May is Mental Health Month!
An important part of healthcare and selfcare has finally gained proper awareness in the past decade: mental health. Thanks to its recent awareness, many employers offer a wider variety of mental health resources, including onsite therapy and taking mental health days. People have become more inclined to seek therapy for present and past traumas, or just to have a safe space to relieve their stress. As a whole, America has begun to embrace the idea of strong mental health, and it is nothing but a good thing.
Taking priority over your mental health is important and is not something that should be looked at as weak or embarrassing. If you neglect your mental health, you could easily suffer from anxiety, depression, and can become over stressed, just to give a few examples. While these are all things that affect your mental state, they can also affect your physical being.
Having poor mental health can increase your risk of physical health problems, such as heart disease, issues with blood pressure, weight problems, cholesterol problems, or psoriasis. Mental health struggles can also cause you to miss out on physical health appointments. This could lead to missed critical diagnoses that could potentially save your life.
Improving and maintaining your mental health is not complicated. First and foremost, exercise. Exercising releases endorphins into your system, which in turn make you feel good. They give a boost of energy and help maintain positive thinking. Going to the gym is not always an option for many people, so keep in mind a brisk walk around the neighborhood can be effective as well.
Another suggestion is maintaining a proper diet. Healthy foods provide loads of vitamins and nutrients our brain needs to function properly. Too much junk in our diet not only affects our body’s health, but also our mind’s, so it is important that you try to eat a balanced diet.
One tip that cannot be overlooked is getting proper sleep. It is a commonly known fact that our brains cannot function properly without the appropriate amount of rest. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Babies and teens need even more to aid in their growth and development. Getting proper sleep is the easiest way to aid your mental health, plus it just feels nice to rest.
Finally, get help. A balanced lifestyle consisting of exercise, nutrition, and sleep is a great thing, but will not always solve a mental health issue. It is important that you speak with a mental health professional so that they can evaluate your mental health status and prescribe the best treatment for you.
By: Better Me by Dr. B
Editor: Ariel Thompson
Medical Reviewer: Dr. Tiffany Bell D.O.