Indeed, when it comes to mental health, no one experience is the same. Just as we all have different ways of taking care of our physical health – from nutrition to the types of exercise that suits our fitness levels – so too do our needs vary when it comes to our minds.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t lessons we can all take from sharing our experiences, especially when it comes to the advice others have given us to get us through our hardest times.
That’s why, when author and mental health advocate Matt Haig took to Twitter to ask his followers about the best mental health advice they’d ever received, we knew we were in for some powerful responses.
No matter your experience of mental health, or how you’re feeling at the moment, there’s something all of us can take from this menagerie of advice.
1. Trust yourself
“Honestly? ‘You’re going to be OK,’” one response read.
“‘You’ve cared for yourself and protected yourself up until now, and you have what you need within you to be OK.’ Alleviated a lot of guilt about feeling lost in life, regretting the past and feeling like a failure. I’m doing the best I can.”
2. Try not to worry about what other people think
“Other people’s opinion of me is none of my business,” wrote Jo Billington.
3. Observe unhelpful emotions
“Anxiety is not a mandate,” said author David Baddiel. “It means anxiety in the moment makes you want to run away or panic or break down, but if you think of it as an emotion to sit with rather than a kind of physical instruction that you have to react to immediately. It will pass or at least, be liveable with.”
4. Find solace in nature
“Pick a favourite local tree and observe it through the seasons,” added writer Jo Lake. “Take comfort and solace from the cycle of nature: the buds, the leaves, the fruit, the fall. Here’s my lovely hornbeam tree, earlier this week.”
5. Thoughts are not facts
“Thoughts are not facts,” read one response. “It’s still tough for me to always wrap my head around but it helps me stay out of dark rabbit holes at times.”
6. Take the brakes off once in a while
One response simply read: “Just because you can do it all, doesn’t mean you should.”
7. And finally…
Short, sweet and incredibly powerful, this advice from @lovelimmy is the perfect lesson to take away from the thread.
“Don’t compare your insides with other people’s outsides,” he wrote.