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31 Important Mental Health Tips You Should Try Right Now

Know that you deserve to get help.

Amy Sefton / Via BuzzFeed

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the best mental health advice they'd ever gotten. Here’s what they said:

Please note that these aren't medical recommendations. Be sure to check with a mental health professional before starting any kind of treatment.

1. Know that it's OK to not be OK right now.

Give yourself permission to feel like crap, don't feel guilty about it. No one expects you to be on top of the world every single moment.

—Claire Victoria Cheney, Facebook

2. Know that you can't change a situation by worrying.

Overthinking something you can't do anything about can't change the outcome anyway, so it's of no use.

—Nanna Seistrup, Facebook

3. Don't always listen to the voice in your head.

Just because you had a cripplingly negative thought about yourself doesn't mean it's true.

—Sara Lila Catalano, Facebook

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4. Use your senses to help you stay in the moment.

My psychologist told me to do a countdown with my five senses when I felt a panic attack coming on; notice five things I see, four things I feel, three things I hear, two things I smell, and one thing I taste. It really helps me to get back to reality and stay present.

—Kaylin Arnold, Facebook

5. Know that you deserve to get help. / Via Youngtietjens

I've struggled with feeling like my mental health issues aren't really that bad and that has very much affected how and when I seek treatment. My therapist told me that no matter how mild or how severe, my depression matters and it deserves to get treated. I got told that I deserved to get help, and that changed how I view my mental health entirely.

—Rebecca Taylor

6. Don't feel ashamed or weak for needing medication.

David Michael Chandler / The Daily Doodles / Via

If you were diabetic, would you think yourself weak for using insulin? Of course not. If you need psychiatric medication, it is for a very real medical condition that just happens to be in your brain, not your pancreas. Don't feel ashamed or weak or guilty, just do what you need to keep yourself healthy.


7. Don't stop your medication without talking to your doctor. / Via Instagram: @itssofieyouknow

Take your fucking meds. I often think that this muted version of myself is too boring and want to go off my medication. It always starts out great. I have more ideas and motivation, but after a few days to weeks it turns to racing thoughts that just can't stop and my mind starts interpreting things wrong, and I get paranoid and start hearing voices confirming my paranoid delusions. I end up in the mental hospital and have to go back on the meds anyway. So I have to remember, just take the fucking meds.

—Heather Glass

8. Track data to help you identify patterns in how you're feeling day to day. / Via Instagram: @caseface320

I track myself: sleep, food, mood, activity, medications, physical complaints, and significant events. It helps me see connections between my mental state and other variables in my life, which lets me make choices that are better for my mental health or identify the impact of changes.

—Clara Marshall Sackrider, Facebook

9. Don't assume you have to fix everything yourself. / Via Instagram: @sushana99

If something is wrong, admit that something is wrong, and decide that you're going to fix it. You don't have to know what to call the problem, or know the solution, but decide that you're going to work to get better.

—Amanda Turner, Facebook

10. Strive for happiness, not for perfection. / Via

When I was first experiencing severe depression as a teenager, I confided in a friend's mom, who said to me, "Work to be happy, not perfect." I'm still fighting depression to this day, but those words have stuck with me for the past ten years.

—Sammy Kawola, Facebook

11. Or don't even worry about happy right now; just focus on OK.

Mine was not to focus on being happy, but to focus on being OK. Because if you finally got to be OK, eventually you'd be happy.


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12. Express gratitude.

CVS / Via

It's impossible to feel 100% negative when you make note of everything you're grateful for. Even if you can't think of much, the act of looking makes you feel better.

—Sarah Wolf, Facebook

13. Remember that no one is judging you as much as you are. / Via Instagram: @julia_havanskaya

No one is ever thinking about you as much as you believe they are, because everyone is too busy worrying about themselves. Take care of you, and not the you that you feel you're perceived as.

—Shannon LeBlanc, Facebook

14. Get into journaling. / Via Instagram: @jennie.pae

Keeping a journal during my recovery helped me just keep track of how I was doing that moment. It was a good reminder to take the process one day at a time.

—Melanie Tong, Facebook

15. You don't have to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

Cartoon Network / Via

—Katy Corpus, Facebook

16. Know that mental healthcare isn't one-size-fits-all. / Via Instagram: @aisha11277

I was once told ... 50% of success comes from good medications, but you cannot rely on meds alone. The other 50% comes from the mental effort and positive thinking you have to do everyday, whether is it is going to counseling or being an active leader of your life choices and thoughts. It made me realize I couldn't succeed by sitting in the backseat and just taking meds. I had to put in mental effort every day to gain success and be mentally healthy.

