6 Tips for Young Adults Who Are Ready to Take Responsibility of Their Mental Health
Congrats on taking the first step to manage your mental health! It takes a lot of courage. Mental health isn’t something taught enough in school. As a result, most adults lack the self-awareness to notice what isn’t working in their lives, not to mention making a change. We often joke about back pain, bedtime procrastination and whatnot during quarter-life crisis. Adulting is hard!
The truth is, we don’t always have to suffer.
Life doesn’t always have to be like this.
You have already done the most important step to change your life: to acknowledge that you own 100% of the responsibility.
So, what’s next? Here are 6 tips for responsible adults like you to take care of your mental health and live a more fulfilled life.
Part of adulting is learning and unlearning about yourself.
1 Consistency is Key 🪜
When you first start building healthy habits, whether working out, meditating, flossing or reading, what you really want to do is to build the momentum first by setting the bar really low.
Take baby steps.
Go out for a walk for 10 minutes. Meditate for five minutes. Floss every other day. Read one page before bed.
The only goal when you first start a new routine is to do something consistently, not matter how insignificant it seems.
Of course, we all want to go to the gym for an hour consistently regardless of the weather or how tired we feel in any given day. But if you’re just starting out and it takes a lot from you just to put on your trainers, how can you demand yourself to be that ideal version of yourself overnight? Before you know it, you would have given up.
Many people fall of this “all-or-nothing” trap.
“Oh, I only have 20 minutes today but I want to go to the gym for an hour so I will just skip today”.
Everything you do matters.
By that, I mean every choice you make matters.
Feel like chilling today after work and ordering junk food? It seems harmless just for one night, but it’s easy to keep making comfortable choices in the short term and sacrificing health and other important goals in the long term.
What you do stacks up and becomes a series of habits. So choose carefully.
Consistency is key.
Doing something towards your goal is so much better than doing nothing at all.
2 Find Out What Routines Work For You ⏰
What Are Your Non-negotiables?
After you mapped out your routines, it’s time to pay attention to how different activities in your life make you think and feel, and maybe even come up with ways to make them more enjoyable.
Don’t underestimate little things in life. Your healthy routines in life are anchors that bring you peace and calm.
For example, you might need a solid morning routine in order to function properly. You might need good quality social interaction in order to draw energy and momentum. You might never stay up late.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but we often operate on auto-pilot and we are not aware of what works and what doesn’t in our lives. Cultivating a sense of self-awareness will help with that. After you found out what works for you, you have to actively schedule those beneficial activities in your schedule. Not on your “some day” list.
Do More of What Brings You Joy
Scheduling your favourite activities not only means that you are prioritising yourself, but you are also signalling your brain that you have something to rely on as a predictable routine. Those activities are going to be your anchor that you can always rely on no matter what days you have.
Watch my video here where I talked about how bringing your routines with you anywhere can help deal with anxiety in times of chaos.
Surround yourself with things and people that give you energy, not drain you. We all need more positive vibes in life. Your environment matters in regards to your mental health. Imagine working in a toxic environment with unhealthy competition and gossips. Imagine trying to focus when you work behind a messy desk. These things are going to drag you down. How can we grow under such environments?
3 See a Therapist 👩🏻⚕️
This is a safe space to talk about anything about mental health. It’s the 21st century and sometimes it still blows my mind how much stigma we have regarding mental health issues and going to therapy.
I promise you, everyone is struggling to a certain extent and seeing a therapist doesn’t mean you are weak or you are a lost cause.
Human beings are emotional creatures. It’s actually a blessing to be able to feel and think. What’s more important is the ability to regulate our emotions and maintain a clear headspace in times of uncertainties.
Going to therapy is life-changing. I can speak from experience. Here are some important life lessons I learnt from my own 10-month therapy journey:
That being said, if you really don’t feel like talking about your issues or opening up to someone, don’t reject the idea of therapy completely yet.
Here at Strike A Chord Music Therapy, you can get alternative therapy sessions – unlike traditional talking therapy. You don’t have to talk about your problems if you don’t want to. Your mental health goals can be achieved through music. We help facilitate self-expression, resilience, hope and agency and emotion regulation through music therapy. Learn more about music therapy here.
Do you know that music therapy is being regarded as the best alternative therapy alone or added to standard care to support adults with mental illnesses, compared to psychotherapy, verbal relaxation or no treatment? (1)
As a responsible adult who’s ready to take charge of mental health, you can consider trying out music therapy. Book a trial session here:
See for yourself!
4 Take Care of Your Physical Health Too 🏃🏻♂️
Physical and mental health go hand in hand.
One does not exist without the other.
For example, if you had a rough night, you lack quality rest. That makes you grumpy and tired the next day. On the other hand, if you are depressed, you most likely would want to stay in bed and do nothing, which means you are not getting enough daily movements to maintain fitness. The same goes for smoking, drinking etc.
It is all a cycle. You either thrive, or you shrink.
This is something to consider when you are planning out your routines. You can kill two birds with one stone. A few of my routines include morning meditation (with coffee), working out in the evening, and daily journaling.
5 Draw Boundaries ✍🏻
Repeat after me: you are not selfish to draw boundaries.
Prioritising and protecting your mental health is self care.
You can say no to things (and people) that don’t make you feel good.
Saying no is a skill. So is being aware of what you want to include in your life.
Sometimes you might not be in control, but you can still change your perspective around things. For example, you might live with family members who don’t understand what you are going through. That’s a fact you can’t change, nor under your control. What you can do is to alter your perspective. What are the benefits you can get out of this situation? Is there anything you can communicate? How can you draw a boundary to achieve a balance?
6 It's a Journey, be Kind to Yourself 👣
Taking care of your mental health is a lifelong journey. As change is the only constant in life, it is important to keep being kind to yourself. We have different seasons in life. What works for you now might not work in one year’s time, and that is okay. Also, having a bad day doesn’t mean anything. Make the comeback stronger than the setback.
You are always in control of your feelings and thoughts.
You are doing this for yourself.
You got this!
So here are six tips for you to take your mental health to the next level! Take all the baby steps you need and change one thing at a time. I’m so proud of you!
Again, when you feel ready to level up your mental health, book a trial music therapy session here: