How To Improve Your Mental Health
Mental health is extremely important.
Seriously, mental health involves our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Essentially, our mental health directly affects how we think, feel, and act. Definitely important, don’t you think? Unfortunately, America struggles with mental health as a whole and a lot of us think that finding ways to improve it is unnecessary or even embarrassing. I want you to know that I am here for you and that working on improving your mental health is not embarrassing by any means.
One thing that you need to remember is that if you are struggling with your mental health, you are not alone. One in five Americans experience a mental health problem each year and across the world, depression is the leading cause of disability. In addition, 6.9 percent of adults struggle with major depression in the US and 18.1 percent struggles with an anxiety disorder. I hope you know that you are not alone because mental health is an issue and improving it is so very important. I've talked about how I struggle with anxiety, which is just one way some of us struggle with our mental health.
Here are a few ways that you can improve your mental health and wellbeing...
Eat Balanced Meals + Exercise
Although eating a balanced meal will not help with your direct mental state immediately, I truly do believe that getting healthier will help us look and feel better. Eat those greens and get in that exercise in order to start feeling better about yourself and you could see a big difference in the way that you view yourself and the people around you. I definitely went off the past couple of months, but over the past few weeks, I've gotten serious about putting good food in my body and getting some movement in every single day.
Maintain Healthy Relationships
Loneliness is an epidemic in the U.S. right now, according to Psychology Today. More people than ever are feeling isolated and that can result in feelings of anxiety and depression. A study discovered that loneliness had the same impact on one’s life span as obesity and smoking. Loneliness, the study found, shortened a person’s life by 15 years.
One of the best ways to protect your mental health is by prioritizing your relationships. As much as I love alone time, I also need to be around people. We are meant to live in community. When we maintain healthy relationships, it gives our lives meaning, makes us feel accepted and reinforces that we have people we can rely on during times of adversity.
It’s important to remember that asking family members or friends for help if you’re struggling isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather strength. There should be no shame or embarrassment in asking for help. I'm always here if you need to talk to someone and there are also a number of professional help centers that you can reach out to also.
Prioritize Your Sleep
Sleep is insanely important. If you are busy running errands, taking care of the house, going to work, and just trying to balance it all, you might struggle getting enough sleep, which is definitely understandable. I think that most people do struggle with their sleep, but being deprived of sleep will only enhance and emotional and psychological problems. One study found that people who reported having insomnia were four times as likely to develop depression. Crazy, right? Good sleep is not just about getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night. It’s also about feeling restful and good when you wake up the next day. Make sure that your bedroom promotes good sleep. Use neutral, light colors for the walls and decor, make sure it gets very dark, and if you need to, turn on a sound machine. Also, blue light blocking glasses are great to wear before bed, too!It is so important to get help when you need it. A great place to start that is not intimidating at all is with the therapy groups at Ray of Hope Counseling Services. They say, “The various therapy groups at Ray of Hope help you improve conditions such as anxiety, addiction, or depression, especially if you are feeling isolated. Experience the rewarding experience that a therapy group can provide you. Groups can act as a support network and a sounding board. Other members of the group often help you come up with specific ideas for improving a difficult situation or life challenge, and hold you accountable along the way.”
Ray of Hope Counseling Services not only offers therapy groups, but they also offer individual counseling, as well, if you are more interested in a one-on-one help. You are able to get individual counseling in one of their seven convenient locations in Georgia, or if you live out of the state, or if you are too busy to go in, you can also do your counseling session online, which I thought was really neat!
I hope this helps you and if you are struggling, please talk to someone. You aren't alone. I struggle, too, and there is no shame in that.