Skip to main content

What To Do If You’re Struggling with Mental Health Concerns

Do you know the difference between an anxiety-filled day and a mental health concern? Do you think that your bad mood has evolved into something more serious? Feeling like you need help coping with stressors, anxiety, or mood concerns is normal. There might be a lot on your plate, and asking for help to address mental health concerns is healthy.

Key Points

  • Mental health struggles are common (20% of adults), including anxiety, depression, and feeling overwhelmed.
  • Multiple coping strategies are available to address mental health struggles, including seeking help, starting a routine, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and resting.
  • Learning to set boundaries and realistic goals can also help address mental health struggles.

How To Address Your Mental Health Struggles

It’s common to feel overwhelmed and anxious occasionally, particularly in our fast-paced, high-demand culture. However, experiencing persistent mental health issues, such as daily anxiety or depressive episodes, can indicate that something more serious is happening.

The first thing to know is that you are not alone: an estimated 20% of U.S. adults have a significant mental health concern.[1] You deserve to feel better and more like yourself and mental health issues are worth investigating. There are helpful strategies available to improve your symptoms and set you on a path toward healing.

Reach Out for Support

Talk to someone you trust about what you’re going through. Do you have a friend or family member who has experienced similar issues? A coworker may also be able to empathize. Sometimes sharing your feelings can provide the relief you need and remind you that you are not alone.

It’s also normal to want time alone until you feel better. Avoiding isolation may be difficult when you are struggling with mental health issues. While taking time alone is okay, excessive isolation can worsen mental health issues.[2] Try maintaining supportive social connections, attending an occasional social event, or responding to a friend’s text checking in.

Create a Healthy Routine

A healthy routine does not have to be overly complicated with many steps. Simply engage in activities that promote your overall well-being more often than not. Creating a daily routine can provide structure and stability, which can be particularly beneficial during challenging times.

Some ideas for a healthy routine may include the following:

  • Exercising or engaging in physical movement most days of the week
  • Eating balanced, nutritious meals (mostly) and avoiding the highs and lows of sugary or overly processed foods
  • Getting enough sleep is vital–aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night
  • Starting your day with a few deep, cleansing breaths as a way to reset
  • Practicing gratitude by writing what you are feeling grateful for in a journal or notebook
  • Seek positive connections with other people to build your social life
  • Set realistic goals for yourself, even small ones, to keep yourself motivated

Set Realistic Goals

Are you feeling easily overwhelmed or aggravated by your daily to-do list? Consider breaking your tasks and goals into smaller, more manageable steps. Sometimes, you might struggle more than usual with simple chores and work obligations during a challenging time. Give yourself grace when falling short of previous expectations by reminding yourself that these feelings will pass in time.

Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they might seem. Your goals may feel small compared to your previous abilities or to goals that other people seem to be setting, and that’s okay. It’s okay to nurture yourself with changed expectations while you work on healing and improving your mental health.

Practice Stress Management

Techniques like mindfulness and meditation can help you manage stress and anxiety. These practices encourage you to focus on the present moment and can help reduce overwhelming feelings. Walking in nature and noticing the scenery is an example of a mindfulness exercise with multiple benefits.

Are you taking on too much? Saying “yes” to too many opportunities? It’s time to focus inward and accept that you may need to say “no”–it’s not a selfish move to address your own needs. Identify sources of stress in your life and consider ways to minimize their impact. Helpful approaches might involve setting boundaries and delegating tasks when possible.

Additionally, significant life changes can add to your stress load. Even exciting changes like moving, getting a promotion at work, or becoming a parent can add to your plate despite being overwhelmingly positive. Consider these transitions, as they can be reasons to address your stress.

Focus on Positive Activities

Doing things that make you feel good can boost your mood. Whether spending time in nature, reading, listening to music, or creating art, find activities that bring you joy. Try picking up a hobby that has previously brought you joy and a break from the everyday.

Nurture your friendships by engaging with those you trust and who energize you. A simple text to a close friend can help you feel connected to someone positively. The rewards of a healthy friendship are plentiful: Doing life with people we trust can improve mental well-being and foster a sense of belonging.

Frequently Asked Questions About Struggling with Mental Health

What are specific signs of poor mental health?

Signs and symptoms of mental health struggle look different for each individual and depend on factors like life circumstances and overall mental health history.

A few common signs include the following: [3]

  • Changes in sleep or appetite or inability to take care of yourself
  • Rapid shifts in mood and emotions
  • Withdrawal from social activities and previously-enjoyed hobbies
  • Problems with concentration and memory
  • Feeling nervous in situations that are usually not anxiety-provoking
  • Feeling disconnected from others and apathetic

Am I having a mental health issue, or am I just dramatic?

Sometimes we avoid seeking help or admitting that we have a mental health concern for fear of sounding dramatic or too needy. It’s common to feel this way; a supportive friend or family member would not say you’re being dramatic when asking for support.

We all need support, and if your mental health symptoms are persistent and significantly affect your life, you can look for help. Chances are, if you’re concerned about appearing dramatic, you’re probably not.

What to do when you're emotionally drained?

In our society, we often push ourselves to the point of emotional exhaustion—usually, this is not intentional. One day we’re managing fine, but something negative disrupts our rhythm, and we suddenly feel burned out.

You aren’t alone—feeling emotionally drained is normal. There are strategies for this, including the following tips:

  • Take a day off work or parenting obligations if possible
  • Let someone know you’re feeling off
  • Do restorative activities that create relaxation: a slow-paced yoga class, an easy walk outdoors, or some light stretching at home
  • Reduce your work responsibilities if your job allows flexibility
  • Ask a trusted friend or relative if you can talk with them and seek peer support

You Are Not Alone

Educate yourself on your mental health condition. Plenty of resources are available to give you a better idea of what you’re experiencing and to remind you that you are not alone. Research reputable sources online or check out library books to help you understand what you’re experiencing and how to manage it.

Most communities have resources, such as a community mental health center, that can help you decide if you should pursue additional mental health care. Your primary care doctor can also help you decide if you should seek therapeutic assistance.

Additionally, researching types of professional help can be beneficial. Mental health professionals, such as therapists or counselors, are trained to help individuals cope with mental health challenges and can provide personalized guidance tailored to your situation. You likely have friends who attend therapy and feel better; perhaps they have a personal recommendation to offer.

You Deserve to Feel Better

Everyone’s mental health struggles are unique; what works for one person might not work for another. It’s okay to try different strategies and approaches to find what resonates with you. And most importantly, you deserve to seek professional help when needed.


  1. National Institute of Mental Health. (2023). Mental illness. National Institute of Mental Health.
  2. Brown, V., Morgan, T., & Fralick, A. (2021). Isolation and mental health: thinking outside the box. General Psychiatry, 34(3), e100461.
  3. Warning Signs of Mental Illness. (n.d.). NAMI California.
Close Menu
Call Now ButtonCall Now