—Melissa Rex, Facebook

17. Let people help you. / Via

Know that even though people may not understand you, the ones who love you will try to help you as much as they can. Trust them and rely on them, you don't have to handle it all alone.

—Naty Rovner, Facebook

18. And teach them how to do it.

It's OK to ask for help and it is beneficial to tell people exactly how you need them to comfort you (hug me, listen to me, offer advice). In the moment it's easy to worry that their comfort won't mean as much because you've told them what to do, but it is so awesome to be comforted in the way you need and most people are willing to do exactly what you ask for. It also makes them more willing to help you in the future because they know what to do.

—Karen Leu, Facebook

19. Learn to tell when the voice in your head belongs to your depression.

Universal Pictures / Via

Sometimes the best thing that I can do to help myself is to separate which thoughts are mine and which belong to anxiety or depression. For example, I might get the thought: "Why bother going to the club meeting? No one wants me there anyway."

The first thing I do is attribute the thought to depression. It is not an organic thought of mine; it is depression mimicking my voice and whispering in my ear. This helps me to separate myself from any negative emotions the thought might give me.

—Sarah Adriance, Facebook

20. Don’t let other people's chaos become your chaos.

I work in the mental health field and my supervisor gave me this advice. I use this at work and in my personal life to give myself permission to let go of drama and other exhausting and non-essential "emergencies" from other people.


21. Write insecurities on your body in marker and then wash them away. / Via Instagram: @thataxeldog

When I get down, I write my insecurities and my problems in washable marker on my body, take a shower, and literally wash them away.


22. Use apps to cope with anxiety.

BuzzFeed Life
BuzzFeed Life

I suffer from anxiety attacks and my psychologist told me to breathe when I begin to feel overwhelmed, and it sounds simple but it has made a huge difference and lessened the severity of my anxiety attacks. I use the app ReachOut Breathe, and it gives me something to focus on while also talking you through some breathing exercises.


23. Allow yourself to feel your feelings.

Disney / Via

The best piece of advice I received when I was going through a really rough time in my life was simply to feel what I was feeling; to not cover it up or try to be strong, but to just allow myself to feel. Even if it hurt, even if I didn't want to face it, but to just let it happen. It's a very natural and therapeutic way to cope with mental health issues, or simply anything difficult that comes your way. Allow yourself to feel.


24. Just say "no" if you really need to.

Sometimes it's OK to retreat to your bed and hide under your duvet. You can fight long and hard to function in the world so it's ok to take a break. Also, it's OK to say no every now and again. If you are finding that you have been coping with social situations a lot then you will need time to recharge your batteries.


25. “Sunshine all the time makes a desert.” / Via Instagram: @labiens

This quote reminds me that I need to go through the "storms" in my life in order to experience growth.


26. Think of yourself as an ant.

I tell myself this after obsessing over if I've said something wrong in a social situation or when I mess up at work. You are just an ant, no one cares, the world has not changed because of your one mistake. It helps. Realizing that on this giant earth with billions of people, I am just a single person, like an ant on a sidewalk — gives me great relief.


27. Comfort yourself the way you would comfort a friend. / Via

My therapist suggested this. I always find it helpful to think of things from a third person perspective. So, if a friend was feeling stupid or worthless, would I say "Yeah, you are pretty stupid and worthless," or would I say the opposite? We are often way more harsh with ourselves than we are with others.


28. Celebrate small victories because they add up. / Via Instagram: @nessathurman

My dad gave me perspective on celebrating and reaching for small victories when he told me, "If you keep climbing small rocks, you'll eventually conquer the mountain."


29. Separate the things that are stressing you out and put them in their own compartments. / Via Instagram: @midcenturyfurniture

A counselor once told me to compartmentalize: Draw a grid with several boxes and list your stressors or reason for anxiety in each box. Separating stress from school, work, relationships, etc. in a tangible way can help the overwhelming feeling of processing them all in your mind at once. Go through each box on the grid and list ways you can make the situation better, or facts that prove the issue is not worth feeling anxious about. Tackling each point of stress one at a time on paper calms me down and helps me feel more in control.


30. Get through just 10 seconds at a time.

For example, I'm a server and sometimes I screw up with every one of my tables at once and it seems like the world is ending. But then, in the heat of the moment I remind myself that this feeling, and these tables, will get up and leave and this stress will be totally over. I just have to get through it 10 seconds at a time until it does.


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31. And finally, think about taking the drug "fukamol."

AKA "fuck 'em all."


Responses have been edited for length and clarity.


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