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  • Anna-Catalina Kettlewell

How I Improved My Mental Health, and How You Can Too

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

When I was younger I didn't know how to handle all of my emotions. I grew up playing sports with two very confident parents, so I always thought that revealing how I felt would be seen as a weakness. As I got older more and more of my feelings stayed bottled up, becoming frustrated with everyone and everything. This made me isolate myself which only worsened my mentality. It didn't take long for my parents to notice, and even then, I wanted no help. It took a few tries on their end but eventually, I agreed to open up. Talking with them helped me realize how we feel is part of the process we call life. I made my mental health a priority and here are a few things that helped me do that:

1. Listening to Music

Girl with headphones looking at phone listening to music

Cata Kettlewell

Sometimes when I feel like there's too much going on in the world I put on my headphones, blast some of my favorite songs, and block out ALL of the outside noise. I think the reason I love it so much is because it makes me feel like I’m in a movie and oddly, that soothes me. That may sound stupid but research shows that music acts as a medium for processing emotions, trauma, and grief. Additionally, music can enhance intelligence and focus. Whichever genre it may be, I highly encourage you to try this.

2. Writing About it

Message being received from "tbfyn"

Cata Kettlewell

Writing about how I feel is one of my favorite things to do when I want to clear my mind. It’s also one of the ideas that inspired my mental health organization The Best Friend You Needed (TBFYN). I used to let everything out by texting my own number or emailing myself. Keeping a diary seemed to cliché and since I always had my phone on me, it just made sense. Even though nobody was responding to my texts, I felt a sense of relief every time I vented. If writing is something that helps you I would recommend signing up for TBFYN’s texts by sending “welcome” to 844-973-421

TBFYN website:

3. Being in Nature

Two friends holding hands on beach

Cata Kettlewell

I am not much of an adventure person but I do love nature. You will never catch me willingly going up a giant mountain but you can always find me at the beach. The sun on my skin, salt in my hair, and the sound of the waves is the best stress reliever. My favorite part about nature is that it makes me feel safe and understood.

4. Surrounding Yourself With the Right People

Collage of friends doing different activities

Cata Kettlewell

For a long time, I underestimated how much of a role the people around you play. If you have goals it’s super important to hang out with positive people who will encourage you. The right influences make it much easier to stay focused and overall make you feel better about yourself. My current friends and family are amazing, we give each other room to grow and always build each other up.

5. Last But Not Least, Getting Good Sleep

Three girls sleeping in car

Cata Kettlewell

Sleep is an essential task that allows your body to recharge so that when you wake up you are alert and able to operate at your best. Sleep plays a critical role in determining the mood of an individual and in my experience, has helped to relieve anxiety and stress. Being fully rested has helped improve my productivity and efficiency when it comes to daily tasks.

Unraveling all of my emotions through these five things has helped to boost my mental health while also helping to keep a stable relationship with my family, friends, and most importantly myself. Remember everyone is different and while these might work for me they may not work for you. Heal at your own pace and know that you are stronger than anything that comes your way.

-Your TPL Writer, Cata


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