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The Importance of Mental Health

May 02, 2024

By My Growing Pains

There have been days where I have been so at my wits end, that I didn’t know what to do with myself. It wasn’t until I hit my breaking point that my body and mind forced me to take a break. I sought out professional help and was able to find ways to handle my stress and anxiety.

The National Institute of Mental Health categorizes mental health as taking care of your emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

So, how can you take care of your mental health?

  • 1. Improve and Maintain a Good Sleep Schedule
  • 2. Find a Support Group
  • 3. Regulate Your Stress
  • 4. Seek Professional Health
  • 5. Take Care of Your Physical Health
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Improve and Maintain a Good Sleep Schedule

For me, when I am dealing with a big transition and need to rearrange my sleep schedule, this is what I do. I set a bedtime. In addition to that, I set a timer for an hour before my bedtime, also called my wind down time.

During this time, I do my nighttime routine, brew some chamomile, or mint tea, and relax in bed before it’s time to go to bed. This is to physically force myself to relax. I read a news article or a chapter of a book (preferably a horror novel, don’t judge me), and I settle down and go to bed

In the first two weeks of my transition, I wake up to my alarm and keep doing so until my body instinctively wakes itself up at that time. I find that even when I go to bed a little later than my routine, I’ll still wake up around my set time.

If you wish you to try my method of maintaining a good sleep schedule, by all means, it’s pretty simple.

Find a Support Group

I believe most journeys in the world can be done alone, but when it comes to your mental health, it doesn’t hurt to rely on someone.

If you do not have an immediate support group, find one! Now, trust me, I know it’s easier said than done, but there are activities out there that can help you find friends. If you are a student in college, find a local time, reach out to your classmates, go to events. Even if you aren’t in college, go start a hobby. There are quirky events out there that you can sign up for and meet great people.

It is important to understand that you should never compromise your values or well-being in order to befriend someone. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable and unsafe, do your best to remove yourself from that situation. Always trust your gut and choose people that make you feel safe.

Regulate Your Stress

Did you know stress can affect not only your mental health, but your physical health as well? It’s a scary beast that can shorten your lifespan. Don’t let it.

One of my biggest challenges is stress. I am prone to it. To the point where I get stress-induced illnesses, so I have no choice but to find a way to regulate it. There are various methods to do so (I’ve tried a lot), but here are a few:

  • Go for a 30 min walk/run
  • Take a nap (my personal favorite)
  • Get a treat
  • Clean your room
  • Watch a funny, relaxing, god-tier show (Bob’s Burgers)
  • Take a bubble bath

All of these methods I have tried and loved, and I am proud to admit they have worked successfully for me. Depending on my circumstances, I’ll change it up a bit or combine some. Nevertheless, choose whatever makes you relax. When you are done relaxing, try returning to the task that was stressing you out, I bet you’ll feel motivated and ready to tackle it again.

Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, there are mental health issues that are beyond your control. Some mental health issues can be debilitating and can cause strain and disruption in your life. This is when you should most definitely seek professional health.

There are some mental health struggles that I can handle myself, but as I am not a mental health specialist, I lean on my therapist to help me out. They are able to help me find a solution.

At times, if therapy isn’t enough, there are psychiatrists that specialize in helping you find the right medical concoction to get you right. I know it can be scary, but don’t worry, it’s okay! Give it a try and know what works for some might not work for you.

Work with your provider to find the best solution for you.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Whether it’s finding 30 minutes out of your day to go for a walk, or time to eat a healthy, hearty meal, taking care of your physical health is closely tied to your mental health.

Take a look at our physical health section to understand more about how you can live a healthy lifestyle.


In short, your mental health is important. There are many ways to take care of yourself, so, find the right mix for you and do what’s best for you. Remember that a lot of this is trial and error. It took me a while to get to where I wanted to be mentally, but the journey was eye opening.

I learned a lot about myself, and I hope you can too.

Written by Doreen Chirwa · My Growing Pains