May is Mental Health Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime.” It’s important to educate people about habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves. These include risk factors such as prescription drug misuse, internet addiction, excessive spending, marijuana use, and troublesome exercise patterns.
Raising awareness about mental health and eliminating the stigma is very important. Our bodies and mind act as one unit and therefore it is important to care for both our emotional and mental states as well as our physical health.
Below are a few ways to boost your mental health:
- Experiment with a new recipe, write a poem, paint or try a new project. Creative expression and overall well-being are linked.
- Keep it cool for a good night’s sleep. The optimal temperature for sleep is between 60˚ and 67˚ Fahrenheit.
- Start your day with a cup of coffee. Coffee consumption is linked to lower rates of depression. If you can’t drink coffee because of the caffeine, try another good-for-you drink like green tea.
- Track gratitude and achievement with a journal. Include 3 things you were grateful for and 3 things you were able to accomplish each day.
- Feeling anxious? Take a trip down memory lane and do some coloring for about 20 minutes to help you clear your mind. Pick a design that’s geometric and a little complicated for the best effect.
- Go off the grid. Leave your smart phone at home for a day and disconnect from constant emails, alerts, and other interruptions. Spend time doing something fun with someone face-to-face.
For an appointment with one of our counselors, call Lifecare at 330-454-2000.