May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Your mental health is a vital component of your overall health that can effect your physical health and regular lifestyle. Negative thoughts not only effect you emotionally, but also physiologically with symptoms such as fatigue, irregular heartbeat, migraines, stomach aches, and panic attacks to name a few. Our mental health influences how we think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also affects our ability to handle stress, face and overcome challenges, maintain and build relationships, and recover from difficulties and setbacks. Throughout the past year and a half mental health has become even more vital to talk about as many people struggled with their mental well-being throughout the COVID pandemic.
We all experience disappointment, loss, and change throughout our lives. While it’s a normal part of life, these emotions and experiences still cause sadness, anxiety, and stress. But just as like physically healthy people are better able to bounce back from illness or injury; people with strong mental health are better able to bounce back from adversity, trauma, and stress in their lives. The ability to cope with life’s challenges in a healthy manner is known as resilience. People who are emotionally and mentally resilient have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook. They’re able to remain focused, flexible, and productive, in bad times as well as good ones.
To help spread awareness about the importance of taking care of your mental health, here’s 5 helpful tips for maintaining a healthy state of mind:
1. Practice self care and make yourself a priority. You can do this by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and getting quality sleep.
2. Disconnect from electronics and social media. Taking time to unplug will reduce the feelings of anxiety and depression that social media and the internet can often stir up.
3. Engage in activities that provide meaning. This could be any activity that you enjoy, makes you feel productive, and challenges your creativity.
4. Engage in meditation and/or mindfulness. Relaxation exercises can improve your state of mind and outlook on life.
5. Avoid heavy substance use. Heavy alcohol or drug use can get in the way of your ability to function at work or school, maintain relationships, and relate to others.