We asked our regular contributors through e-mail What’s the greatest mental health tip you’ve gotten? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.
1. Never evaluate your life when you’re tired.
This is so true. Ever notice things seem much worse at night when worries seem at their worst? The next morning your brain can think of ways to fix them and most times they aren’t there the next day.
2. Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice from.
3. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing it badly. If you can’t handle doing it perfectly of finish it, half-ass it at least: if you can’t groom yourself due to depression at least brush your teeth.
4. “If you can’t beat the fear, just do it scared.”
5. Self-care isn’t always a bath and a hot chocolate. Sometimes it’s giving your head a little shake and doing what needs to be done.
6. Parent yourself the way your own parents never did. I’m still learning to do this, but I am definitely much better at loving and forgiving myself.
7. “Run the dishwasher twice.”
To put it simply, someone had revealed to their therapist that they felt really crappy about not having the energy to hand wash their dishes. The therapist suggested that they just put their dishes through the dishwasher twice. They point out that you’re not really supposed to do that, but the therapist essentially shrugs and goes “who says you can’t? you don’t need to follow all these little rules”
The patient takes their therapist’s advice and runs the dishwasher twice. They also shower while lying down and put their folded clothes wherever they fit instead of in neat little sections.
In short, you don’t need to follow arbitrary rules, just complete tasks in whatever way is easiest for you. You can follow rules when you have the mental energy to do so.
8. I cannot control other people’s actions.
9. The validation you seek from others is validation you refuse to give yourself.
10. It’s okay to not react to every bad memory that loves to resurface in your brain on a daily basis. It takes a bit of practice but if you try, you can let those bad/embarrassing/cringey memories just wash up and over you instead of hitting you like a tidal wave.