Probably like a lot of you readers out there, I have a tendency to put my own mental health on the back burner. It doesn’t seem like something that needs a lot of attention when there’s school, work, relationships, and everything under the sun. But I’ve recently been thinking about what’s actually worth thinking about, and mental health is one of those things. It’s cliché, but you really can’t help anyone else unless you are your best and healthiest self.

Mental Health is Physical Health

I find a lot of people think that mental health is some new millennial concept and that it’s not actually that important. But how your brain functions and how you feel is just as, if not more important, than how your body works. Would you go to the doctor if you broke your leg? Of course you would. But would you go see a therapist if things just seem like they’ve hit a dead end? …Questionable, right? Treat your brain like any other organ in your body and take care of it.

Nothing else matters unless you are mentally fit

It doesn’t matter if you’ve won a Nobel Peace Prize if you aren’t feeling up to receiving it. You can get all the accolades but at the end of the day, if you aren’t happy – then these things won’t matter. So really take a second and think about how you feel mentally. Are you tired? Are you excited about life? Or maybe you just feel like you need a break. If that’s the case, take one.

You can’t help anyone unless you help yourself

Yes, it’s obnoxious but it’s true. Unless you are at the top of your game, there’s no way you can go around helping other people. Giving to others is a beautiful thing, and in some ways, it can even be the mental health tool you didn’t know you needed. But what do you need to do in order to give in a healthy and safe way?

There’s just one you out there

Out of all of the people on this planet of ours, there is one of you. If you burn out, there’s no one who can step up the place and replace your beautiful energy. Just like you only have one body, you only have one mind. Actively choose to take care of it. Use your yoga practice, take time off to sit in stillness or read a book and go outside with your favorite running pack. Everyone’s mental health is different. Figure out what makes you smile and relax – and do that thing!

What do you think, yogis? What are your favorite ways to take care of your mental health?