Mental Illness: 8 Best Practices For Recovery

As long as you receive the treatment and support you need, recovery from mental illness is possible. You may need to take medication, attend therapy and counseling sessions, or receive other forms of treatments to restore your health, energy, and mental strength. Apart from these, you’ll have to make lifestyle changes and form healthy habits that aid your recovery.  

But what does recovery really mean? To health professionals, recovery refers to a reduction or lack of mental health symptoms. However, what recovery means to you is individual to you. Recovery could mean achieving something you’d found difficult to do, such as meeting new people or getting out of the house. Or it could mean gaining more control of your emotions. Overall, recovery means living a meaningful life.

Many aspects play a significant role in restoring your mental health. Some factors include physical fitness, home and environment, support system, and the purpose of recovery. Considering these factors, you must make the necessary adjustments that would further propel you towards improving your mental health. For example, practicing self-care is one way you can prevent and manage mental health conditions. Do hobbies that you enjoy, such as painting, swimming, or hiking. You can also volunteer or join a community group. Once you take better care of yourself, you’ll live a happier life and feel rejuvenated. 

Recovery can be a lifelong process, though, with the possibility of relapse. Therefore, it’s essential to follow best practices that would help you slowly regain your health and rebuild your life.  

Continue reading to learn about the best practices for recovering from mental illness. 

  • Seek Immediate Treatment 

One of the crucial steps in recovering from mental illness is receiving treatment immediately. Doing so will prevent symptoms of your mental health condition from worsening your health further. Moreover, some disorders can potentially become life-threatening without immediate intervention, so seeking prompt treatment is vital. 

To make it easier to receive treatment, consider seeking services from a mental health recovery center in your area. For instance, you can receive mental health treatment in El Centro if you live in Imperial County. This way, you’ll have quick, convenient access to treatment, therapy sessions, or group meetings as needed. Additionally, receiving immediate and consistent treatment from a provider improves your chances of attaining full recovery faster.  

  • Consider Moving To A New Environment 

Many mental health patients benefit from having a change in their environment due to how it affects their condition. For instance, those who suffer from sensory sensitivities in crowded places can move to a temporary housing facility where they can learn how to manage sensory overload. After reaching a certain stage during their recovery, they will gradually learn how to get out of their comfort zone and cope in social settings better. 

On the other hand, some environments can trigger outbursts, panic attacks, or depression, especially if the area is cluttered, unsafe, or threatening. This kind of situation can cause considerable harm to you if you’re struggling with mental illness. Hence, an immediate change of environment is needed. 

  • Make Necessary Lifestyle Changes 

The lifestyle changes you’ll have to make depend on the type of mental disorder you’re recovering from. For example, if you’re struggling with anxiety and depression, you’re encouraged to engage in regular physical activities and meditative practices, such as taking walks, running, and yoga. These activities will help you regulate your mood, distract yourself from rumination and other detrimental thought processes, and manage your fear and anxiety.  

In general, mental health experts recommend that you commit to a healthy meal plan, adopt healthy eating habits, improve sleep hygiene, and manage stress levels to boost your body’s strength and support its various systems. 

Physical health dramatically impacts your mental state, which is why the lifestyle changes recommended for patients with mental disorders are geared towards improvement.  

  • Identify Triggers And Learn Coping Techniques 

Many people with mental illnesses show symptoms when exposed to specific triggers that come in the form of situations, places, or people. Examples of triggers include end of a relationship, family conflicts, or financial problems. 

To manage your mental health condition better and prevent it from worsening, it’s essential to identify those triggers early on in the treatment process. To do so, you can seek help from your psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed therapist.  

Mental health professionals can help you narrow down the things or experiences that cause you to experience strong emotions and feel overwhelmed. Then you’ll get to learn and apply coping techniques that allow you to regain balance and composure after a triggering event.  

