When I talk to people about mental health and wellness, I get a lot of questions. People want to know the best course to follow for healing and wholeness, and they want to do whatever they can to “get back to normal” and back to feeling like themselves.
Sometimes people don’t want to address their mental illness with medication. But treating mental illness with medication can be beneficial for many diagnoses. Everyone is different. Depending on how severe your mental illness symptoms are, and what professionals recommend, the most effective way to treat mental illness may include medication.
How to Cope with Mental Health Without Medication
Medication is Self-Care
Medication is a way we care for many other illnesses we face. If you had a bad cold, taking cold medicine would ease your discomfort. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe something for you to take to balance it out. If you feel overwhelmed by depression, or like your anxiety is too much, asking your doctor or therapist about medication can help you feel more stable and calm as you navigate the challenges in your life.
There is no need to feel guilt or shame about taking medication for anxiety, depression, bipolar, or another mental illness. Doing what you need to feel healthier and happier is self-care, including when medication is prescribed.
Because mental illnesses have so many factors, curing mental illness completely isn’t feasible. But you can often manage symptoms well enough that you feel better over time as you learn how to cope and care for yourself in healthier ways.
Other Healthy Habits
Along with any treatment you doctor or psychiatrist prescribe, there are healthy habits that can ease the effects of many mental illnesses. Here are some things that help me when I feel overwhelmed:
- Healthy Eating: Eating a balanced diet can give you more energy to face the ups and downs of life. That includes drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- Staying Active: Physical activity, whether it’s working out or taking a stroll, can go a long way toward boosting your mood. I enjoy walking in parks and natural areas. But a local community center or mall is a great place to walk when it’s cold or rainy.
- Meditation and Prayer: Spiritual and emotional centering can be very calming, and can help you clear your mind. Spending time in prayer can remind you how much God loves you, and that He will never abandon you when things get tough.
- Creativity: Listening to music, making art, and expressing our creativity can help you feel better during a tough time. Creativity is a healthy distraction that reminds us of things we enjoy.
Taking steps like these may not make you feel completely better, but they will likely be a big help as you learn more about yourself on your journey to mental wellness.
It’s always a good idea to include people you trust in your self-care routine so you feel less isolated and more connected as you heal.
If you’re not sure where to start, TheHopeLine can help. Talk to a HopeCoach today to get encouragement, connect with more support, and find free resources to strengthen your mind and spirit. We are here to help, and we believe in you.
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Photo by Doğukan Şahin