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  • Showing only topics with the tag "lifestyle". Back to normal view
    1. What are your mental health upkeep habits/lifestyle?

      I've seen a few posts about sharing issues, but I don't think anything about habits. I'm former "quantitative-self" hobbyist (if you want to call it that), keener and have a side interest in...

      I've seen a few posts about sharing issues, but I don't think anything about habits. I'm former "quantitative-self" hobbyist (if you want to call it that), keener and have a side interest in psychiatry. So in my personal life I'm very active and serious about my own short and long-term mental health. I'm wondering if anyone shares my habits or has others I have not considered. I wont link any literature because there is a lot out there to support most of these habits and I can't make this exhaustive (but I'm happy to help find specific resources).

      Morning quiet time. I wake up early and spend about an hour drinking tea, looking outside and reading. The major benefit here is it gives me a buffer before the start of the day. I used to get up and rush out of the door - I would be stressed from the start and wouldn't have an idea of how to go about my day effectively.

      Reading fiction. I used to read a lot more non-fiction (pop sci and "self-help") but I found with fiction (and also biographies) not only is it generally easier content to process, but the narratives can be therapeutic. There is something about getting exposed to other peoples thought processes (real or not) and overcoming of challenges that can be comforting or inspiring when facing your own.

      Aerobic exercise. And also anything exhaustive - as in you gave it all of your energy. The general health benefits are obviously well established at this point. But, a subjective (AFAIK) experience of mine is the feeling of self-actualization - a sense of victory and fulfillment you can get almost anytime anywhere, and fairly frequently.

      Regular social contact. Specifically AFK/face-to-face. This seems banal but it's really not. I make a serious active effort here - I think about who I haven't seen in a while, who I might feel like would complement or share my vibes right now or near future and make plans ASAP. This among the most important of my habits, or at least has the most therapeutic effect. Something about social interactions, even if they're just about talking shit, can be therapeutic and energizing. And this is coming from someone who is generally an introvert and would usually prefer to stay home.

      Restrict social media. I probably don't need to explain this one. But I'll also add that, after following the advice of someone on Tildes (sorry I can't find the post!) limiting my news source to only the Current Events of Wikipedia has done wonders for me! I've stayed informed and have avoided the anxiety-inducing clusterfucks of newstainment. I group this with social media because they're so close nowadays (gossip?).

      Meditation. Big one right here. I've been practicing for ~7 years now, and it's very noticeable when I skip a 20 min session a few days in a row - I become more agitated, short tempered and anxious (is depressed, but mainly just too focused on myself either way). Specifically "mindfulness" (loose term) or Vipassanā style (I use and highly recommend Waking Up). Style here is important because they all exercise different neural pathways. The product of this practice 1) being much more aware of what has emotionally triggered me and 2) being more able to let go/resolve of negative states of mind. E.g. instead of grinding my teeth with a negative thought train the past 3 hours I notice it's all petty within a moment or two and am able to move on and focus on my task at hand and later sleep soundly.

      Psychedelics. Namely the tried-and-true classics. This one is finally getting the attention it deserves in the public domain. As opposed to the others which I do on a near-daily basis (aim for daily), psychedelic experiences I limit to only a handful of times per year because 1) it's work, it requires planning and a day or two off; 2) the positive/resolving effects last for months/years/lifetime; and 3) it requires integration with you baseline reality life to really be effective.
      This one hands down has provided me the most benefit out of all and has inspired me to actively pursue everything above, especially meditation and social life. Specifically, it's the perspective you can get from a psychedelic experience that can be like years of therapy because it's all internally-motivated - you can get an objective perspective on you own life that no one else can offer and one you normally would not accept, especially if it's self-critical.
      For best results I do this with close friends, at home and/or in nature - taking long walks by the river or woods. Sometimes quiet time at some point as well, to allow self-reflection, taking a moment for an honest review and check in.

      Safety disclaimer Psychedelics, and also exhaustive workouts and meditation, can have serious adverse effects if done in excess or without proper planning. Always practice harm reduction: do your research (e.g. Erowid for substance info) test your drugs, carry Naloxone and *always* have a friend, at leas to check in with. Start small - you can always take more but not less.
      32 votes