Peer support programs provide us with a community of people who have lived experience with what we are going through who can help us learn new techniques to increase our mental wellness. Peer support programs let us know that we are not alone and that there are others out there who know how we are feeling and have been through this themselves.
Peer support allows us to use the knowledge and experience of others in a way that can make us feel comfortable and not judged. Peer support can be very helpful because it directs us to those we can relate to. Of course, talking to the people in your corner and to your doctors is important. But adding a peer supporter to your mental wellness plan will connect you to someone who really gets it.
You can also find community organizations. Many groups are dedicated to providing help and support while also having fun. Reaching out to organizations like YouthMove Ohio and your local Boys and Girls Club can help put you in places with others who share common interests. Your new friends are waiting.
Start Right Now
Listen, you have already decided that your mental wellness is important. Now, there are some small steps you can start today.
Breathing and mindfulness skills allow us to focus on ourselves in a way that can really help reduce our anxiety and stress. Meditation is a daily routine that can be flexible to fit your schedule and discrete enough that you can practice it anytime. You do not have to be a meditation expert to begin. Learning different meditation techniques can help you find something that works for you.
Participating in physical activity can help clear our mind, improve our sleep and breathing, and can even help us get out our anger. Being physically active doesn’t mean you have to go run 5 miles every day. Maybe it’s taking the time to go on a walk with your dog, or joining a sport program in your school or neighborhood. Do you have a friend that loves basketball as much as you? Call them up and go shoot some hoops. You don’t have to be the best athlete or train for the Olympics. Just getting your body moving and active can help ease stress in your life.
Eastern-Asian martial arts can provide us with structure and self-control and can also be pretty fun. It allows us to be mindful and physical at the same time, which can help lower the amount of stress and anxiety we are feeling.
Journaling can have some wonderful effects on our overall wellness. Putting down on paper what is going on in your life can help you feel more in control and allow you to gain perspective. Journaling is also a great way to record our moods and feelings over time and can be very important when part of your overall wellness plan with your support team.
Art and the creative process is a great way for us to express ourselves. Listen, you do not have to be the world’s best painter or even know how to draw. Be creative. Exercising your creative muscles is a great way to relieve stress while having a lot of fun. Who knows, maybe you will discover you are much more artistic than you think.
Music is also a great way to boost our moods and help provide some calmness. Do you use any music services where you can create your own playlist? Keeping a list on hand of the songs that put you in a good mood is a great way to make you want to get your dance on.
There are many other ways you can manage the stress that impacts your mental wellness. Have something that works for you? We would love to know what that is. Who knows, maybe it is exactly what someone else is looking for. Let us know by reaching out on social media @heyimhereohio.