Public Health Corner: Reflecting on our mental well-being
Our mental well-being is important. Please take a moment to reflect on your mental health. Your mental health is a key component to your overall health and wellbeing; no matter your age, mental health can always be improved and here are some important tips to help maintain a positive state of mental wellness.
First and foremost is self-talk. Too often many of us get in the habit of negative self-talk, which can be extremely harmful to our mental health, so try and keep thoughts positive and avoid self-criticism. Our physical health can also impact our mental wellbeing, so eating a nutritious, balanced diet, avoiding smoking, drinking adequate water (8 cups per day), exercising (30-60 minutes per day), and getting adequate sleep (7-8 hours per night) are all important to keeping mental health in check.
Personal connections can be important for our mental well-being. The people we surround ourselves with can also contribute to our mental wellness state; relationships are important and choosing them wisely is also important. Hang out with positive people who lift you up instead of tearing you down. Volunteering and helping others can also be a mental health booster as well as making time for your hobbies and interests. Practicing gratefulness, identifying three good things each day, and random acts of kindness* are a few intentional activities that can boost your state of well-being. Developing health coping strategies such as meditation, yoga, painting, playing an instrument, running, singing, etc. are also important to help manage stress and maintain a healthy mind. Time management can also be another key component to mental well-being; balance your time so you are making time for things you love and setting a regular schedule, but make sure not to overbook yourself because it can lead to unnecessary stress. Additionally, making time for new and fun activities are important so people are able to break out of their normal routine and help to rejuvenate one’s self.
Some final tips include stopping drug use and limiting alcohol consumption. Using these substances may seem to help you handle stress and cope, but really they just help you to forget about your stress for a little while; the stress will still be there once the substances’ effects wear off.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Getting help for your mental health, or any health concern, is a sign of strength and will allow you to lead a fuller, more satisfying life.
Taking the time to reflect on where you are at with your mental well-being from time to time is important. Start with one intentional activity to boost your mental well-being and move forward from there.
*For more information about intentional strategies to improve and maintain your mental well-being go to https://www.bouncebackproject.org/