feel like you’re ready to manage whatever challenges come your way, while on other days even minor obstacles can appear to be insurmountable.

On those less-than-ideal days, a mental health refresh can put you back on the right track. 

Refreshing your mental health means stepping out of your everyday routine in order to address the challenges that have been preventing you from functioning at your best. Depending on what you’ve been going through, this can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.

Guide on How to Refresh Your Mental Health

Personalization can be the key to a successful mental health treatment experience, as techniques or strategies that are ideal for one person may offer limited benefits to someone else. 

The same is true of refreshing your mental health. There are a range of approaches that can help you accomplish this goal, but none of them are “perfect” or right for everyone. Instead, your objective should be to find the methods that work best for you.

Here are a few options to consider:

  • Acknowledge what you’re going through: This can be valuable for many reasons. First, you can’t start to work on a solution until you’ve defined the problem. Second, sometimes the simple act of identifying what you’re feeling can remind you that you are neither defined nor controlled by your emotions. If you like to write, this can be a great way to begin journaling, which offers a host of mental health benefits.
  • Talk to a friend: When you’re struggling with difficult emotions, resist the urge to isolate yourself. Talking about your challenges with a close friend or trusted family member can be empowering. As with identifying your emotions, giving voice to your concerns can help you take back control. It can also help you view your experiences from a slightly different perspective.
  • Move your body: Physical activity can be a beneficial way to manage stress and enhance your mental well-being. This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym every day or commit to an elite training program. Go for a walk. Ride your bike. Plant something in your garden. When you find an activity that you enjoy, you will be more likely to make it a habit and less likely to view it as a chore.
  • Step away from the screens: Spending too much time on social media can skew your perspective of yourself and the world around you. It can also prevent you from engaging in the other activities on this list. Close your laptop, shut down your tablet, and mute your phone. Even a one-day “digital detox” can do wonders for your mindset.
  • Focus on your breath: Inhale deeply. Hold for a second or two, then exhale slowly. Focus your full attention on what it feels like as your breath enters and leaves your body. If your mind starts to wander back toward painful memories or self-defeating thoughts, redirect your attention to your breath and begin again. It can help to set a timer on your phone. Start with one minute, and build up from there.
  • Help someone else: Food banks, animal shelters, and mentorship programs are just a few of the many types of organizations that are always looking for volunteers. Find a group in your area that is committed to a cause you support, and contact them to learn how you can pitch in. Helping others is a great way to boost your self-esteem, temporarily take your mind off your own problems, and improve your community. 
  • Learn something: Feeling stuck in your career? Take a class to expand your skillset. Looking for a creative outlet? Find an art class or learn to play an instrument. These activities can help you reconnect with your innate strengths, talents, and interests. They can also help you rediscover your sense of joy and wonder. 

What if You Need More Than a Mental Health Refresh? 

A mental health refresh can be a great way to prevent a minor challenge from becoming a major problem. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, self-care isn’t enough to address a mental health concern. 

If you have been thinking about seeking professional help, it can be valuable to explore the range of services that are available to you. Depending on how you have been affected by your mental health struggles, you may benefit from one or more of the following levels of care:

  • Inpatient treatment: At this level, you will live at the facility where you are receiving treatment. Inpatient care allows you to temporarily step away from the stressors and distractions of everyday life, so that you can focus on your health. During a typical day, you will follow a customized schedule that includes a variety of therapies and support services, as well as time for meals, recreation, and relaxation.
  • Day Treatment: As with inpatient care, PHPs typically offer full days of treatment, with multiple therapies and support services provided each day. Unlike inpatient care, PHPs only require you to be at the center when treatment is in session. In the evenings and on the weekends, you can return to your home or to an alternative supported residence.
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP): In an IOP, you will usually participate in about three hours of care per day, two to five days per week. This provides you with increased independence while maintaining a structured connection to quality clinical services.
  • Outpatient treatment: This level offers the greatest degree of flexibility. You may schedule sessions on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis – or at whatever other frequency is best for you. Outpatient treatment can be a valuable component of a long-term mental wellness plan.

Please know that there is no shame in reaching out to a professional when you need help. If anything, scheduling a session with a counselor or therapist – or enrolling in an inpatient or outpatient program – can be proof that you have hope for a brighter future and the courage to do what it takes to achieve that goal.

Contact Montare Behavioral Health to Start Treatment Today

If you have been experiencing challenges that can’t be alleviated with a mental health refresh or other acts of self-care, Montare Behavioral Health is here to help.

Our network offers a full continuum of customized care at centers throughout Southern California. In every program at each location, you can work with a team of compassionate professionals who are committed to helping you achieve the healthier life you deserve. 

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact page or call us today.