- A TikTok trend highlighting what people do for their “stupid mental health” has gone viral.
- Experts say the frustration shown in these videos is understandable, but it’s important not to give up on mental health practices.
- Tips for motivating yourself to participate in self-care include setting and celebrating small goals. Continue reading to know more.
“Going on a stupid walk for my stupid mental health,” writes TikTok user @ninalaevski on a video of himself comically trudging across the snow backed by a funny music track.
The video garnered 8.4 million views and nearly 900,000 likes, with comments describing it as “very relatable” and “very accurate”.
Videos that follow a similar format have garnered over 38.2 million views on the video sharing app with the hashtag #stupidwalkchallenge. In addition to the walking videos, people have shared other activities for their “stupid mental health”.
In another video, user @isabellamolivas shows herself doing “stupid yoga” for her “stupid mental health,” which involves rolling eyes and exhaling excitedly.
“Can’t wait for more pandemic workouts in 2022…” she adds sarcastically in the caption.
Jill Dino, a licensed therapist with TalkSpace, says she understands the frustration.
“We are two years into this pandemic, two years of receiving these recommendations about taking care of our mental health…and what I took away from those TikToks was the complete lack and exhaustion… But experiencing. It meant a lot to me.”
Even if seemingly small self-care practices seem “stupid,” Dano assures that it can have a positive effect on your mental health.
“I know what happens when people don’t take care of their mental health and these small steps really make a big difference, even if it doesn’t always feel like it,” she says.
“Amidst all the pressures of life, it can be challenging to “put yourself first and prioritize your mental health,” says Melissa Dowd, a licensed therapist at mental health platform PlushCare.
“This can be especially difficult during days when you’re feeling down and it feels like it takes extra effort to address these feelings rather than ignore them,” she says.
Dano says winter time can be “particularly challenging for mental health.”
The pandemic doesn’t help either, she says, from isolation to difficulties navigating COVID guidelines and confusion about how to proceed.
“People thought we were really on an upbringing … people were coming back to do activities that brought them joy and pleasure. And then Omicron happened, and I think that’s where we did again.” Saw a real change from (people) feeling frustrated and exhausted… (because) suddenly we had things shut down or limited.”
But the downside of skipping your Mental health practices can include increased anxiety, increased depression, feelings of loneliness and more, warns Dano.
Dowd says he’s glad this TikTok trend is helping people to be candid about how they’re feeling.
“It is important that we break down the stigma around discussing mental health and encourage conversations about self-care and healthy coping methods,” she says.
How to get motivated about your mental health and self-care
Aim for small victories and celebrate them: “People want to go for the big wins… (but) it’s the small, everyday victories that are worth so much,” Dino says, adding that something as small as a five-minute walk deserves a mental high-five. .
“What we need to do is celebrate small victories as our brain starts to associate those small successes and positive reinforcement and it really makes it easier to be motivated the next day,” she explains.
Remember that the past does not predict our future: “Just because last week was like a down week, doesn’t mean next week is the same,” Dino says. “Being able to say to yourself, ‘Today is a different day.’ ‘Tomorrow may be really difficult,[but]I’m going to put on my sneakers today, and I’m going to go for five minutes and see how it feels.’ Or maybe ‘I’m going to visit my friend for a cup of coffee.’
Get Your Speed: Remember that small steps usually lead to big steps.
“Starting with a small task can help us quickly feel positive changes in our mental well-being so that we can work toward the bigger goal we all have,” Dow says.
Find out what works: Finding it hard to find time for that “stupid walk”? Dowd suggests adding self-care rituals to your daily routine.
She encourages clients to learn what habits and rituals work best for them, whether it’s setting reminders for self-care or scheduling a time to talk to a friend or therapist. how they are feeling.
Finally, you don’t have to give up on Sass: “It’s okay to embrace that people are feeling cranky or defeated because those feelings are real,” Dino explains. “I think the challenge is, how do you embrace ‘both’? How do you keep those feelings and still turn it into, ‘But you know what, I can still do this.’ I might have a bad day… (and) still have my nerd going on.'”
She explains that trying to be positive all the time can turn into “toxic positivity,” which is why she advocates embracing those less positive feelings.
“It’s knowing how to ride those waves and have all the experiences — not just the positive ones, not just the downvoted ones, but that you’re dealing with both.”
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