Your mental health matters. It affects how you think, feel, and act every day. Just as you exercise, eat the right food, and get sufficient sleep for your physical health, it's also necessary to take care of your mind. Prioritizing it is not a sign of weakness. It’s just an essential part of life and well-being that leads to greater joy and a sense of purpose. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t dilly-dally when it comes to this. 

It helps you deal with adversity.

Everyone has to deal with stress and pressure. Regardless of what curated perfection you see projected on social media, all people have problems. It’s just that our problems are different, and our ways of coping are also varied. 

For instance, how can someone like ex-American Idol contestant Nightbirde approach life with such vibrance and positivity when she’s facing terminal cancer, while another person can sink into overwhelming negativity? All problems and feelings are valid, but we have different ways and abilities of coping. 

Some of these coping mechanisms are healthy and unfortunately, some are not. Prioritizing your mental health-like going to therapy, for instance-can help you develop better ways to deal with adversity. No matter how much life throws at you, you’ll be able to approach your problems with a healthier perspective and a concrete plan of growth.

It improves your relationships.

Your relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and authority figures can be deeply affected to the point of being broken if your mind is on the fritz. If you’re constantly feeling burnt out, pressured, or angry but decide to go about each day without intervention, these vital connections are the first ones to suffer (aside from yourself). You might start lashing out, isolating, or becoming passive-aggressive. 

Sometimes, all you need is a Mental Health Day to give yourself time to refresh and refocus. Sometimes, you would need to talk to a therapist. Whether you choose a one-day break or professional counseling, the important thing is to take care of yourself. As you do so, your relationships will also benefit from dealing with a happier and calmer you. 

It helps you become more productive.

Negative thoughts and emotions can cause a sense of purposelessness. The feeling of being useless, in turn, can cause even more negative thoughts and emotions that bring about a cycle of despair. When this happens, it’s time to take some time off. 

Do things you enjoy or take up an activity you’ve always wanted to try. Engaging in creative activities can boost positive feelings and help you start tackling bigger projects. Even if you’re not the type of person to entertain negativity, it’s always good to dedicate time for this so you can sustain or achieve higher levels of productivity. You can serve your family, advocacy, and workplace better when you’re mentally fit.

It helps you realize your full potential.

The challenges in life can strengthen us or bring us down. Being intentional with caring for your mind helps you refocus goals, identify problem areas, and take positive steps towards a more fulfilling life. 

For instance, Jenny goes to therapy once a week, not because she has a mental disorder, but because she wants professional help in her career, which she feels has gone stale. Because of the sessions, she was able to clarify her values, explore her options, and give herself valuable me-time to pause and reflect on the best plan of action. 

Taking care of your mental health brings a heightened sense of self-awareness and a deeper sense of meaning that can motivate you to approach life with zest and positivity.