Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been recognized every May. It is meant to bring awareness to the millions of Americans living with mental illness and to help fight the stigma and provide support. Here are some great ideas for how you can look after your mental health.
Keeping active is not only great for your body, but great for your mind. Exercise can help release endorphins- the chemicals produced by your brain to help you deal with pain and stress. They’re called the “feel-good” chemicals for a reason.
Whether it’s a full workout or just going for a walk, regular exercise can help boost your self-esteem, help you concentrate, get better sleep, and just feel better in general.
Just like with exercise, healthy eating can help both your body and your mind. Similar to your body, your brain needs certain nutrients to keep it healthy and functioning. A balanced diet includes but isn’t limited to:
- Dairy products
- Fruits and vegetables
- And plenty of water
Some things you’ll want to limit are drinks that are high in caffeine and sugar. Although they can help you feel awake or alert, overconsumption can lead to chemical imbalances in your brain.
Take a Break
Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery or change of pace to help your mental health. Whether it’s a 30 lunch break at work or a weekend away, taking a break is a good way for you to de-stress and re-focus.
This “me time” can mean different things for different people. For some it may be going out and exploring somewhere new. For others it could mean staying at home with a good book.
Talk It Out
No man is an island. It’s natural to rely on others whether it’s for comfort or for help. Talking with family or friends can not only help you process your feelings, but they can even offer you advice if you need it.
However, if your mental health is starting to have a big impact on you or those around you, it may be time to talk to a professional instead. Luckily, there are resources both online and in person that you can access.