The term “mental health” is not one that is foreign to most of us. It’s been at the forefront of conversation since the beginning of the pandemic of 2020, more than it ever has before. The reason for all the conversation: it’s a VERY BIG DEAL!! With an estimated 1 in 4 adults suffering from some kind of disorder related to mental health every year, it needs to be at the forefront of health conversations, just as much as cancer and heart disease. Mental health illnesses take 4 of the top 10 spots in the causes of disability in the US. No age is immune. The Census Bureau and the National Center For Health Statistics conducted a recent survey and found that people ages 18 to 39 years old had the largest ranking of depression and anxiety. May is recognized as National Mental Health Month, but this is such a fiercely important topic of concern, it should be recognized every day of every month. We don’t have any professional mental health training but wanted to research and have a piece full of information from some people who do. Opening up the conversation and offering some helpful strategies is always a good idea.
Life Practices = Important Priorities
Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.This is about highlighting some ways that we all can adjust our lives and schedules to make sure we are making good mental health a top priority. Whether you are being proactive and making a good plan or you find yourself in a hard season, these are some good practices to put in place.
- Establish your support network (people you know, love and trust), those you can talk through your struggles and issues with, ones that can understand and support your journey
- Find things you love and love to do to focus on as a healthy distraction to stress and anxiety
- Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety and is good for your body as well as your mind and mood
- A healthy diet can boost your mood and make your body feel healthy and well, which can have a huge impact on your mental health. Diets high in processed foods have been known to increase the risk of despression and anxiety. People deficient in vitamins and minerals are more likely to suffer from mental disorders
- Get a good night’s sleep! People that experience sleeping problems are at a higher risk to develop depression, anxiety, ADHA and bipolar disorder
- Keep a mental checklist of the warning signs that let you know you are about to step into troubled waters. Whether it’s your thoughts racing, your chest gets tight, you start to panic or whatever you go through in a rough time, be aware and be proactive
- When you know you’ve exhausted all your helpful things, people and still find yourself headed down a dark path, know that, not only it is ok to get help, it’s ESSENTIAL that you seek professional help. Seeking help for a medical problem shouldn’t be seen as embarrassing or shameful, it’s just the opposite. It takes strength, courage and bravery to fight a fight like this
- Face to face connection with other people is essential to everyone’s mental wellbeing. This is a key to what made the pandemic so difficult for so many. Our brains were created to be social, to have face to face, person to person interaction with other people not only helps our mental wellbeing, it is essential for a well rounded life
- Find time each day to disconnect from your phone, laptop, computer, television.
- Have your favorite coffee or treat on hand, make a playlist of your favorite songs that make you happy, keep weekly meet-ups with your close friends or family, have your favorite movie on hand, and be prepared to enjoy your favorite things at least once or twice a day, this can keep the stress down and your positivity up
- Take time every day to focus on the good things in your life, to experience true gratitude. Gratitude keeps our focus on the positive
Live A FULL Life!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as I walk through life, it’s this: no one has a perfect, carefree life without problems, struggles, and hard times. We all face adversity. It’s normal to have stress, anxiety, fear at one time or another. If you find yourself in a place where you can’t get through the hard times your in, please reach out and tell someone and seek help. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Part of living a healthy life is to be healthy mentally and you do whatever you need to do to live a long, full life, physically AND mentally. We care and we’re on your side!
For more information, you can check out these organizations:
Mental Health America https://www.mhanational.org/
National Alliance On Mental Illness https://www.nami.org/Home
Good Therapy https://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html
Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists
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