Odds are high that if you don’t personally live with a mental health condition, someone you love does.
According to Mental Health America, one in five adults have a mental health condition . That's over 40 million Americans or more than the populations of New York and Florida combined.
Self-care is a critical part of mental wellness – both for patients and caregivers. Here are some easy, effective self-care practices that are free and only take a few minutes each day to help support your mental health.
Our society and culture have turned crying into a negative act, but it shouldn’t be. Studies show that crying serves a purpose in our bodies – it releases stress and ultimately enhances our moods. When it comes to our mental health, we should often cry more, not less. Don’t hold it in, let it out!
If it feels like you can’t handle life when you are tired, that is because it’s true – you can’t. Poor sleep habits put us at greater risk for depression and anxiety, reduce the effectiveness of our immune systems, and increase our risk of multiple other health conditions. Assess if you are getting enough sleep and improve your daily habits until you feel rested when you wake up in the morning. Your brain and body will thank you.
Much like crying, exercise releases tension and removes toxins from the body. Experts have a wide range of advice on which types of exercise may be best, but generally they all agree that some movement is better than no movement at all. If you enjoy high impact exercise classes or long runs, great. If not, fit more walking naturally into your day or try doing 20 minutes of yoga each night. Any movement counts.
In a world where working hard is a badge of honor, too often we forget to have fun. Positive feelings improve your ability to bounce back from stress and manage other health conditions. Playing could be as simple as fitting in 15 minutes of a “guilty pleasure” each day, like reading a romance novel before bed, coloring (with or without your kids), or enjoying a hobby like model building or knitting. If you aren’t sure what playing might look like for you, try remembering what makes you happiest on vacation . How can you fit a little of that into your life?
Mental health conditions are real, common, and treatable. If you are struggling to achieve mental wellness , please take care of yourself and reach out for help from a mental health professional if you need it.
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