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7 Pillars of Mental Health Stability

By Harmit Singh, MD April 22, 2024 Posted in: Mental Health

Mental health stability is an intricate balance between various aspects of life. It's not just about the absence of mental illness; it's about actively cultivating habits to achieve a state of well-being and resilience. It’s a state where one can cope with everyday stressors, maintain positive mental well-being, and navigate life's challenges with resilience. Here are seven key steps (7 S) that can help you achieve mental health stability.

1. Sleep

Quality sleep is critical for mental wellbeing. It allows your brain to process emotions, consolidate memories, and restore energy. Absence of good quality sleep can cause mood swings, poor concentration and impulsive behaviors and, in severe cases, psychosis.

  • Establish a regular sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine. It signals your body that it's time to rest, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up at consistent times.
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment that is conducive to restful sleep, such as a dark, quiet, and cool room. This further enhances the quality of your sleep.
  • Avoiding caffeine and screens before bed can also help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt sleep patterns.
  • If you have problems with snoring or daytime fatigue and tiredness, get a professional assessment to rule out sleep disorders.

2. Sobriety

Substance abuse can have a profound impact on mental health. Drugs and alcohol can alter brain chemistry, leading to mood swings, anxiety, depression and even suicidal thinking. Maintaining sobriety involves more than just abstaining from substances; it also requires addressing the underlying mental health issues that may be contributing to substance abuse.

  • Avoid substance abuse, as drugs and alcohol can exacerbate mental health issues and lead to dependency.
  • Seek help if you're struggling with substance abuse or mental health disorders that you might be self medicating with substances.
  • Develop healthy coping mechanisms such as exercise, running or creative activities
  • Seeking professional help, support groups and rehabilitation programs can be effective in achieving and maintaining sobriety.

3. Structure and Routine

A structured day can help you stay organized, manage your time effectively, and reduce feelings of overwhelm.

  • Establish a daily routine that provides a sense of stability and predictability.
  • Establish a consistent sleep-wake schedule to help you be organized and productive.
  • Incorporate activities that promote mental well-being, such as exercise, regular meals, work or study time, in your daily schedule to maintain balance.

4. Self-Care

Self-care is not selfish; it's a necessary part of maintaining mental health stability. Self-care is about taking the time to prioritize your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It involves recognizing your needs and taking steps to meet them. It's important to take care of yourself before caring for others. Prioritize activities that bring you joy and relaxation, and make time for them regularly.

  • Engage in activities that bring you joy.
  • Practice mindfulness or meditation.
  • Try other self-care practices, such as exercise or hobbies.

5. Social Support

Feelings of isolation and loneliness are common contributors to mental health issues. Maintaining strong social connections is vital for mental health stability and can provide a sense of belonging and improve mental health. Maintaining strong social connections with friends, family, or support groups can offer understanding, empathy, and companionship when you're feeling overwhelmed.

  • Reach out to loved ones when you're feeling overwhelmed or need someone to talk to.
  • Find your 3rd space - a place outside of home (1st space) and work (2nd space) called 3rd space, which is a communal place where people know you such as, clubs, church, community centers, coffee shops, etc. and engage with people actively.
  • Participate in social events organized by your local community.

6. Spirituality

Spirituality and faith can provide a sense of purpose, meaning, and connection, which are important aspects of mental health wellbeing. Cultivating a sense of spirituality can help you develop resilience and cope with life's ups and downs.

  • Engage in spiritual practices that resonate with you, such as prayer, meditation, or attending religious services.
  • Whether through organized religion, meditation, or nature, spirituality can offer a source of comfort and support during challenging times.

7. Seek Professional Help

If you're experiencing mental health challenges, seek professional help from a psychiatrist or therapist.

  • Mental health professionals can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment such as psychotherapy, medications or other support services tailored to your specific needs .
  • If you are having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting yourself or others, please contact 988 or 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

Mental health stability is a holistic endeavor that involves nurturing various aspects of your life. By prioritizing sleep, sobriety, structure, self-care, psychiatric health, spirituality, and social support, you can build a strong foundation for mental well-being and resilience.

 

Harmit Singh, MD
Harmit Singh, MD

Harmit Singh, MD joined CHI Health Psychiatric Associates in August 1, 2013. Dr. Singh is fluent in three languages including English, Hindi and Punjabi. Dr. Singh enjoys cooking, cricket, listening to music and watching movies. He also likes spending time with friends.

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