how to take care of your mental health?

Source: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

A healthy mind is as important as a healthy body to your overall well-being. Good mental health helps you feel good about yourself, connect with others, find meaning in life, and thrive at home, work, and play. Good mental health does not mean you will never be sad, insecure, or worried. But, good mental health can help you keep problems in perspective.

Mental health is how we think, feel, and act as we cope with life. It helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Mental health exists on a spectrum. At one end are feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that allow you to thrive. At the other end are feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that disrupt life and cause distress and depression.

Here are some suggestions to help you improve your mental health:
--- build self-esteem
Good self-esteem is linked to mental well-being, happiness, and success in many areas of life. It protects mental health during tough times. One way to build self-esteem is to value who you are and what you do. This is hard to do if you judge yourself by other people's standards or rely on others to make you feel good about yourself. Instead, accept the qualities that make you unique.

--- set realistic standards and goals
Take pride in your achievements, both small and big. If you are not satisfied with where you are, do not run off in just any direction hoping things will work out for you. Decide what you want. Do not let your own opinion color facts in a pessimistic or negative way. In order to succeed, you must first believe that you can. Now it is time to perform at maximum levels.

--- find value and purpose in life
People who pursue goals based on their own values and dreams enjoy stronger mental well-being. An old adage says, "life is what you make it." The Greek philosopher Socrates used to say, "you are what you think you are." In fact, you must believe in what you really want and you must have the desire to embrace the greatness for which you were born. If you wait for happiness to be brought to you by others, then you are likely to have a long wait. Stop criticizing yourself. Accept yourself and love yourself.

--- learn how to cope with hard times
Keep in mind that successful people do not talk about failure. They, instead, talk about resilience, perseverance, and challenge. Keep in mind that if you want a place in the sun, then you've got to put up with a few blisters.
Do you see setbacks as failures or merely bumps in the road?
Do you avoid problems or look for solutions?
Never allow your present to become a prisoner of your past. A crisis is a situation which can either make you or break you. If you react properly to it, it can give you strength, power and wisdom.

--- build healthy friendships
Mother Teresa used to say, "loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted are the most terrible poverty." We need healthy friendships to grow, thrive, and sustain us in hard times. So, surround yourself with people who can encourage and support you. Reach out and connect. But, relationships that cause you to feel neglected, shameful, disrespected, or afraid are not healthy and not worth your time. Remember you are better off alone than with a bad companion. You do not need people to make you miserable and ashamed.