For many, talking about mental health is extremely uncomfortable. However, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that 43.6 million people have experienced some form of mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, within their lifetime. Transparent conversations are the key to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness. When we openly share our experiences with others, we break down the barriers surrounding mental health.
Our mental health not only impacts how we think and feel, but it also affects how we cope with stress. It influences our ability to form and maintain healthy relationships and how we handle life’s inevitable challenges and hardships. Self-care for mental health focuses on positive ways to build emotional resilience for when tough times come our way. While society often dismisses the importance of self-care, emotional well-being should be a priority for everyone. Today, let’s look at a few ways you can make mental health a priority.
Take time for yourself.
The first step in practicing self-care is to take care of your body. There is a strong connection between your body and your mind. When you care for yourself, you will likely feel better too. It is important to remember that our cups won’t always stay full. Sometimes, it will be necessary to step back and refuel. Doing an activity, such as getting a massage, taking a leisurely walk, or reading a good book, can shift your focus and reset your mind. Integrating positive self-care activities can enhance your mental well-being, as well as improve overall happiness.
Be a part of something greater.
Shifting our attention to something bigger than ourselves can help create a sense of belonging. By branching out of our comfort zones, we can challenge our creativity, feel productive, and brighten our mood. Find that volunteer activity you’ve always wanted to do. Take a friend out to dinner. Sit and read with someone you know. No act of kindness goes wasted. A simple smile can not only brighten someone else’s day, but can make you feel good, too.
Connection is important.
Just as humans grow off connection, mental illness thrives in isolation. Having healthy friendships offers support for those not-so-great days. Studies have shown that talking to others for just ten minutes can improve memory. Make an effort to call the friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. They will appreciate it, and so will you.
Know that stress will come.
It is no surprise that life can get tough and stress is unavoidable. However, knowing how to manage the stress and emotions is key to maintaining good mental health. Make a list or schedule if you have a busy week ahead. We often get caught up in the mountain of tasks we have to do. However, if we break down our worries or stressors, we often realize they are indeed manageable.
Gratitude is important.
Reminding yourself of the positives in your life can go a long way in improving mental health. Studies suggest that expressing what you are thankful for improves your overall emotional well-being. Make a list of the things you are grateful for – that family member, that neighborhood friend, your favorite outdoor activity. Expressing gratitude can make even bad days brighter.
Know when to reach out.
Part of practicing mental health is knowing when it is time to reach out for support. Talking about how you are feeling to a family member or mental health professional is vital to making sure your mental health stays on track. When things seem lonely or hopeless, there is always help available. Knowing who you can reach out to can lessen the worry if that time comes. Remember, there is no shame in needing a shoulder to lean on.
Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance abuse, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1296.