Here are some examples of coping techniques that doctors recommend for patients recovering from mental disorders: 

  • Identifying your body’s unique response to stressors and responding accordingly
  • Getting adequate rest
  • Staying engaged in social connections and avoiding self-isolation
  • Using tools to cope with overwhelming feelings or emotions, including meditation, autonomic sensory meridian response (ASMR) stimuli, and therapeutic activities like cooking, dancing, or painting  
  • Asking for support from trusted friends or loved ones  

Taking this step is essential to recovery since it lets you address problems and find solutions independently and actively. While it’s ideal to receive professional assistance when you experience difficulty, it’s equally important to empower yourself so that you can face challenges head on. You’ll also gain more confidence and strength when you’re able to handle difficult or uncomfortable situations and overcome problems using your own solutions.  

  • Get Support From Your Social Circle 

Aside from receiving professional treatment, it’s vital for you to receive support from your social circle, such as family and friends. Belonging to a supportive and understanding community is beneficial to recovery as well. Receiving support from people close to you makes you feel safe and understood as you work towards healing. Plus, it helps you gather perspective from people you trust and rely on when you’re dealing with issues that come with mental illness. 

For instance, if you need to take time off from work and responsibilities at home to improve your well-being, then you’ll need people who can take over for you. This kind of support will make you worry less about your responsibilities and focus more on your recovery.  

Furthermore, a support system can serve as inspiration and encouragement, especially when you encounter setbacks or relapses. The recovery process requires strong will and determination, and the people who stand by your side will always be there to help you and take great care of you. 

Mental Illness: 8 Best Practices For Recovery

  • Be Prepared For Setbacks 

Mental health recovery can involve several setbacks, depending on how you respond to treatment, how consistent you are in receiving medication or therapy, and how prepared you are for challenges. The recovery process may not always be smooth sailing, and some things may not go as planned. Thus, it’s crucial to prepare for setbacks and plan how to get back on track.  

For example, you could feel overwhelmed while trying to resume everyday activities. As you slowly get back to your usual routine that you’d missed while in recovery, you might experience a relapse because of certain situations or behaviors, such as relationship problems, stress, or drug use. Aside from these triggers, you’re bound to have a relapse if you don’t continue caring for yourself, receiving treatment, and following a healthy lifestyle.  

To prevent relapse, you’ll need to consult your healthcare providers and create a plan to stay consistent with the required medication and treatment. Your health and lifestyle requirements should also be clearly outlined and followed to ensure continuous recovery.  

  • Cope With Stigma 

While there’s been an increased awareness of mental health issues and their prevalence in society, many recovering patients still have to cope with social stigma. Due to this stigma, patients may experience fear of discrimination and may resort to self-isolation, which can significantly hinder recovery. Others may struggle to reach out to people they trust and seek support from them. 

To ensure complete recovery, you need to learn how to cope with stigma around mental illness. You don’t have to face this challenge alone. You can ask for help from doctors, therapists, or other professionals. 

Avoid internalizing self-doubt, shame, and other negative emotions brought about by other people’s judgment. To address these feelings, share them with your therapy group or with family members and friends who can give you the support and assurance you need. You can even consider journaling to express your thoughts and emotions and decide the best course of action you can take.

  • Revisit Your Recovery Goals 

Lastly, you’ll be able to bounce back when you reaffirm your recovery goals. Each person’s recovery journey is unique, and your goals greatly influence your path towards reclaiming your health and life. So, whenever you feel lost or struggle, revisit your goals and remind yourself of the purpose of your endeavor.  


The journey towards mental health recovery requires consistency, hope, and determination. You’ll need to receive quality treatment, continuous therapy and counseling, as well as constant moral and emotional support from your loved ones. Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills too, so you can respond to triggers effectively and overcome difficulties.  

Don’t be afraid to make significant changes in your life. Go out there and live your life to the fullest by doing the things that you enjoy, interacting with people you care about, and building new relationships. 


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